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Flakiness

Flaky skin is most commonly skin that’s too dry, although it can occasionally be a sign of another skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Most cases of flakiness come from skin that lacks moisture. Dry, flaky skin is especially common in the winter months when the air is dry and people spend more time indoors where their skin is exposed to dry heat.

What Causes It?

Dry, flaky skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. The epidermis consists of clusters of skin cells that are held together by lipids. These lipids help to prevent loss of water from the surface of the skin. Some people don’t have enough of these lipids or the lipid layer is damaged, which makes it difficult for their skin to hold on to moisture. When this is the case, skin cells in the epidermis aren’t shed in an orderly manner. Instead, they build up and cause skin to look flaky and feel rough to the touch.

more information

Some people are genetically prone towards dry skin. For others, the lipid layer that protects the skin from moisture loss becomes damaged when they use harsh soaps and cleansing products. Damage can also come from bathing frequently in hot water or exposing skin to dry conditions and temperature extremes. Some medical conditions, medications and dietary deficiencies, especially a low-fat diet, can contribute to dry skin. Skin needs essential fatty acids to make lipids that protect the skin against moisture loss.

Treatment

To reduce flakiness, it’s important to treat the underlying problem - dry skin. People who live in a dry home will benefit from getting a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Other simple ways to reduce moisture loss is to avoid using soaps and harsh cleansers that damage the delicate layer that protects skin from dryness. Choose a product that gently cleanses and removes surface dirt and debris without stripping skin of its natural protective oils. Look for added ingredients that gently loosen and exfoliate dead skin cells that cause skin to look rough and flaky.

After cleansing, apply a gentle moisturizer formulated for dry skin. Many products contain natural botanicals that help to soothe dry skin and restore moisture balance. Many also contain antioxidants that protect skin against damage. Always apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays for added protection against the sun’s damaging rays. Sun exposure can worsen dryness and flakiness. Select a nourishing sunscreen with antioxidant vitamins that’s specifically formulated to meet the needs of very dry, flaky skin.

Gentle exfoliation instantly removes dead skin cells that cause skin to look flaky. Some people use exfoliating pads, but these can be too rough for some skin types. A gentler alternative is skin polishers which contain very fine particles of jojoba to lift away dead skin cells that cause flaking and reveal the healthier skin underneath. Look for ingredients like allantoin to reduce skin irritation and redness. Exfoliate once or twice a week in addition to your regular cleansing and moisturizing program to help skin look smoother and less flaky.

The Bottom Line?

Most skin flakiness comes from the build-up of dead skin cells in the outer layer of the skin. This happens when the protective lipid layer is damaged and skin loses too much moisture. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected by using a gentle cleanser made for dry skin and applying a moisturizer formulated for the special needs of dry, dehydrated skin. Using a skin polisher like SkinMedica Skin Polisher once or twice a week also helps to keep flakiness in check.

  

Flakiness Products

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This lightweight hydrator leaves skin feeling fresh and dewy.
$60.00 $64.00 value
1.69oz | RC079
In Stock
 
A hydrating mist that refreshes the skin and senses.
$35.00
3.3oz | JQ008
In Stock
 
Soothes, refreshes and moisturizes the skin at any time of the day.
$18.00
6.7oz | CP113
In Stock
 
Intensely hydrates and soothes all skin types, even the most dehydrated.
$49.00
1oz | CP105
In Stock
A natural, soap-free cleanser that removes makeup and impurities.
$28.00
5oz | CP133
In Stock
 
This hydrating skin protectant defends skin against environmental damage and free radicals.
$35.00
1.18oz | RC013
In Stock
 
A rich cream that provides 24 hour hydration.
$65.00
1.69oz | DC246
In Stock
 
A rich, nurturing moisturizer that repairs dry skin.
$98.00 $122.00 value
4.3oz | JQ022
In Stock
A soap-free cleanser that removes makeup effortlessly.
$28.00
6.7oz | CP134
In Stock
 
An eye treatment that helps to correct and prevent dehydration.
$38.00
0.3oz | RC031
In Stock
 
Replenishment for dehydrated or depleted skin.
$42.00
1.17oz | RC029
In Stock
 
Replenish moisture, protect against environmental damage and see instant luminosity.
$40.00
1.35oz | JQ177
In Stock
Concentrated Strengthening Toner helps increase skin's ability to fight environmental aggressors and the daily stressors.
$29.95
4oz | KI012
In Stock
 
