How to remove dead skin from the face

Below, we list the various exfoliants that may be options.


1. Washcloth

Using a washcloth is a good option for those with more sensitive skin.

Take an ordinary washcloth and moisten with warm water, then use this to rub the skin gently in small circles.

Cleansing the face before exfoliating may also be beneficial as this opens up the skin’s pores.

2. Natural sponge

A natural sponge can work well to get rid of dead skin cells on the face.

Wet and wring out the sponge, then use small circular movements to exfoliate the face.

Try not to put too much pressure on the skin, as this can cause irritation. Light strokes should easily get rid of dead skin cells, as they are no longer firmly attached to the surface.

3. Face scrub

Exfoliating scrubs are a popular way to get rid of dead skin cells from the face. However, they can damage the skin as the ingredients may cause micro tears or irritation.

Avoid products that contain hard bits that do not dissolve, such as nutshell.

Scrubs that manufacturers have made from salt or sugar dissolve easily and are gentle on the skin. However, people should still only use them with caution and no more than once per week. They are generally not suitable for people with sensitive or dry skin.

As an alternative to buying commercial face scrubs, a person may want to make their own at home, such as a sugar or oatmeal scrub. Again, they should only apply these to the face once a week.


4. AHAs

AHAs work by dissolving the top layer of skin to reveal new skin cells underneath.

Use AHAs to make pores appear smaller or to lessen the appearance of fine lines.

Glycolic acid is the most common AHA.

5. BHAs

BHAs penetrate the pores to unclog them and are more suited to oily and combination skin types.

Salicylic acid is the most common BHA, and medical professionals use these to treat acne.

6. Retinol

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that people use for skin care. It is a powerful chemical exfoliant that a person can apply to treat acne.

Retinol can cause inflammation, so those with eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea may wish to avoid using it.

Your entire body is covered in skin cells, but they’re not all alive. Many have served their purpose and have been replaced by healthy cells. However, not all the dead skin cells readily leave your body, nor do they simply dissipate into the ether. Instead, they often stay on top of your skin like tiny rotting corpses. These pointless, lifeless cells can cause heaps of problems, too: They can clog pores and create calluses. They can lead to hair loss, breakouts, grimy feet, and more. That’s why it’s important to scrub them away, on every part of your body.

See Related: The Best Exfoliating Scrubs for Every Skin Type and Budget

Exfoliating your body of old cells is the key to letting the lively ones underneath come to surface and shine, giving you healthier skin overall. You give your hair follicles more room to breath, you keep your pores clear, your body smooth, and your complexion youthful and bright. But the exfoliation process is different depending on the body part. You can’t bring a pumice stone to your face. And you’ll want something heftier than a gritty scrub to take care of your feet. To help you sort out what works, we put together a guide for keeping your body’s biggest organ (that’s your skin) free of dead weight.

How to exfoliate your face

Obviously you’ve got to be gentle on your face. Not only is this the most sensitive skin on your body, but it’s also your face. And you don’t want to go to work or show up at a tailgate with minced-meat for a mug.

That being said, some products for the face work more aggressively than other body parts. They can come as chemical exfoliants, not just physical scrubs. But that’s because they’ve been carefully engineered, tested, and approved to work with the chemistry of your skin, to dissolve dead skin cells, unclog pores, and brighten your complexion.

Chemical exfoliants
If you’re interested in a chemical buffer, try a leave-on exfoliating serum, like Glytone’s, which comes in varying grades depending on the severity you want to boost cellular regeneration. Their 5.5 and 11 options offer mid- and high-level options, respectively. (Honestly, the 11 isn’t so severe in my opinion. It shouldn’t burn or anything, unless you’ve recently had salty tears rolling down your face and drying in the hot sun. No? Then you’re fine—but you might feel a tingle to know that it’s working.)

Glytone high exfoliating serum

Dermstore $46 Buy Now

Glytone medium exfoliating serum

Dermstore $42 Buy Now

AHA / BHA toners and serums
Another similar option comes in the form of BHA or AHA toners and serums. (They stand for ‘beta hydroxy acid’ and ‘alpha hydroxy acid’.) Like the serum above, you would apply these before a moisturizer, letter them soak into the skin so that they can work to dissolve dead skin cells and promote cellular turnover. They’re fairly gentle as well, and in many will balance your skin’s pH levels so that it can more naturally reach its optimal youthfulness.

REN exfoliating tonic with AHA

Sephora $25 Buy Now

Overnight exfoliation
When you go to bed, it’s the best time to work on some chemical exfoliation, since that’s also when your body experiences a spike in cellular turnover. Give it an even bigger boost by applying AHA or BHA products in tandem with a retinol-packed night cream. (Apply the serums or toners first, or else you can blend two creams if they have equal densities. Or, get a product with both retinol and AHA/BHA, like the Ole Henriksen night cream below.) If you keep on this regimen for the long term, you’ll notice significant brightness and firmness in the skin, and a decrease in hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and even acne. Retinol is good for that, but you need 90 days or more to notice its effects, and you need to stay on it to keep enjoying the benefits. Talk to your dermatologist about a prescription-grade one, if necessary, or else get a lower-grade retinol, contained in a direct-to-consumer night cream.

Ole Henriksen retinol night cream with AHA

Sephora $55 Buy Now

Physical scrubs
Then, of course, is the physical scrub, with tiny, gritty micro-exfoliants. You’ll use this 2-3 times a week while showering, after cleansing and followed with a moisturizer. It’s important to be gentle with your scrub, since this is where you can really overdo it and leave the skin reddened and irritated. But fear not, most scrubs do their job without much force, and they help lift the otherwise invisible dead layer of skin from atop your face.

How To Remove Dead Skin Naturally? Kushneet Kukreja Hyderabd040-395603080 May 20, 2019

No matter what your skin type is, it is important to exfoliate the top dead layer of skin cells on a regular basis. Exfoliation will keep your skin soft and your pores clean. It will prevent any acne, blackheads, and whiteheads from cropping up too. There are many natural ways to do this in the comforts of your home. Read on to know more about it!

One of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking fresh and glowing is to make exfoliation a regular part of your beauty regime. You may think that the CTM (cleansing, toning, and moisturizing) routine is enough to get a flawless skin. True! But in addition to that, exfoliating your skin is also important, and this applies not only to your face but also to your body. This is how exfoliation helps!

Why Exfoliate?

To understand this, you need to know why exfoliation is essential for a healthy looking skin.

Human skin is constantly regenerating itself. Old cells on the top layer of the skin die and are replaced by new cells that form in the lower layers, which is known as the dermis. As we age, however, our skin’s natural regenerative powers deteriorate. Exfoliation is the process by which we can help our skin’s regeneration process by removing dead skin cells and making way for new ones.

