Last Day! Save 20% Storewide use code FALL20 » Last Day! Save 20% Storewide use code FALL20 »

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.

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.

The Fall Forecast is in » The Fall Forecast is in »

Flakiness Products

Sort results by:
Display:        
A mix-to-activate, duo-phase mask to quench your thirsty skin.
$75.00
4 ct | ER056
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A lightweight moisturizer that seals in natural moisture overnight to plump your skin.
$110.00
1.7oz | ER038
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Replenishes nutrients to help skin feel smooth and appear younger.
$78.00
1oz | SK002
In Stock ADD TO BAG
This eye balm reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.
$100.00
0.5 oz | NO012
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Moisture replenishment with grape seed oil and marine extracts.
$60.00
2oz | SK010
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles and create a more rested look.
$80.00
0.5 oz | BT160
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Provides an instant burst of radiance and keeps you looking and feeling fresh throughout the day.
$64.00 $67.00 value
CPPK03
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Formulated to counter moisture loss, collagen breakdown, and free radical damage.
$82.00
0.5 oz | SK035
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Intense hydration when your skin needs it the most: at night.
$90.00
1.35 oz | ER060
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A multi-tasking, hydrating eye cream that reduces fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles.
$65.00
0.5 oz | NV204
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Hydrates, soothes and comforts skin on contact.
$75.00
1.7oz | KF150
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Let your skin reap the benefits of hyaluronic acid.
$75.00
1 oz | CL007
In Stock ADD TO BAG
This advanced serum gives a nourishing boost to ensure skin is adequately protected and hydrated.
$88.00
1 oz | KF137
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Quenches dehydrated skin for a supple, smooth complexion and all day moisture retention.
$69.00
1 oz | TP072
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An ultra-hydrating, luxurious face cream formulated to deliver deep moisture and promote skin radiance.
$72.00
1.7oz | OB072
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An anti-aging moisturizer that reduces DNA damage while healing and hydrating skin.
$275.00
1.7 oz | ER049
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An ultra-rich, antioxidant moisturizer that soothes, heals and repairs skin.
$110.00
1.7oz | ER036
In Stock ADD TO BAG
$65.00
1.69oz | DC246
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An ultra-rich moisturizer that deeply nourishes and smoothes skin.
$95.00
1.7 oz | ER035
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Replenishes moisture and provides instant hydration to skin.
$79.80
1 oz | SM083
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Keeps skin hydrated all day and night.
$65.00
1 oz | PT144
In Stock ADD TO BAG
This multi-defense eye cream provides serious environmental protection.
$100.00
0.5 oz | EA132
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A deliciously rich cream that delivers intense and lasting hydration.
$80.50
1.6oz | PM097
In Stock ADD TO BAG
This cream intensively protects and nourishes your skin's natural moisture around the clock.
$72.00
1.7oz | ER034
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Display:        
FREE Starter Kit ($50 Value). Details »
Sale — While They Last »
Smart Shopping — Beauty Center
Ribes Nigrum – Key Ingredient
FREE Neroli Rehydrating Cleansing Milk ($10 Value). Details »
Skin Care Regimen »
2 steps to a new you — My Beauty Advisor