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The Reason Why Your Skin Is Peeling

A flake free face? Yes please.

In the cold winter months, our skin can take a beating from the elements. Not only is there a lack of humidity in the air that causes dryness, there’s the freezing temperature, overactive heaters, and bitter winds. When it comes down to it, it seems winter weather is a recipe for compromised, dry skin. 

During the colder seasons, you might wake up in the morning and notice your skin feels dry and tight and assume the winter weather is the culprit, but if your skin’s unusually flaky, there may be more than just the weather to blame. 

Let’s dive into the reasons, beyond the cold climate, why your skin might be peeling!

Washing With Too-Hot Water

On a cold day, a piping hot shower may seem like the perfect cure for your chills, but all that hot water blasting on your skin is likely drying it out and leaving it tight, itchy and peeling as soon as you’ve toweled off. Why? The hotter the water, the faster it breaks down your skin’s oil barrier, leaving it vulnerable to irritation and stripping it of its natural moisture. Your best defense is to take short, warm showers and to moisturize your skin, from head to toe, while it’s still damp. This will ensure you lock in your skin’s natural moisture and help the barrier to repair itself again.


AHAs and BHAs can be a great way to improve your skin tone and fight those dreaded fine lines and blackheads, but it’s easy to get carried away. If you have dry skin to begin with, overuse of acids can again lead to breaking down your skin’s natural moisture barrier or even causing your skin to go into exfoliation overload, resulting in excessive flaking and peeling as dead skin is broken down. This is why it’s important to let your acid exfoliators do their work but to always follow up with hydrating serums and moisturizers to maintain a healthy balance.

Tailor your exfoliation routine to your skin’s needs—if you’re dry and sensitive, reach for AHAs once a week, while oilier skin can rely on BHAs every few nights. If you notice you’re still peeling, give your skin a break from chemical exfoliation and treat yourself with a great hydrating mask, like Thank You Farmer’s Back To Relax Soothing Gel Mask before following with the rest of your skin care routine.


Skin lacking moisture will naturally rebel. That’s why it’s important to stay hydrated not online on the inside with plenty of water every day, but also on the outside. If you notice that your skin is particularly flaky, upgrade your skincare arsenal with deeply hydrating products and you’ll soon see a difference. Using a serum that’s focused on hydration, like It’s Skin’s Power 10 Formula – Ve (Glow), formulated with vitamin E, can help repair the skin barrier. 

But don’t forget, the way you apply them is just as important as applying them at all. Which brings me to…

Not Applying Your Products Correctly

If you know anything about the K-beauty way of life, you know that the order you apply your products is key. Everything has its own place in the step-by-step system, ensuring that each product reaches its full potential and gives your skin the best benefits. For example, applying moisturizer directly on top of dry, flaky skin won’t do much to fix the issue. A bit of gentle exfoliation should be followed up with toner, essence, serum/ampoule, eye cream, and then your moisturizer.

All these steps help to prep the skin to best receive hydration and allow it to be properly absorbed. Try exfoliating with your favorite gently exfoliating cleanser and help remove flakes and the build up of dead skin before adding in hydration by spritzing skin with Neogen’s Real Ferment Micro Mist and patting on Hanskin’s Real Complexion Hyaluron Moisture Cream to lock everything in. Once you have your routine down, you’ll notice flakes are a thing of the past!

+ Have you fought a battle with flaking skin … and won? Let us know your favorite products for fighting the battle against peeling in the comments below!

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