In the exfoliation process, we use products which help us remove the old skin and reveal the new skin underneath. There are, primarily, two ways by which we can exfoliate our skin – physical and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation involves the usage of scrubs, whereas chemical exfoliation uses products that contain enzymes which can help dislodge the dead cells from the skin by their chemical action.

No matter which process of exfoliation you opt for, it will leave your skin refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are some exfoliation remedies that you can make at home and slough off that unwanted dead skin. You no longer have to make a trip to a spa for a fresh looking, happy skin.

How To Exfoliate Dead Skin At Home

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Sugar And Honey
  4. Epsom Salt
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. Toothbrush
  7. Coffee Grounds
  8. Olive Oil
  9. Pumice Stone
  10. Oatmeal

How To Remove Dead Skin From The Face And Body

1. Brown Sugar


You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond oil OR coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the oil with sugar.
  2. Apply this on the skin and scrub in a circular motion for a few minutes.
  3. Leave it on for another five minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

Increase the quantities of the ingredients to use this on your body.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once or twice a week.

Why This Works

Raw sugar works best to exfoliate the dead skin on the face and the body, as its texture is coarser and it can remove the dead skin cells with the friction it generates when scrubbed on the skin. The scrubbing action also improves circulation and makes your skin more supple and soft (1).

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2. Baking Soda


  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 vitamin E capsule
  • Water
  1. Prick open the vitamin E capsule and add the oil present inside to the baking soda.
  2. Add a few drops of water to this and mix everything to get a paste with medium consistency.
  3. Apply this on damp face and scrub in circular motions for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with water.

Do this once every week.

The fine baking soda granules can easily remove the dead skin cells from your facial skin. Its alkalinity will help to dislodge the skin cells so that they can be easily shed off. Baking soda also restores your skin’s pH balance (2, 3). This can also be used to exfoliate dead skin from the lips.

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3. Sugar And Honey


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  1. Mix the honey and sugar.
  2. Scrub your skin with this for a few minutes and then rinse it off.

Use this simple scrub 1-2 times a week.

Both brown and white forms of sugar can help to exfoliate the skin. The honey in this mixture will help to moisturize your skin and also reverse the oxidative damage (4). Use this remedy to exfoliate dead skin cells on the arms and even other parts of the body.

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4. Epsom Salt


  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 10-12 drops lavender oil (optional)
  1. Combine the salt with the coconut oil and essential oil.
  2. Transfer this to an air-tight glass container.
  3. Use as much scrub as required for your entire body. Scrub gently for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Wash everything off using tepid water.

Use this scrub once a week to exfoliate the dead skin on the body.

The salt granules remove the dead skin when scrubbed gently on the skin. Epsom salt is also a wonderful detoxifying and pH balancing agent (5).

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5. Apple Cider Vinegar


  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Cotton ball
  1. Dilute the ACV with water and use the cotton ball to apply this on the face.
  2. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off using cool water.

To exfoliate dead skin on your feet, add half a cup of ACV to a tub filled with some water and soak your feet in this for 10-12 minutes.

Repeat this once a week.

The acids present in ACV, such as acetic, lactic, and malic acid, dissolve the dead skin cells and these can be easily washed off with water (6). Diluted ACV can also be used to exfoliate dead skin on the scalp.


Do not use this remedy if you have sensitive skin as the vinegar can sting.

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6. Toothbrush


  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush
  1. Apply a hydrating lip balm on your lips and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Now, take a toothbrush and gently rub it in circular motions on your lips.
  3. Rinse off the dead, flaky skin with plain water.

Use this remedy twice a week.

This is one of the easiest remedies to exfoliate the lips. The lip balm softens the dead skin present on the lips’ surface. The bristles of the toothbrush can help dislodge this and give you smooth and plump lips.

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7. Coffee Grounds


  • 2-3 tablespoons coffee grounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil OR coconut oil
  • Water

  1. Add the oil to the coffee grounds and mix them.
  2. Add some water to get a thick, grainy paste.
  3. Scrub the skin with this using gentle, circular motions. Alternate the circular movement with upward (towards the top of your head) movements.
  4. Keep scrubbing for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Wash off the scrub with water.

Do this coffee ground exfoliation once every week.

Exfoliate the dead skin on your legs with this and see them shine with hydration. This scrub can also be used on the face but very gentle scrubbing movements should be used. Like the other scrubs, the coarseness of the coffee grounds removes dead skin cells. Coffee contains caffeine which awakens the skin by improving circulation. Use this scrub on your thighs, buttocks, and tummy to get rid of cellulite too. Caffeine prevents the accumulation of fat beneath the skin – a wonderful additional benefit (7)!

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8. Olive Oil


  • 2-3 olive pits
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Grind the olive pits and add olive oil to them.
  2. Scrub your skin using this.
  3. Rinse the excess oil off with a mild cleanser.

Repeat this once every 4-5 days.

While the ground pits exfoliate your skin, olive oil will nourish with a wonderful combination of fatty acids and essential nutrients (8).

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9. Pumice Stone


  • Water
  • A tub
  • Pumice stone
  1. Soak your feet in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Gently scrub off the dead skin cells present under the foot.
  3. Wash all the debris off with water.
  4. Wipe your feet dry and apply a moisturizer.

Repeat this as and when required.

To remove dead skin from the skin, that pumice stone lying in your bathroom is all you need. Once the dead skin has softened because of soaking in the water, it can be easily scrubbed off.

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10. Oatmeal


  • 2 teaspoons ground oatmeal
  • Water
  1. Make a paste and apply on the face.
  2. Gently rub in circular motions for a few minutes and then rinse your face.

This can be used on the rest of the body as well.

Repeat this once or twice a week.

Oatmeal is an excellent choice for a homemade exfoliator, especially for the face. It softens the dead skin so that it can be gotten rid of easily. It also moisturizes the skin and reduces any inflammations that may be present (9). Use this to exfoliate the skin before shaving to make the process smoother and faster.

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The last step to follow after exfoliating your skin is to moisturize the skin. Follow all the remedies mentioned above with a moisturizer matching your skin type. This will ensure that your skin remains hydrated and healthy.

Some tips to keep in mind during exfoliation

Tips To Remember

  • Always be gentle on your skin, taking care not to strip your skin of the natural oils and lipids.
  • Always choose gentle scrubs.
  • Fix a proper skin care routine.
  • Do not exfoliate daily.
  • The frequency of exfoliation should be determined by your skin type and needs.
  • Dry skin and mature skin should be exfoliated not more than twice a week and products used should be moisturizing. An oil-based scrub would be the best.
  • Oily skin and combination skin can be exfoliated thrice a week, but no more than that.
  • Normal skin can be exfoliated twice a week or as necessary.
  • When exfoliating, use a gentle hand and circular and/or upward motions which work best. Such movements will keep your skin firm in the long run.

