Does your skin keep peeling despite the regular use of moisturizers? The peeling of facial skin can be caused by various underlying conditions. Dry skin, eczema, sunburn and many other factors can cause skin damage. Such damaged skin is naturally removed by your body through the process of skin peeling.
However, peeling skin can lead to discomfort and also increase chances of infection and scarring. Thankfully, the ancient science of Ayurveda recommends hydrating and healing herbs that moisturise your skin from within and strengthen the epidermal barrier.
Read on to know what causes facial skin to peel and the best natural treatments to heal the condition.
What Does Skin Peeling On The Face Imply?
The natural process of skin cell renewal involves the constant shedding of dead cells from the uppermost layer of your skin. However, if your skin is noticeably peeling off in patches, it may be due to dry skin conditions or an underlying medical problem.
When the stratum corneum suffers damage from external or internal factors, it triggers the natural repair mechanism of your body. New skin cells from the base of the epidermis travel up to replace the damaged cells in the uppermost layer. Skin peeling on the face usually occurs in non-oily zones such as the outer and lower cheeks.
Apart from internal medical conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, people with naturally dry and combination skin are more prone to facing skin peeling issues on the face.
According to Ayurveda ‘twak rukshta’ or dry skin, which leads to peeling, is essentially a vata pitta disorder. An aggravation of these two doshas or bodily humours increases heat and dryness in the body, thereby affecting your skin.
Is Skin Peeling On The Face Good Or Bad?
It is fair to say that skin peeling on the face is both good and bad. Dry skin occurs when the lipid matrix  that holds the corneocytes to form the skin barrier is depleted or damaged. This damage hinders your skin’s ability to retain moisture, causing patches of skin to peel off.
On the good side, skin peeling on the face shows that your body is already in damage control mode. It is trying to remove the damaged layer and replace it with healthy new skin cells. However, if peeling persists for long, it is advisable to seek medical help. This is because constant skin damage may be a superficial symptom of an internal problem.
Many women deal with the problem of skin peeling on face after delivery or during pregnancy. This can occur due to hormonal imbalances and improper hydration. Natural hormone balancing herbal treatments and proper intake of fluids can help rectify the condition.
16 Causes Of Peeling Skin On The Face
1. Dry Skin (Xerosis Cutis)
Skin peeling on the face is very common with people diagnosed with xerosis cutis. Xerosis cutis  or dry skin usually affects elderly people, as with age there is a degeneration of lipids in the stratum corneum. There is also a reduction of sebaceous glands that produce sebum and keep your skin moisturised. Most skin specialists recommend switching to a more hydrating skincare routine and moisturising frequently to treat xerosis cutis.
There are around 7 types of eczemas that can lead to chronic inflammation and dry flaking skin. Amongst them, atopic, contact, and seborrheic dermatitis are more likely to cause peeling skin on the face. Eczema flare ups can be treated with corticosteroids and a hydrating skincare routine.
Psoriasis is considered an auto-immune disease characterised by red, inflamed, scaly patches of skin. Areas affected by psoriasis include the face, knees, elbows, back etc. Mild oral and topical corticosteroids, retinoids, vitamin D analogues, and phototherapy are the commonly prescribed treatments for psoriasis.
Rosacea is a skin condition that normally affects the face. Flushing, pimples-like lesions and skin sensitivity are common symptoms of rosacea. Many external factors such as changes in the environment can trigger this condition, which is thought to be partially hereditary. Oral antibiotics can be prescribed to treat rosacea.
Severe deficiencies of Vitamin B3 or niacin  can lead to the serious condition of pellagra. Rough, dry skin, chronic gastritis, severe diarrhea, and delirium are the known symptoms of this condition. A vitamin B3 rich diet along with nicotinamide doses can cure pellagra.
6. Sun Damage
Too much sun exposure can burn or damage the upper layer of your skin . Redness, inflammation, and burning sensation are noticed in skin that has suffered sun damage. Gradually this layer is shed off with the onset of the healing process. This can lead to skin peeling on the face, arms and other sunburnt parts of your body.
