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Why is My Face Peeling?

4 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

Skin peeling on face? Before messing with your skincare routine, try to understand exactly why is your face peeling, so you can effectively treat the problem.

With the change in seasons and maskne going on, our skin is going through it! Feeling unbalanced due to stress, and the constant friction from your mask can cause face peeling, even if you’ve never had it before. It can be difficult to manage those pesky flakes without throwing the rest of your skin out of balance. Before you start messing with your skincare routine, stop for a second, and think about why your face is peeling in the first place. This will allow you to effectively treat the problem and get back to living your life with smooth and radiant skin! 

Why Is The Skin On My Face Peeling? What Causes Skin Peeling?

The causes of peeling skin can diverse:

    • Cold weather: Peeling skin is extremely common in the winter when the air is cold, dry, and harsh on our skin. In turn, our skin becomes dry and is prone to peeling from the lack of moisture and windburn. Turning up your indoor heating system blows out extremely dry air, meaning there’s no escape to find moisture. 
    • Maskne: The buzzword at the moment isn’t just about acne. We broke it down in our Maskne story, but the constant friction of the mask rubbing against your skin, and the recycled dry air inside your mask from breathing will dry out your skin, and exacerbate any peeling skin. 
    • Sunburn: One of the most common causes of skin peeling is sunburn. We’ve all probably experienced this after a long day at the pool or beach. After experiencing sun damage, your skin will attempt to repair its top layer of dead skin cells by shedding itself. Even though you should always wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn in the first place, you can help relieve the pain and peeling after the fact by taking cold showers, and applying soothing aloe vera gel. However, if you experience fever, chills, nausea, dizziness, headache, or dehydration, then you need to seek medical attention as your overexposure to UV rays may have caused sun poisoning. 
    • Allergic reaction: Peeling skin can also be the result of an allergic reaction to ingredients in products you use on your face, like makeup, face washes, serums, or moisturizers. If you have recently started using a new product on your face and are experiencing peeling, stop using that new product to see if your skin improves. If it does, then it’s likely causing you to have an allergic reaction and you should stop using it. Products that contain alcohol can also be very drying and cause peeling skin.  
    • Skin conditions: If your skin peeling isn’t necessarily confined to your face, then it might be due to a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, contact dermatitis, or seborrheic dermatitis. These conditions often cause dry, itchy, red, and peeling skin in different areas of the body. If your skin isn’t improving and you have any of these other symptoms, you should visit a doctor or a dermatologist to see if you have a skin condition that requires special treatment. 
    • Medications: Skin peeling can be a side effect of taking medications like blood pressure medications, penicillin, seizure medications, or topical medications. If you believe you are experiencing peeling skin as a side effect of a new medication, talk to your doctor about your concerns to see if you can try out a different treatment in order to relieve the peeling.
    • Medical conditions: This is rare, but still worth mentioning. Peeling skin can actually be the result of a serious medical condition like hypothyroidism or peeling skin syndrome that requires treatment from a healthcare professional. If your peeling skin doesn’t seem to be caused by anything above, isn’t getting better with home remedies, or is causing you discomfort, then it’s best to go to a doctor for medical advice. 

    How to Avoid Skin Peeling

    Since face peeling can happen for many reasons, there are different ways to go about treating it. For example, if your skin peels during the winter, try a humidifier for your home to add some moisture to the air and your skin. Switching to a thicker moisturizer can help supplement the loss in hydration from cold temperatures and strong winds. When it comes to sunburn, avoid sun damage by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 or more on all exposed areas. Be sure to reapply every two hours or immediately after water exposure either from the ocean, pool, sweat, or otherwise. There are powdered SPFs that are great for on the go touchups!

    Try to avoid overly harsh and drying ingredients in your skincare that commonly cause allergic reactions. Some of these ingredients include preservatives, sulfates, aluminum compounds, acids, emollients, metals, retinol, and essential oils. So what can you use then? As a general rule, try to go with products that are gentle, natural, and made with ingredients you can pronounce. Companies like WOW Skin Science aren’t shy about their 100% vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free formulas. 

    How to Treat Peeling Skin

    Treating peeling skin depends on the exact cause. That being said, there are a few things you can do to help nourish your skin, soothe current skin damage, and help prevent future peeling incidents:

    • Use a hydrating moisturizer. Organic apple cider vinegar, hyaluronic acid, and beetroot extract. Other great moisturizing agents include shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut, and argan oil. 
    • Skip that long hot shower, no matter how relaxing it is! Hot water actually strips your face of its moisture, leaving it super dry. So instead of a scalding hot shower, try using lukewarm, preferably cold water instead -- especially when you are washing your face! 
    • After you shower, you should always pat your face dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing it dry. This helps protect your skin from friction, to keep it nice and smooth. 
    • One underrated thing you can do to help treat and prevent peeling skin is to keep your body quenched! When your body has enough hydration, it won’t have to pull it from your skin. We personally recommend using water bottles that have timed goals on them so you can easily keep up with your daily water intake


    You’re not alone in this skin peeling process! Our tips can be used throughout the year to keep your body, and skin hydrated. If none of these remedies seem to work or you have additional symptoms, you may want to speak with a healthcare provider to figure out the root cause and best method of treatment. Good luck!

    Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products


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