Now that you know how to exfoliate dead skin at home, what are you waiting for? These simple steps will ensure your skin is healthy, soft, and glowing too. It just takes a few minutes, so give your skin that time and see the difference. Refrain from buying expensive exfoliating products from the market that contain harmful chemicals. These remedies are more than sufficient to get the same results and are also safer.

Hope you will definitely include this step in your skin care regimen so as to achieve the beautiful skin forever. Feel free to share your experiences with us below!

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Kushneet Kukreja

She is a Biotechnologist, what we in normal English would call Scientist. While she is an expert in experimenting, she also holds an exceptional talent in juggling words and churning out content with just the right amount of sass added to it. When not saving the world with her articles, she likes to hang around with her Siberian Husky (because, aren’t dogs the best?). In her spare time, she likes a little ‘jibber-jabber, full of chatter’ time with her friends. So, what gives her the energy to do all this? If you ask her, she would say,”My cup of sanity – an extra large mug of coffee!”

The road to glowing skin is paved with potent skincare products. From wrinkle-busting retinols to sun spot-banishing vitamin C serums, strategic skincare can keep your complexion clear, dewy, and more youthful looking year round. But there’s another secret to getting your best skin ever that shouldn’t be overlooked: proper exfoliation. And if you’re looking to put your best face forward, that could mean investing in an at-home chemical peel.

Less intense than in-office peels, home peels help break down the “glue” that keeps complexion dulling dead skin cells hanging on. “Peels are intended to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells, giving the face a smoother, more radiant appearance. They work to exfoliate top layers of cells and help clear up clogged pores, breakouts, dull skin, and dry skin,” explains dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel. “They are also great for minimizing pores and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.”

To get the most out of an at-home peel without leaving your skin irritated from over-exfoliation, he recommends incorporating a home peel no more than twice a week. Follow the treatment up with a rich moisturizer and, of course, sunscreen, and make sure not to touch or pick at your freshly exposed skin, which can lead to breakouts or even, in extreme cases, scarring. While peels are a good option for most skintypes, those with sensitive skin and those using retinoids could experience irritation from the treatments and should consult a dermatologist before incorporating peels into their routine to determine the best timing and ingredients to use to get the glowing results you crave.

When it comes to choosing an at-home peel, Sobel recommends looking for options with AHAs (glycolic, lactic, and citric acids are all commonly found in peels) as well as brightening ingredients like vitamin C and ferulic acid. Below we’ve rounded up some of our tried and tested favorites to give your skin the clean sweep.

The Best At-Home Chemical Face Peels

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.

At-home treatments can match spa quality as long as you select the right quality products. (photo:… Getty)


It used to be that you’d have to head to your dermatologist’s office or local medi-spa to get a proper face peel. But thanks to the plethora of new DIY options, that’s no longer necessary. At-home peels save you time and money while still getting you that grade-A glow. And today’s formulas are gentle enough so that you don’t have to worry about side effects like redness and excessively dry skin. Adding a peel to your skincare routine is key since the exfoliating anti-ager delivers results both in the short- and long-term, improving skin tone and texture, smoothing fine lines, and fading acne scars and hyperpigmentation.

Ingredients like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs) do the heavy lifting to exfoliate old, dead skin while boosting the production of collagen (that’s what keeps skin firm as we age). Just be sure to always follow the directions on peels.

These are the best at-home chemical face peels.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant

When a skincare product has a cult following like this one does, you know it’s the real deal. The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial contains a 25% AHA blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids to exfoliate and boost turnover, but it’s gentle enough so that you don’t have to worry about redness. It also contains chickpea flour to balance brightening, as well as pumpkin ferment extract, which is packed with fatty acids and antioxidants to boost exfoliation.

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Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Exfoliating Super Peel

Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Exfoliating Super Peel

Peter Thomas Roth

This new rinse-off peel really lives up to its name. It’s made up of 35% phytic acid extreme to lift dead skin cells and smooth; 14% GlyAcid 70 HP, a glycolic acid blend that exfoliates; and 0.4% salicylic acid to improve texture, unclog pores and prevent breakouts. Put the Exfoliating Super Peel into your regular rotation and you can expect smoother, more even texture.

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Naturally Serious Get Even Cold-Pressed Peel Pads

Naturally Serious Get Even Cold-Pressed Peel Pads

Naturally Serious

Natural beauty lovers will want to stock up on these gentle peel pads that count on pomegranate enzyme and a blend of fatty acids to lift dead skin cells while hydrating and soothing with colloidal oatmeal. Another perk: Naturally Serious Get Even Cold-Pressed Peel Pads fights pollution with its combination of six antioxidants to ward off the signs of aging caused by UV rays and free radicals. To make it even more eco-friendly, the carton is made with wind power in a carbon-neutral facility.

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M‑61 PowerGlow Peel

M‑61 PowerGlow Peel


These peels are so popular that one is sold every few seconds, and it is a bestselling product at Bluemercury. Just a few swipes of this M‑61 PowerGlow Peel brings glycolic and salicylic acids to shrink pores and fine lines, bilberry extract for an even skin tone, chamomile and lavender to calm and soothe, and vitamin K to minimize the appearance of spider veins and dry patches.

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ReVive Glycolic Renewal Peel

ReVive Glycolic Renewal Peel


The two-step system means serious business for your skin. Designed to deliver professional results at home, the ReVive Glycolic Renewal Peel brings a healthier, brighter and more even-toned complexion.

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Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross

This duo is the closest thing you’ll get to a peel from a dermatologist, delivering clinical results. The first step contains pharmaceutical-grade concentrations of alpha-beta acids to dissolve the bonds that keep dead skin cells on the surface, speeding up skin renewal. The second step neutralizes the peel while correcting issues, calming with colloidal oatmeal. The Resurfacing Liquid Peel even comes with 100% organic, sterilized cotton balls for maximized results. You’ll see smaller pores, radiance and better texture.

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Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel

Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel


Talk about beauty sleep. While you snooze, lactic and glycolic acid work their resurfacing magic, and vitamin A delivers the anti-aging perks it’s famous for. Meanwhile, vitamin E and rosehip calm skin. You’ll wake up with brighter, smoother skin.

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L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads

L’Oreal Paris

The textured pads are soaked in glycolic acid, so simply skim one over your face to wipe away dead skin cells, leaving brighter, more even-toned skin behind. The Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads also minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, turning back the clock.

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7 Amazing Facial Treatments, What’s the Best Facial Peel for You?