This cleanser has softening and soothing properties that leave the skin radiant and hydrated.
$27.00
6.76oz | DC242
In Stock
 
Unique texture absorbs easily to restore dehydrated skin.
$47.00
1.7oz | JQ186
In Stock
 
Replenish dehydrated and depleted skin with this daily cleansing bar.
$42.00
4oz | RC002
In Stock
Gel-cream formula that instantly soothes, hydrates and fortifies.
$39.00
1.3oz | CP107
In Stock
 
An ultra-hydrating, anti-aging moisturizer for dry skin that helps protect from environmental damage.
$52.00
1.17oz | RC094
In Stock
 
A lightly whipped, high performance cleanser that helps to moisturize the skin.
$24.00
3.3oz | JQ160
In Stock
 
An overnight antioxidant boost for skin.
$51.00
1.7oz | JQ135
In Stock
Essential oil balm pampers skin with softness, suppleness and comfort.
$73.00
1oz | DC009
In Stock
 
A non-greasy oil that helps to moisturize and balance skin.
$50.00
1.6oz | JQ098
In Stock
 
This toner helps to reduce dryness as it repairs the skin.
$27.00
6.76oz | DC241
In Stock
 
This luxurious moisturizer is designed to brighten, firm and provide unparalleled hydration.
$45.00
1.7oz | OL082
In Stock
This light-as-air daily moisturizing cream helps provide hyper-protection and healing relief for super-sensitive skin.
$65.00
1.7oz | SI018
In Stock
 
Dry oil moisturizes, nourishes and enhances the skin.
$49.00
3.4oz | CP117
In Stock
 
A comforting and creamy cleanser that removes make-up and leaves skin feeling supple and smooth.
$38.00
3.5oz | YK003
In Stock
 
Soothes dry, chapped, irritated skin with natural skin loving ingredients.
$8.00
0.5oz | JQ153
In Stock
A lightweight cream that provides 24 hour hydration to oilier skin types.
$65.00
1.69oz | DC247
In Stock
 
Hydrate, protect and maintain your skin's natural moisture balance.
$29.00
2oz | JB105
In Stock
 
Restore tone and texture to optimal levels.
$75.00
1.98 oz | SI004
In Stock
 
Balance skin's natural moisture for a fresh complexion.
$22.00
6.75oz | JB060
In Stock
A nourishing oil concentrate that restores elasticity and fights signs of aging.
$32.95
0.5oz | KI004
In Stock
 
A rich hydrating cream that leaves dry skin fresh, supple and moisturized.
$46.00
1.6oz | NX118
In Stock
 
Provides lasting moisture to your skin and preserves its youthful appearance.
$35.00
1.3 oz | CP009
In Stock
 
Plump, moisturize and nourish dry skin.
$86.00
1.7oz | EH013
In Stock
This nutrient-rich moisturizer hydrates and replenishes skin.
$36.00
2oz | JB004
In Stock
 
Ultra protection for very dry, dehydrated skin.
$39.00
1.3oz | CP109
In Stock
 
The perfect mask to fix dehydrated and irritated skin within 10 minutes.
$22.00
2oz | FC016
In Stock
 
A light, hydrating toner with the classic Jurlique rose scent.
$24.00
1.7oz | JQ162
In Stock
Intensely moisturizes the driest skin and improves the skins complexion.
$40.00
1.6oz | CP111
In Stock
 
A hydrating mask that leaves skin supple, soothed and balanced.
$40.00
2oz | RC043
In Stock
 
This moisturizer hydrates and soothes skin continuously for 24 hours.
$46.00
1.6oz | NX116
In Stock
 
A blend of 6 plant and essential oils to repair the skin's barrier while you sleep.
$52.00
1oz | CP159
In Stock
A milky cleanser that effectively removes makeup and impurities.
$28.00
6.7oz | CP135
In Stock
 
$2 of the proceeds will be donated to the CEW Foundation's Cancer & Careers.
$40.00
1oz | RC076
In Stock
 
This multitasking product can also be used as a facial cleanser and skin moisturizer.
$18.00
2.5oz | RY030
In Stock
 
A natural ultra-nourishing, organic, cold pressed oil that hydrates the body.
$70.00
3.58oz | IT009
In Stock
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