Easy Ways To Treat Dry Flaky Skin On Face


Having dry skin on your face can be a real burden. It might be itchy, or flaky, sore, irritated, and even painful at times. The most frustrating part is it could manifest as scaly skin patches even. Dry skin makes it hard to wear makeup, as the product will crumble just at application. If you’ve been frustrated by dry skin for a while, this article is for you! We go through why your skin is dry, the science behind it, and what you can do to easily soothe dry skin and improve your skin health.

What is Dry Skin?

Dry skin or itchy skin does not have to do with hydration, that’s dehydrated skin, but the difference can be lost on many people. Dry skin is due to a lack of the skin’s natural oils and lipids. It can be genetic and depends very much on the oil glands in your skin. The skin all over the body has a dry and flaky look, and some other common issues you might see are scaly skin, white flakes of dry skin, some form of redness and irritation, and even other skin conditions like eczema.

The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, is affected by the humidity levels. The epidermal cells are arranged akin to the tiles on a roof and are held together by a “glue” made of lipids (fats), which is what keeps the skin cells nice and flat, making them smooth and neat. When this glue that holds them together gets loosened by the low humidity levels, this causes the water in the skin cells to escape, hence causing a drop in moisture levels and hence the aforementioned dryness of the skin.

The Skin’s Anatomy

There are three layers to the skin: the subcutaneous fat, dermis, and the abovementioned epidermis. The subcutaneous layer is the innermost layer consisting of fats which keep us well-insulated from the cold and also provide storage for energy and absorb shock. The dermis is the middle layer above the subcutaneous layer. It is made of blood vessels, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. The epidermis is the thinnest, topmost layer of the skin. This is the layer that gets dry and is made of cells that are stacked and continuously replenished, meaning old layers will fall off. 

The aim of moisturizing is to rehydrate the epidermis and lock in moisture that is lost from a damaged skin barrier. There are numerous types of moisturizing ingredients that can do this. Humectants can attract and draw in moisture. Some known and common humectants include substances that help to moisturize dry skin like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and lecithin.

There are also substances called occlusives, which are the ones that keep the moisture in the skin by creating a barrier on the epidermis to seal it in. Common occlusives are petroleum jelly, silicone, lanolin, and mineral oil. The last group of moisturizers is emollients, which create smoother skin by filling in the gaps between the skin cells. Some common emollients are lauric acid, linolenic acid, and linoleic acid. These ingredients all work by sealing in moisture and hence trapping it in the skin. keeping the skin hydrated.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Apart from your genetics, these external factors and lifestyle might be playing a role in contributing to your dry skin and sensitive skin! 

1. Your skincare and body lotions have fragrance

Fragrance tends to bring irritation to extremely dry skin and can also exacerbate the dryness. Such content also adds to the hypersensitivity skin experiences. Although fragrances make us smell nice they can impart scent on the skin through a very volatile reaction and can act as a sensitizer on the skin, causing itchiness, redness, and dryness. Check your products, especially deodorants, body lotions, and even moisturizers for fragrance and other harsh chemicals.

2. Your retinol is irritating your skin

Retinols are excellent products to incorporate into your skin care routine for anti-aging and preventing wrinkles get getting rid of dead skin cells, thus important for lip wrinkle treatment, by boosting the rate of cell turnover. It is also essential when talking about how to remove deep blackheads. However, retinoids also cause a lot of irritation and it might be exacerbated if your skin is naturally quite dry.

What retinoids do is loosen the glue that holds the epidermal cells together, which is how water escapes and dries the skin out. But that does not mean you have to cut retinoids out of your regimen totally. Try cutting down the number of times you use it, instead of every day try once or twice a week to relieve dry skin.

3. Your soap is stripping your skin of oil

Body wash and shampoo often contain ingredients with the purpose of removing oil to clean your body and hair, but this has the added effect of stripping moisture from the skin – thus the dry skin around nose and other areas on your face. Remember that oil is what gives your skin moisture, and if you are already someone who has naturally lower levels of oil production in the body, your shampoos and body washes will likely strip even more oil, leading to dryness of the skin. Stay away from bar soaps as they are quite harsh on the skin. A formula that is gentle and does not cause your skin to feel tight or dry is a good option.

Soap that contains shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil are all great for relieving dry skin and for those with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.

How To Treat Dry Skin

Here are some easy ways you can alleviate dry skin, through a mix of lifestyle changes and some easy home remedies for dry skin!

1. Wash your face with milk

If your dryness causes inflammation, try washing your face with milk! Milk has lactic acid, which is a gentle exfoliant, and also has vitamins A, D, K, and protein, making it a great hydrator. It’s one of the simple ways to hydrate skin. It additionally has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal, easy, and cheap natural way to alleviate sensitive and irritated skin – and could also address sun spots on skin! Soak a towel in some milk and hold it against your skin for five to ten minutes.

2. Apply your moisturizer right after showering or washing your face.

Moisturizers work by sealing existing moisture in your skin. Since you need some moisture and water in order for the moisturizer to lock it in, apply it right after you wash your face or take a bath. This allows the moisturizer to work more effectively and efficiently when there is some water to trap. After that, you just need to study how to massage forehead to remove wrinkles while ensuring absorption of the moisturizer.

You can also try using aloe vera gel as a moisturizer as it helps to heal dry skin and improve skin hydration.

3. Don’t stay in the shower for too long

Lingering in a hot shower or bath is one of the comforts in life. Sadly, hot baths and showers are culprits for dry skin, and you should try to wrap up your shower as soon as you can. Take quicker showers, and immediately apply a body moisturizer once you get out. The skin should be damp when you apply moisturizers to let it penetrate the skin more deeply. You can also double up the moisture by adding body oil to your routine. Apply a light body oil before layering on some nice, rich body cream or lotion.


If your dry skin persists or gets worse, it might be a sign of something more serious such as psoriasis or eczema. Go to a dermatologist if you are unsure and get it checked! They can more accurately prescribe you medication.

Stay tuned for more of our skincare topics where we answer questions like, “what are whiteheads,” “how often should I exfoliate,” and more!

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