There Are Hundreds of Facial Cosmetic Products and Facial Peel Treatments To Choose From – Let’s Find Out Which Is Right For You!

The face is a tender, sensitive, and ever-visible area that can be particularly delicate to treat correctly. Even the slightest irritations or incompatible cosmetic pairings can have a devastating impact. It’s undoubtedly helpful to know a thing or two about your skin type and degree of sensitivity before you proceed with any cosmetic enhancements. Likewise, it’s equally important to have a thorough understanding of the different types of face-based products and facial peel treatments that are available. Here, we’ll go over 7 incredible facial skin treatments and discover which is the best facial peel for you.

We get it, treating the face can be frightening.

Considering how fragile and significant the facial region is, many would-be patients shy away from facial peel procedures and stick with ineffective and ultimately more expensive over-the-counter face products. As with any cosmetic undertaking, there are some horror stories of facial peel treatments gone wrong. However, these occurrences are few and far between and are usually the result of ineffectual medical technicians and low quality chemical products. These unfortunate happenings are by no means the norm and should not deter you from obtaining the glorious outcome of a facial peel.

What is a facial peel meant to do?

Like any typical facial, these skin treatments are meant to improve the look, feel, and overall healthy glow of the face. Most of the time, a facial peel involves chemical components such as AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) or TCA (Trichloroacetic Acids), along with other natural ingredients such as Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid. These various elements are applied to the face, occasionally activated by special UV lights, and then removed within 30-60 minutes. The outcome is that a microscopic layer of skin is removed from the top of the facial region, while the remaining skin is left rejuvenated and revitalized. Some facial peels will result in noticeable peeling and slight redness, which typically subsides within 24 hours.

In essence, these treatments help to peel away the effects of sun damage, aging, acne, and other typical facial skin ailments.

What is a Fitzpatrick Skin Type?

The Fitzpatrick scale, designed in 1975, is used to determine the potential effects of UV light on a variety of skin types. The scale generally refers to the pigmentation of facial skin, however it focuses specifically on the skin’s sensitivity. Understanding where you fall on the Fitzpatrick scale can be very helpful in determining the best facial peel treatment for your unique skin type. The scale ranges from Type I – Type VI. Those that fall in the first category have skin that always burns and never tans, whereas those that fall in the last category never burn and also never tan. You should try to determine where you fall on the scale before proceeding with the more intensive facial peel treatments available.

Three Types of Peels and the Acids Involved:

There are three primary categories of facial peels.

• Superficial peels utilize a lower concentration of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, along with fruit enzymes, glycolic acids, and lactic acids. These work by removing a superficial layer of the facial skin, remedying the effects of sun damage, acne, blemishes, and more. These peels typically heal within 1-7 days with minor redness and occasional flaking.

• Medium peels work with higher concentrations of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids to delve deeper into the skin tissue. A medium peel will typically take 7-14 days to fully heal and some redness and flaking should be expected.

• A deep facial peel can use a combination of the formerly mentioned solutions, along with a stronger Tricholoracetic Acid to cause a full layer of skin to peel away. This type of peel is usually reserved for patients that require more extensive facial care and that don’t mind have some downtime for recovery. A deep facial peel can take anywhere from 14-21 days to fully heal as the top layer of the skin manages to flake away. Once fully healed, patients can expect a dramatic decrease in wrinkles and blemishes. The overall tone and glow of the skin will be vastly improved as well.

So What Are the 7 Best Facial Peel Treatments?

1. The Salicylic Acid Treatment

Salicylic Acid is the most common active ingredient in most acne medications and ointments. It helps to clear out pores and shed dead layers of the facial skin. As a facial peel, Salicylic Acid can be used on all skin types and tones and works very well when combined with other facial treatments. If you are focused on treating acne more so than sun damage or wrinkles, then the Salicylic Acid treatment is the best facial peel for you. It involves no recovery time, is completely painless, and helps to fight acne in the longer term.

2. The Glycolic Acid Peel

This facial peel utilizes a naturally occurring acid that is extracted from sugar cane. It exfoliates the skin while providing vital nutrients to create a healthy glow. Glycolic Acid is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid that works to remove the top layer of your skin. This reveals a youthful, glowing, and evenly colored new skin layer underneath. This treatment has virtually no recovery time and can be used in conjunction with other facial procedures such as microdermabrasion. The results of a single treatment are instantaneous, however multiple treatments can help provide a more lasting outcome.

3. The Illuminize Peel

This Illuminize facial peel works well with patients who fall lower on Fitzpatrick scale or require less drastic results. Like the Glycolic Acid peel, the Illuminize peel utilizes Alpha Hydroxy Acid along with Phytic Acid and Salicylic Acid. This combination provides astounding results with a slightly less intensive effect on the skin. The Illuminize peel is perfect for patients who want to reduce noticeable sun damage and even out the tone and texture of their facial skin.

4. The Vitalize Peel

The Vitalize Peel also uses Alpha Hydroxy Acid, in combination with Beta Hydroxy Acid, Resorcinol Acid, and Retinoic Acid. This peel is a bit more powerful than the Glycolic and Illuminize treatments and requires a small amount of recovery time. This is the best facial peel for patients who desire a more drastic approach against the effects of sun damage, aging, and free-radicals from environmental pollutants. Patients can expect to have minimal skin flaking and peeling, and will discover an entirely rejuvenated facial skin once fully recovered.

5. The Rejuvenate Peel

The Rejuvenate Peel is a deep chemical peel that is a step up from the Vitalize facial peel. This powerful treatment is the best facial peel for those who want drastic results, are in a higher Fitzpatrick scale group, and don’t mind a few days of recovery. This peeling solution contains Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Resorcinol, Panthenol, and Isoceteth-20. The results from the Rejuvenate Peel are positively dramatic, however redness and noticeable peeling will occur immediately proceeding the treatment. Within a few days, you can expect to see a brand new fully rejuvenated version of your facial skin.

6. The VI Peel

This is a wonderful, all-purpose, synergistically blended peel that is safe for all skin types and tones. The VI Peel utilizes Trichloroacetic Acid, Retinoic Acid, Phenol, and Salicylic Acid along with vital nutrients and moisturizing solutions. Patients will notice some skin peeling about 2-3 days after the treatment, however there is virtually no pain during the peel and no skin preparation is required. This is the best facial peel for those who desire an all-encompassing solution that requires minimal recovery time with maximal results.

7. Medical Microdermabrasion

While not technically a “facial peel”, microdermabrasion delivers powerful results and can often be used in conjunction with the lighter peel treatments. This treatment involves the use of microscopic exfoliating crystals which are sprayed gently onto the facial skin and consequently remove the skin’s damaged outer layer. It is a relatively easy and non-intensive treatment and can be used on all skin types and tones. Microdermabrasion is a perfect procedure to undergo multiple times or as a combined treatment with other facial peels for maximized and longer-lasting results.

