4 Common Causes of Dry, Flaky Skin on Your Face

4 Common Causes of Dry, Flaky Skin on Your Face

There are many factors that can cause dryness and flaking on the face. Read on to find out some common causes of dry skin, which habits to avoid, and who is most likely to experience this skin problem.

Dry, scaly or itchy facial skin can cause lingering discomfort and feelings of self-doubt for some. While dryness and flaking is usually temporary—and our research shows it can affect all skin types at any age—it's most common in people with chronically dry or sensitive skin. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of dry skin, we recommend that you first seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist for the best recommendations on how to address dryness and restore the appearance of hydrated, healthy-looking skin.

Long, hot showers or baths
Harsh astringents or toners that can strip the skin of its natural moisture
Excessive exposure to the sun or sparing with sunscreen
Aggressive chemical peels and exfoliators
Excessive cleaning with drying detergents or soaps
Highly scented skin care products containing drying alcohols
Intense scrubbing, excessive peeling or scratching of the skin
Who is most likely to experience dry, flaky facial skin?
Dry skin generally experiences facial peeling or flaking more often than other skin types. This is because people with dry skin produce less sebum (natural oils) than other skin types – such as normal, combination or oily skin. This lack of sebum can be more noticeable on the face, resulting in rough, scaly and dull skin.

Since this skin type produces less sebum, the skin is left without proper moisture and protection from the environment. In fact, one thing that most dry or sensitive skin types have in common is a compromised skin barrier. When this important protective barrier is weakened, it allows moisture to escape and potential irritants to penetrate the skin.

However, people with dry skin are not the only ones who can experience dry, scaly skin on their face. Other people who may also be more prone to dry, scaly skin include those who live in very dry or cold climates, individuals with certain illnesses, smokers, and anyone who is middle-aged or older. As you age, your skin produces less sebum – levels drop significantly in your 40s and beyond.

4 Common Causes of Dry Facial Skin
Although dry, scaly skin can appear anywhere on your body—from your hands to your feet, elbows, or legs—it can be especially troubling when it affects your face. If you notice dry skin and subsequent flaking or itchiness on your face, there are a number of elements that may be at hand. Here are some of the most common factors that can affect excessively dry facial skin.

1) Harsh soaps or skin care products
Skin care products containing harsh chemicals are often the cause of dry or flaky skin on the face. This is especially true of some alcohol-based products, such as harsh toners or astringents, which can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause increased dehydration or irritation. This can also apply to highly scented products, deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps and other products containing drying alcohol ingredients.

If you have dry facial skin, it's usually recommended to look for non-comedogenic, gentle, fragrance-free products developed with dermatologists—or go directly to a board-certified dermatologist for personal use. Face Fresh recommends gentle moisturizing products such as Face Fresh Moisturizing Cream, which contain moisture-locking ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help restore the skin's protective barrier.

2) External factors
If patches of peeling skin appear seasonally, environmental factors may be to blame. Increased dryness can appear on your face whenever there are changes in temperature or humidity. A general lack of available moisture in the air can affect the appearance of your skin on your face or any part of your body. Fortunately, these bouts of seasonal drought tend to be temporary and usually nothing to worry about.

Other possible external causes of dry, scaly skin are long hot showers or baths. Because these habits can strip the skin of its natural oils, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends limiting bathing time to no more than 5-10 minutes in warm water when treating dry skin.1

3) Preexisting skin condition
Itching and dry skin are some of the common skin problems of people with chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Because individuals suffering from these skin conditions may suffer from a compromised skin barrier, Face Fresh recommends products with ceramides, which can help restore the skin's natural protective barrier.

4) Some medicines
It is possible that certain medications can also contribute to dry, scaly skin on the face. If you think you may be experiencing dry skin symptoms as a result of taking medication, talk to your doctor about the best individual treatment options.

Despite the many possible causes of dry facial skin, a dermatologist can help by recommending moisturizing products, such as Face Fresh products, which are formulated with dermatologists, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and non-drying.

Back to blog