Very dry, flaking skin can be:
- Normally comfortable Dry Skin that has become aggravated by cold, wintry climates or irritations to products with allergens.
- Skin that is normally Combination or even Oily but that is suffering from allergies or irritant reactions to certain products.
- A specific skin condition such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, etc. A qualified dermatologist should be consulted for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.
- A sign that you might have an internal health concern that needs attention—extremely dry skin can be indicators of other health problems. Consult your dermatologist or internist.
If your skin is uncomfortably dry, raw, red or flaking, do a quick examination of the products you’re using:
- Do you use perfumes or colognes?
- Do any of the products you use (including make-up, shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, soaps, skin care, sunscreens, laundry detergents, fabric softener, anything that touches your skin or is near your skin for long periods of time):
- Have “perfume-y” scents?
- Have masking fragrances? Masking fragrances are “non-perfume-y” fragrances that are used in many skin care and make-up products to mask the products natural chemical or “lab-like” odor. If your product does not smell like its heavily perfumed, but doesn’t smell “lab-like” either, chances are it contains masking fragrances.
- Do you use products with dyes? Iron oxides are fine, but “azo“-dyes may cause contact allergies and irritations.
- If you suffer from flaking, redness irritations, acne or rashes around the mouth, do you use toothpastes and oral care products with fluoride, dyes or flavors?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, you may be suffering from allergic or irritant reactions or over-treatment with an active ingredient or too many products. Try:
- Stopping all products you use on the face for 1 week. We call this the 7-Day Skin Fast. It entails stopping the use of all cleansers, toners, lotions, steroids, make-up, everything for 7 days. During this time, use pure organic virgin coconut oil like VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® Know-It-Oil only to cleanse your face 1x to 2x a day. Keep it in the refrigerator (not freezer) if you’d like it slightly more refreshing. Rinse clean.
- After the 1-week break, start going back to a skin care regimen but start applying each product slowly—only one product at a time with at least 3 days in between to observe for reactions. See Regimens: Can You Recommend A Complete Regimen for Me.
- As a general rule, steer clear of allergens in all products you use to prevent the irritations/allergies from recurring.
- If you have cut out all allergens/irritants you can think of and still suffer from severe dryness, see your dermatologist for an in-depth consultation and/or a patch test.
Click here to learn more about dry skin.
Click here to learn more about choosing a moisturizer for dry skin.
Click here for more on hypoallergenicity and other red flags to avoid.
For tips on selecting a dermatologist click here.
To find a dermatologist in your area who does patch tests click here.
For more on product reactions click here.
Click here for more about reactions.
Click here for more about atopic dermatitis, eczema and similar conditions.