Where Should I Get My Facial Peel Treatment?

When deciding to have a facial peel treatment it is important to consult with a medical professional that will do their best to understand your needs for your specific skin type and skin issues. At CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa, we work directly with you to provide the best treatment option possible, ensuring that you have incredible results with the most minimal recovery time. We offer all seven of these amazing facial treatments and only use the highest quality peel solutions and medical equipment available. We can help you win the fight against the effects of aging, sun damage, acne, and any other facial skin troubles.

Click below to speak with one of our facial experts to learn more about the prices and procedure times for our facial peels.

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How To Get Rid Of Dead Skin From Face (11 TIPS)

Who doesn’t want a pretty looking face that glows and is vibrant? Each one of has a similar lust for skin like that. But the truth is that with such hectic schedules and monotony taking over us, it becomes way too difficult to work on our skin which further takes a toll on the skin. The only way to make your skin look in its best state, it is super important to eliminate the layer of dead skin so that your true beauty is exposed.

The appearance of dead skin can bring down your confidence and make you conscious of your looks. So exfoliation is the key to a better looking and radiant skin. As we will proceed further you will know how to get rid of dead skin naturally at home along with some go to tips but before that you must know what causes dead skin to appear and why exfoliation is important for you.

What causes dead skin?

Our skin submits itself to a natural turnover cycle every month or so and when this takes place, the topmost layer of our skin (also called epidermis) sheds away divulging new skin from the middle layer of our skin (also called dermis). However this is not as easy as it sounds to be because sometimes the dead skin cells don’t completely shed out leady to peeling skin, dry patches and clogged pores. You can aid this process of shedding of dead skin through exfoliation.

Why is exfoliation important?

Our skin’s rejuvenating powers deteriorate as we age. Exfoliation acts as our knight in shining armour in this crucial time! It removes the old dead skin cells and paves way for brand new ones. You can basically do it through 2 methods i.e. physical and chemical exfoliation. Physical is the one wherein there is usage of scrubs whereas in chemical exfoliation there is the application of products that contain enzymes which dislocate the dead skin cells from the body through some chemical reactions. No matter which path of exfoliation you choose, it is only going to leave your skin refreshed and hydrated.

Know your skin type

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Before you jump on to the home remedies, you better know what your skin type really is. The knowledge of the kind of skin that you possess is really crucial and important for you at every step of your life. So before you opt of any of the many enlisted below, be certain of your skin type. Once you are, you may proceed ahead and get to work.

How To Get Rid Of Dead Skin From Face

It may seem like those people with only dry skin will be under the trap of this problem, then you are highly mistaken. This can happen to anybody with any skin type. So as soon as you find any traces of flakes on your skin, then you know that you have to rush for the help of the awesome instant-ready exfoliators mentioned below.

11 hacks to get rid of dead skin from the face and everywhere in the body!

As you scroll down, you are going to come across 11 home remedies that are going to make you free of dead skin from the face, the feet, the lips and every other place that can be at home and naturally.

  1. Coffee pack to get rid of dead skin from the face

Put your coffee addiction to other uses as well! This pack works wonderfully well to exfoliate your legs as well as your face. Make sure you use some gentle hand movements while you apply this onto your face. The coarseness of the coffee grounds keeps dead skin miles away. The presence of caffeine arouses the skin by improving blood circulation. So bring back your shine with coffee!

What do you need?

  • 2 tablespoon coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Water

What do you need to do?

  • Mix coffee powder and coconut oil in a container
  • Add few drops of water to make a smooth pack
  • Apply the pack on your affected areas with firm fingers and scrub it in circular motions for another few minutes to give it a deep cleanse.
  • Wash it off with lukewarm water.
  • After a while apply aloe Vera gel

How frequently you need to do?

Spread on the coffee scrubber once in a week to exfoliate your skin.

  1. Sugar scrub to eradicate dead skin from the face

Brown sugar is well known in the beauty circuit for its exfoliation properties. It so amounts for because it has a coarser texture and it swiftly removes the dead skin cells due to the friction that is caused when scrubbed on the surface of your skin. It also improves circulation and makes your skin soft and glowing. Give your skin a sweet gift!

  • 1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil or coconut oil
  • Combine the above ingredients together and mix it well to form a thick paste
  • Smear this on your skin and scrub the pack in a circular motion for few minutes
  • Leave it for another 5 to 6 minutes on your skin and clean it off with cold water
  • Don’t forget to moisturize your skin with a lotion.

Tip: To eliminate dead skin from body or feet, increase the quantities of the parts listed overhead.

How frequently you need to do?

Exfoliate your skin and body with this sugar scrubber twice a week to get long lasting results.

  1. Oatmeal pack to get rid of dead skin on the body

This pack is super easy to make and is easily available in the kitchen of your house. Just pick a packet of oatmeal and get to the job of making an excellent exfoliater. Oatmeal softens the dead skin so that it gently falls of and leaves the skin moisturized than ever. In addition, it also frees the skin of any sort of inflammations.

  • 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Whisk together all the above elements in a bowl, you can also mix few drops of water in it if the pack is too thick to spread over.
  • Softly rub it over your face and body or feet’s in circular motion
  • Massage it for next 5 minutes and then let it sit over another 10 minutes
  • Rinse it with cold water and in the end apply toner to all over the body.

How frequently you need to do

Repeat this effective remedy twice or thrice a week to eradicate deal skin cells eternally from your life!

  1. Gram floor or (besan) pack to get rid of dead skin

Gram flour or besan is being used as the answer to all your beauty problems since like forever. Apart from keeping pimples and acne at bay, it also exfoliates and shoos away dead skin in a whoosh. It is a game changer for those with oily skin as it drives away excess oil from the skin. It allows the gentle shedding of dead skin leaving you with soft and glowing, spot free skin.

  • 2 spoons gram floor
  • 1 tablespoon aloe Vera gel (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • Prepare a pack with mixing above components together.
  • Apply this pack on your affected areas with a brush
  • Let it completely dry out and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes
  • With your wet hands gently scrub your face in circular motion
  • Rinse your affected areas with cold water and wipe it out while using a soft towel.
  • In last rub moisturizer on your affected areas.

Tip: To remove dead skin cells from body increase the consistency of ingredients to use effectively on your body.

How frequently you need to do

Follow this hack twice or thrice in a week to take away all the dead skin cells!

  1. Apple cider vinegar to remove dead skin cells

ACV remains a constant part of home remedies for all the beauty hacks that we present to you. The presence of acids like acetic, malic and lactic acid push the ACV to liquefy the dead skin cells in a way that they are easily rinsed off with water. What’s more? It exfoliates dead scalp skin as well with utmost perfection.

