Your skin is dry, so you go ahead and apply moisturizer only to find your flaky skin starts to peel off. What is happening? What can you do about it? Well, we've researched in-depth what causes the skin to peel off when you apply moisturizer and what you can do about it! So now, we have some answers for you.
As you can probably guess, Flaky dead skin is already dead, so it can not be rehydrated. The motion of putting on moisturizer can cause it to peel. If you apply a moisturizer with a rubbing motion, you are also exfoliating your skin. Sometimes, the moisturizer and the ingredients themselves can be the cause of flaky skin.
Now you know why it happens, but what can you do to prevent it? Keep reading as we elaborate on what to do about flaky skin. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about flaky skin and whether drinking water can help solve the issue.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Flaky Skin: The Causes
A lack of moisture causes flaky skin. If your skin is dehydrated or dry, it may begin to flake. Applying lotion can cause it to separate from your body and peel off. If you are applying lotion using heavy-handed or in rough motions, it can pick up the dead skin and cause it to peel away.
If you didn't have flaky skin before applying your moisturizer, the moisturizer might be the cause. Some moisturizers contain harsh chemicals. If you have sensitive skin, your skin might be reacting to the ingredients in the moisturizer.
To avoid flaky dead skin peeling away after applying lotion, you need to figure out why you have flaky skin in the first place and try to solve the issue before applying your moisturizer.
The dead skin peeling away isn't necessarily a bad thing, but exfoliating your skin before applying moisturizer can help solve the problem of lotion-covered flakes hanging around on your body.
If the skin is peeling on your face, be gentle when you exfoliate. Use a soft washcloth or towel and make gentle circular motions. You can use a harsher method on the rest of your body. If you'd like to try something other than exfoliating, or just in addition to, there are also a few different ways you can prevent dry, flaky skin.
Choose A Different Product
Sometimes we use the wrong products on our skin. Products are often formulated for specific skin types, so it is essential to use one to meet your needs. Though fragrances can help you smell nice, highly scented products can cause many skin irritations. Try using a product specified for sensitive skin.
You can include a serum in your skincare routine. This is not the same as a moisturizer and should be applied beforehand. Another option is to choose a moisturizer that includes hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in our bodies, but applying it to your skin can help rehydrate it.
Try switching to a gentle facial cleanser or avoid it together. If you don't want to give it up completely, limit how often you cleanse your face with it.
Avoid Hot Showers, Especially In Winter
If you're one of those people that jump in the shower and turn the water as hot as it can go, we know this might sound like a terrible idea to you. Hear us out. Hot water can dry your skin out. You don't need to take cold showers, but your skin will thank you for turning down the heat some.
This is even more important in the winter. Cold, bitter weather is harsh on our skin, so adding a hot shower to skin that's already suffering just makes the situation worse.
Change Your Diet
The condition of our skin often correlates with our diet. Our body pulls water from the things we eat. If you have a fondness for caffeine, this might also be one of the causes of your flaky skin.
Does Drinking Water Help Dry Skin?
There's no scientific evidence to prove that drinking water helps dry skin, but many people swear by it. As we mentioned above, our body gets moisture from the things we consume. So drinking water will likely help dry skin. Besides, no harm can come from drinking more water. If it doesn't help your skin, you'll still likely receive other health benefits!
Should You Peel Off Flaky Skin?
You might be tempted to start picking at and peeling away your flaky skin. You shouldn't! Whether it's from sunburn or dry skin, you should never peel away flaky skin.
When you peel your flaky skin, you might also peel away healthy skin. It can harm the healing process, leaving your skin raw, red, and susceptible to infection. You should either leave it be or gently exfoliate.
How Do You Treat Raw Skin After Peeling?
If it's too late and you've already started peeling your skin, or it's just raw from peeling itself, you might need to treat the area. Raw skin is uncomfortable. It might hurt or sting. If the area is large or very raw, you should consider applying antiseptic cream. Aloe Vera can also help soothe the irritation.
How Do You Get Rid Of Dry Skin Overnight?
There a few things you can do to get rid of dry skin overnight. Sometimes a simple moisturizer will do the trick, but if it doesn't seem to work for you, try some of the following tips!
Take A Lukewarm Shower
We touched on this earlier, but switching your hot before-bed shower to a lukewarm shower can do wonders for your skin. Hot water can irritate the skin and strip it of natural oils. Follow up your shower by adding an oil or moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp.
Speaking of oils, applying an oil to your skin can help condition your skin. There are plenty of skincare oils available for purchase, but if you're in a pinch, Vaseline can work also.
Choose a moisturizer designed for overnight use and let it work its magic. Night moisturizers are typically thicker than day moisturizers and include repairing ingredients that do best away from the sun's rays.
You may be wondering if it's really necessary to purchase a night moisturizer. For more reading on the topic, check out our other blog post here: Can You Use Day Moisturizer Overnight?
Use A Humidifier
Dry air is not your skin's friend! Your skin can become dry and flaky from a lack of moisture in the air. Fortunately, there's a way to put some moisture into the air.
You can put some of that moisture back into the air by adding a humidifier to your room. Humidifiers will release moisture into the air whenever it gets below an unacceptable level. Giving you and your skin a healthy environment.
Hopefully, we've helped solve the mystery of why your flaky skin peels when you apply moisturizer. We've given you lots of tips on how to treat flaky skin, so with luck, you'll be on your way to smooth, hydrated skin in no time!
If you're hanging on to some moisturizer from the past, check out this blog post to make sure it's okay to use: How Long Does Moisturizer Last (And Can It Expire?)