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Cotton ball
  • Dilute ACV with water in a cup.
  • Use cotton ball to rub it on over your face.
  • Apply the solution for next 15 minutes or more and then wash it off with cold water.

Tip: Another brilliant manner to use this home remedy on feet is to take a tub filled with half apple cider vinegar and half water and dunk your feet in it for 15 minutes to exfoliate your feet and give them a deep cleanse.

How frequently you need to do

Practice this routine once a week for instant outcomes!

  1. Baking soda to get rid of dead skin cells

This cooking genius is also an equally amazing exfoliator. The fine granules easily remove the dead skin cells from your face. It is high on alkalinity which aids in extricating the skin cells so they can easily drop off. At the same time, it also restores the pH balance of your skin. You will be amazed to know that it is an awesome exfoliator of the lips.

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • E capsules
  • Water
  • Pinhole the E capsule and bring out the oil from it in a bowl
  • Augment baking soda over the oil and sprinkle few drops of water in the bowl to form a profuse paste.
  • Damp it on your face and neck while preventing the eyes area.
  • Scrub it in a circular motion for 1 or 2 minutes in a row
  • Wash your face with cold water and in last put moisturizer over your face.

Caution: Avoid this hack if you have sensitive skin.

How frequently you need to do

You can repeat the process once a week to give your skin a deep cleanse therapy

  1. Tomato scrub to remove all the dead skin cells from the body

Tomato has a ton of benefits and is the undisputed leading ingredient in all the home remedies regarding a beautiful skin. The tomato possesses lycopene and citrus which help in brightening the skin and hydrating the dead skin cells along with making the skin super soft to touch. The main scrubbing agent is the sugar which cleanses the skin and rejuvenates it from within.

  • 1 small Tomato
  • 2 tbsp Grounded sugar
  • Take a clean small tomato and cut it into two half’s and take grounded sugar in a bowl
  • Dip half sliced tomato in sugar and while squeezing the tomato rub it over your face and neck in rounded motions.
  • Continue this exploiting procedure for 5 to 6 minutes
  • Rinse it with cold water

Another way

  • Another easy way to prepare tomato scrub is to grid tomato into fine puree. Combine sugar to form a scrub.
  • Apply it on your affected areas and after letting it dry then mildly scrub it and wash it with cold water.

How frequently you need to do

You can do this few times a week to revive your dull skin!

  1. Pumice stone to get rid of dead skin cells on feet

Haven’t we all heard of the amazing benefits that a pumice stone has in store for our skin? We surely have. In case you didn’t know already, a pumice stone is a phenomenal exfoliating agent. As soon as you soak your feet in the water, your skin cells become vulnerable and this is the time that this stone comes into play. Now the dead skin cells can easily be scrubbed off.

  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • Tub
  • Warm water
  • Pumice stone
  • Soak your feet in a tub full of warm water and salt for 15 minutes
  • Lightly scrub your feet and under the foot area with pumice stone to destroy all the dead skin cells.
  • wash again and after wiping out with a towel moisturize your feet with mild lotion.

How frequently you need to do

Do this hack whenever you think its essential.

  1. Toothbrush to remove all the dead skin cells from lips

This is the simplest hack of the lot if I may say so. Just pick up a toothbrush from your bathroom and put it into use as a hack for dead skin. While the lip balm softens the skin, the toothbrush dislodges the skin to fall off. This one is hell of a combination so don’t you even think twice.

  • Toothbrush
  • Lip balm
  • Use a good quality lip balm and apply it on your lips for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Subsequently, take a toothbrush a gently scrub your lips in a circular motion
  • Rinse off all the dead, chapped skin with water
  • Re-apply the lip balm to keep your lips hydrated.

How frequently you need to do

Go for this remedy once or twice a week to get fuller and softer lips without even doing much.

  1. Orange peels to get rid of dead skin cells from the face

  • Orange peel powder
  • 1 scoop yogurt
  • Mix equal amount of orange peel powder and yogurt in a container.
  • Tap it in all over your face and neck and let it sit for 15 minutes and more.
  • Now massage it thoroughly with your wet fingers in rounded motion
  • Wash it down with cold water.

How frequently you need to do?

To see how effectively orange peels can work over your skin do this on a regular basis.

  1. Green tea to get rid of dead skin cells on the body

The benefits of green tea do not end at just helping you to lose those extra kilos, they go on further. Stop discarding the used tea bags and use it to exfoliate the skin. Yes, you got it right! Green tea is slightly harsh because of which it acts effectively on dead skin making your skin look softer and brighter in the days to come. It even improves and evens the complexion.

  • 1 Green tea bag
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • Scoop out the green tea from used tea bags in a bowl and top it with honey.
  • Mix it together well and spread on the thin paste on your skin
  • After leaving it for 10 minutes, massage this pack efficiently over your face and neck
  • Wash it with cold water and pat dry.

How frequently you need to do?

Do this twice a week for a soft and supple skin that defies aging.

The Bottom Line

You have a list of what you can do when you are in deep need of an exfoliating agent. So you don’t need to rush to a salon for these petty fixes. All you need to do is to pick up certain ingredients that you can easily find in your home and make an amazing exfoliator out of it. You’re soon to be magical skin eagerly awaits you. Don’t stop and make your skin pop with this bursting dead skin treatment.


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This article was medically reviewed by Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board, on July 11, 2019.

Whether it’s summer, winter, or any season in between, there are days when harsh weather just sucks the moisture straight out of your pores, leaving you with dry, flaky skin.

If you’ve ever dealt with flaky skin on your face, then you know all too well that it can make you look more wrinkly than usual, your makeup can become cakier, and products that didn’t burn before suddenly irritate your complexion to no end. No matter how much moisturizer you slather on, you still manage to feel like an alligator by the end of the day—so what gives?

Weather could be the culprit if you have inherently dry skin that gets worse during the wintertime, thanks to the lower humidity, frigid temps, and harsh wind, says Rajani Katta, MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of Glow: The Dermatologists Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet.

But you could also have other skin disorders and medical conditions that can cause red, scaly areas. And believe it or not, the products you think are helping could actually be making things worse. Not sure what to do about it? We asked dermatologists to break down what could be causing the irritation—and exactly what you can do to heal your dry, flaky skin ASAP.

First, what causes dry, flaky skin on your face?

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Weather changes

There’s a reason winter wreaks havoc on your complexion. “When the air is dry and cold, more water evaporates on the surface of your skin. This leads to flaking because the top layer of the skin gets dried out,” says Angela Lamb, MD, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice, especially if your skin tends to be on the dry side already.

Though winter tends to dry more people out, summer can also cause flaky skin, thanks to sunburn, salt water, and air conditioning stripping your pores of moisture. “Skin cells are made up of proteins that get dried out when they are not hydrated. Think about a dried flower or a dried piece of fruit,” she adds.

Eczema, aka atopic dermatitis

Eczema refers to a cluster of skin diseases that result in dry, flaky patches that can also feel itchy, turn red, and swell up. Medically known as atopic dermatitis, it’s incredibly common: More than 31 million people deal with some form of eczema in the United States, according to the National Eczema Association. Eczema can impact various parts of the body, but it tends to flare up around the eyes and nose on the face.

Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes eczema but they suspect a variety of factors—like genetics, temperature changes, stress, bacteria and yeast, and hormonal changes—can all play a role. Using gentle, moisturizing products can help treat eczema on the face, but talking to your dermatologist can ensure you follow a treatment plan that doesn’t exacerbate your symptoms.

Contact dermatitis

“I frequently see allergic reactions to skin care or hair care products, and these can result in scaly, red, itchy patches,” Dr. Katta says. This reaction is a form of eczema known as allergic contact dermatitis. These flare-ups happen when the skin become sensitive to a certain substance and is exposed to it more than once. It usually takes two to three days before the allergic rash begins to form.

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Irritant dermatitis is another form of contact dermatitis that is becoming more common, says Dr. Katta. This skin disorder results in a more immediate reaction (think: that stiff, tight feeling after you wash your face) and is caused by products such as scrubs, exfoliating cleansers, masks, and acne medications that contain ingredients that may be too strong for your skin type.

A common trigger for both? Fragrance—including natural (essential oils, for example) and synthetic (good ol’ perfume) varieties. Cosmetics, sunscreens, medications, and even your soap or detergent can be culprits.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is another form of eczema characterized by red, itchy, flaking skin in or between your eyebrows, in the folds next to your nose, or on your scalp (hello, dandruff!). Experts believe it is linked to an irritating yeast found in the oils of skin, which causes an immune system reaction

“Although your skin might appear to be dry, the flaking is actually due to inflammation, and it’s often seen in people with oily skin,” says Dr. Katta. Flare-ups become more common during cold, dry months.


Psoriasis and eczema often look similar, but they aren’t the same thing. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it’s not caused by irritants. What’s more, it often results in patches of skin that look scaly and raised. It does not tend to be as weather dependent, but if you have chronically dry, flaky, rashy skin, see your doc for a proper diagnosis, says Dr. Lamb.

Bacterial or fungal infections

Beneficial fungi and bacteria live naturally on the skin and inside the body, but sometimes harmful germs can invade and cause an infection. These skin infections—say, like a staph infection—can look a lot like eczema, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, resulting in dry, red, and flaky patches on the skin that can sometimes itch. If your typical dryness is also accompanied by painful sores, pus-filled blisters, redness that seems to spread, or crusty spots, see your doctor. A fever and flu-like symptoms may also develop.

How to get rid of dry, flaky skin on your face

To get rid of dry, flaky skin, you have to nail down the source. If your flakes are mild and seem to stem from weather changes or inherent dryness, try the following dermatologist-approved tips to smooth, hydrate, and heal your complexion.

❗If your skin doesn’t improve with any of these measures, see your dermatologist to ensure a proper diagnosis. From there, he or she can help determine the best treatment options, which may include prescription medications.

1. Opt for a gentle cleanser

“If your skin is very dry, I recommend using a gentle, hydrating cleanser,” says Dr. Katta. “There are also soap-free cleansers available that cleanse without drying out the skin.”

Look for fragrance-free, creamy formulas that tend to feel more like a silky moisturizer when you’re washing your face. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides will offer an extra dose of hydration as you cleanse.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser $18.99 Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar $9.47 La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser $14.99 CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser $13.39

2. Use a moisturizing cream

Finding a heavy-duty moisturizer for dry skin can help repair your skin barrier and lock in much-needed moisture. Dr. Katta recommends applying a thicker cream (ideally while your skin is slightly damp after cleansing) rather than a lotion if you have dry, flaky skin. Lotions have a higher water content and will not seal in hydration as well, he says.

Avoid products that contain alcohol (which will only dry your skin further) and look for moisturizing and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, aloe vera, shea butter, urea, oatmeal, and squalene. Try these expert-approved face moisturizers if you’re dealing with dry patches:

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream $18.99 Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream $11.67 First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream $32.00 Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream $10.93

3. Exfoliate—but gently

If you’re simply experiencing red and scaly flakes due to dry, sensitive skin, less is more! Exfoliating can be an effective way of sloughing off dead skin cells that lead to flaking—but you want to be careful. The key is to be gentle with your skin, says Dr. Lamb, otherwise you may cause further dryness and irritation.

Instead of using harsh scrubs, opt for a microfiber towel (gently buff in circular motions) to exfoliate after cleansing. Stick to exfoliating no more than once per week (especially if you are sensitive), and always follow with moisturizer. In general, Dr. Katta recommends avoiding the following products until your symptoms improve:

Plush MojaFiber Microfiber Face Cloths $18.99

  • Chemical exfoliants, such as salicylic, glycolic, or other alpha hydroxy acids will dry out the skin in most cases.
  • Face scrubs that contain charcoal, sugar, beads, or any other rough ingredients, which can further disrupt the skin barrier if it is already dry and flaky.
  • Harsh cleansers that are typically marketed for oily skin are more likely to contain drying ingredients.

4. Incorporate salicylic acid, but only if necessary

If you are dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, blackheads, or acne, Dr. Katta actually recommends using a stronger cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which gently works to break up skin cells and unclog pores. Go for a 1 or 2 percent formula, like this one from Neutrogena, and follow with a basic, fragrance-free moisturizer.

5. Don’t overdo it with acne medications

Classic acne-fighters like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoid products (like adapalene) can be super-effective in treating stubborn pimples, but they can also strip the skin of oil and cause dryness or peeling.

Everyone’s skin is different, so you may have to experiment until you find an effective routine that doesn’t cause irritation. In general, aim to use your acne treatment products every other day—but if you notice dry skin on your face, cut back to once every three days, and make sure you use one of these hydrating moisturizers for acne-prone skin after application.

6. Crank up the humidifier

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier $39.99

Blasting the heat during winter really dries out the air—and your skin. Turning on a humidifier, especially when you sleep, will help bring moisture back into the air, and thus, your complexion.

“This is my number one recommendation when it comes to dry, flaky skin. I prefer a cool mist humidifier, and one that has a large enough chamber to last throughout the night,” says Dr. Lamb.

7. Mind your shower times and temps

Long, hot showers won’t do your dry skin any favors. They may feel good, but super-hot water can damage the skin barrier, leading to dry skin and flaking. “For patients with dry skin, I recommend lukewarm temperatures and limiting showers to no more than 10 to 15 minutes,” says Dr. Katta.

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Emily Shiffer Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.

There are few things worse (beauty-wise!) than having dry, rough, flaking, itchy— or, ouch, cracked— skin on your face. Not only can parched skin look unsightly, even making your face appear older than it actually is and makeup difficult to apply, but it can also be itchy and painful and make your complexion susceptible to other issues, such as sensitivity and redness.

We asked top skin experts, including dermatologists and Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists, for their best advice on the causes of and treatments for dry skin on the face.

What causes dry, flaky skin and dry patches on the face?

There is a laundry list of possible culprits, from the weather and environment to certain products and skin conditions. “Lack of hydration in skin makes your complexion dull and accentuates wrinkles, and it’s more likely to occur in winter,” explains Jeanine Downie, M.D., a dermatologist at Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey.

“Cold and windy conditions may dehydrate your face due to lack of humidity in the environment, and dryness can also be caused by irritating products that can strip natural oils, like those with alcohol, astringents and harsh acids.” Other potential factors prompting dry skin on the face can include over-cleansing or exfoliating, which can also deplete skin’s oils, as well as skin and health conditions that cause skin dehydration, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, and diabetes.

How to treat dry skin on the face

By making small lifestyle changes and choosing the right skin care products, you can stop dry skin and nix flaky patches on your face pretty quickly. Here are dermatologist- and expert-approved ways to hydrate parched skin fast:

1. Reach for a hydrating lotion or cream.

According to GH Beauty Labs testing, “face lotions and creams are generally more hydrating than oils, serums, and other formulas — and they can increase skin’s moisture for hours,” says GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. Look for products with “humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which can bind or hold on to water effectively,” Aral says, and “ingredients that help repair the skin barrier, such as niacinamide and ceramides.”

Our top pick is Good Housekeeping Seal star Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. In our tests, it raised hydration by 50 percent over 24 hours, more than any other facial skin care product the Lab has evaluated. See this along with the GH Beauty Lab’s best-tested moisturizers for dry skin on the face, below.

Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Olay $20.03 HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator SkinMedica $151.30 Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ Clinique $28.00 Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream Caudalie $76.00

2. Moisturize often.

“The best treatment to replenish skin hydration is applying a topical face moisturizer morning and evening,” Dr. Downie says. Consistency is key: Moisturizing skin twice daily (not just when you see or feel symptoms of dryness) will keep skin healthy long-term and prevent dehydration from occurring in the first place.

3. And moisturize correctly.

To help heal dehydrated skin quickly, apply a layer of face moisturizer on clean skin over any other skin care products such as serums or treatments. Massage your moisturizer into skin using a circular motion. “The technique helps push hydrating ingredients deeper into rough patches and dry lines for an immediate plumping effect,” says Ava Shamban, M.D., a dermatologist in Los Angeles.

4. Give lips extra hydration

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 Kiehl’s $10.00

Your lips can be the most parched area of all, since they have fewer protective layers of skin. Apply a rich lip balm or treatment every time your moisturize your face, including morning and evening, and throughout the day as needed, since eating and drinking can remove the product.

The most effective formulas contain a combination of moisturizing ingredients (e.g. plant oils like sunflower and castor and emollients like squalane and triglycerides) and occlusive ingredients (such as petrolatum, beeswax or plant waxes and butters like shea and cocoa), which form a protective barrier to lock in the nourishment and hydrate, too, Aral explains. The GH Beauty Lab pick below, Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, contains the moisturizer squalane and occlusive petrolatum.

5. Use a mild face cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser Cetaphil $9.99

Don’t grab any old soap: Some face washes can over-cleanse skin, exacerbating dryness. “A sulfate- and soap-free cleanser specifically for the face will be pH-balanced and gentle to maintain skin’s barrier without stripping,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin.

For dry skin on the face, choose a formula that also contains moisturizing ingredients, such as glycerin. Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser was a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s face cleansers test, scoring well for making skin feel soft and hydrated, and helps to sweep away dirt and makeup without stripping skin of oils or leaving skin feeling dried out.

6. Turn down the heat when you wash your face

Hot and steamy water might feel amazing, but it can be harmful to skin, Dr. Bowe says, by disrupting the barrier, which can cause sensitivity. “For the most skin-friendly cleanse, make sure the water temperature is lukewarm and test it with a finger first,” suggests GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann. You can also try washing your face only in the evening to avoid dehydrating skin, rinsing with just water in the morning instead, suggests Tess Mauricio, M.D., a dermatologist in San Diego.

7. Be smart with exfoliation

No7 Radiant Results Revitalising Daily Face Polish No7 $9.99

While you may think of exfoliation as a way to slough off dry, flaky patches, a harsh face peel or scrub is the enemy of parched skin, as it can disrupt skin’s moisture barrier and remove its naturally-occurring hydrating oils. Avoid stronger acids like glycolic acid and rougher exfoliants like sugar and salt.

Instead, if you have dry skin on your face, try a gentler face peel formula with lactic acid or fruit acids or face scrub with round jojoba beads, which are less likely to be abrasive on skin. GH Beauty Lab test winner No7 Radiant Results Revitalising Face Daily Face Polish is packed with nourishing ingredients to gently lift away dead skin without additional irritation. Just be sure to limit use of your exfoliator to once per week, the GH Beauty Lab recommends, to avoid dehydrating skin.

8. Invest in a humidifier

“I always recommend that my patients use a humidifier while they sleep to boost skin’s moisture levels,” Dr. Downie advises, as it combats dry air that can parch skin.

9. Deep treat flaky spots

Healing Ointment Aquaphor $12.87

A GH beauty editor go-to trick for curing dry skin overnight: Seal your moisturizer in with a thick coat of a rich balm or ointment that can be applied to facial skin, such as Aquaphor, which has the Good Housekeeping Seal. It functions as an occlusive, locking hydrating skin care ingredients and moisture into skin as you sleep so you wake up softer, smoother, and less parched.

If you’re heading outdoors for extended periods of time in cold, dry winter weather, the balm acts like a “coat” for your face, protecting any exposed skin from the elements and preventing skin from becoming chapped or irritated.

10. Hydrate!

Moisturized skin comes from the inside out, too. “Drinking enough water definitely improves skin hydration,” Dr. Downie says. “Aim for eight glasses, or 64 fluid ounces, of water per day.”

April Franzino Beauty Director April Franzino is the Beauty Director at Good Housekeeping, part of the Hearst Women’s Lifestyle Beauty Group.

Dead skin remover face

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