7. Weather Changes
Changes in the weather can affect your skin. People residing in places that experience extremes of climates tend to face dry skin problems. Dry weather can rob your skin of essential moisture, causing it to flake and peel.
8. Prolonged Stay In Air-Conditioned Areas
Air conditioners can seem like a bliss on a summer day, but prolonged exposure can leave you with dry skin. Also, constantly shifting from air-conditioned indoors to outdoors can upset the moisture balance of your skin.
9. Hot Showers
Frequent hot showers can be relaxing, but they are harmful for your skin. High temperatures cause your skin to dry and even damage the skin barrier, resulting in dry, peeling skin.
10. Harsh Fabrics
If you have sensitive skin, eczema, or are prone to allergic reactions, harsh fabrics such as wool can further aggravate the condition. This can lead to skin inflammation and skin peeling.
11. Medicine Side Effects
Prolonged use of certain medicines such as anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, Isotretinoin, Statins can cause dry skin problems. This can lead to the peeling of skin on your face.
12. Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions to foods, new skincare products and cosmetics can cause skin rashes and inflammation. These inflamed patches may later start peeling off.
13. Skin Infections
Skin infections such as staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) and certain other bacterial and fungal infections can cause skin to peel in different areas of your body. To treat SSSS one may need intravenous antibiotics. Other minor kinds can be treated with oral antibiotics or antifungal medicine.
14. PSS Or Peeling Skin Syndrome
Peeling skin syndrome  is a rare genetic skin disease where the uppermost layer is constantly exfoliated at an unnatural rate, causing skin to peel over large parts of the body. This can be accompanied by erythema and inflammation. Moisturisers and emollients are known therapies that can provide temporary relief.
15. Vitamin A Toxicity
Though it is quite difficult to overdose on your vitamins from mere food sources, too much of Vitamin A can lead to serious health problems. Vitamin A toxicity can cause problems like hairless, dry, peeling skin and also liver damage.
16. Thyroid Problems
The condition of hypothyroidism can affect your skin’s natural turnover rate leading to excess deposition of dead skin. With skin renewal thwarted, your skin begins to appear dry, brittle and peeling.
Symptoms Of Skin Peeling On The Face
Skin peeling can be easily diagnosed from the following symptoms. However, it is important to know what is causing your skin to peel, if the condition does not improve within a short period of time.
- Dry, chapped skin that comes off in layers
- Burning, itching, and sensitive skin
- Oozing liquid or bleeding
How To Treat Peeling Of Skin On The Face?
The best way to treat skin peeling on the face is by finding out the real cause behind it. Treating the cause can permanently stop your skin from peeling. The below-mentioned remedies focus on hydrating, healing and soothing your skin. This helps strengthen your skin’s immunity and gradually cure the condition of skin peeling.
A. Home Remedies For Skin Peeling On The Face
1. Avocado, Honey And Banana
Avocado is super rich in essential vitamins and fatty acids that moisturizes dry, peeling skin. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies and skin infections.
Honey offers natural antimicrobial treatment for damaged skin. Its emollient nature prevents the loss of water, keeping your skin hydrated for longer hours. Bananas are an excellent source of Vitamin A. They rejuvenate and heal damaged, dry skin.
How To Use
- To prevent skin peeling on the face, mash a fully ripe banana with a ripe avocado.
- Add honey to the pack and apply on the affected areas.
- Wash off after 20 minutes.
2. Coconut Milk, Cucumber And Muskmelon
Rich in Vitamin E, coconut milk nourishes skin affected by dryness. Cucumber's cooling properties provide relief from skin inflammation and irritation that often accompany skin peeling. Muskmelon is a great treatment for skin peeling. Rich in Vitamin A, B and C, it repairs damaged skin and leaves it feeling fresh.
How To Use
- Blend cucumber and a ripe muskmelon.
- Add coconut milk to it and apply on your face where the skin is peeling.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off.
3. Papaya And Milk
The natural enzyme papain present in papaya helps to exfoliate skin that is peeling without irritating it. Papaya is also rich in antioxidants that nourish your skin and keep it feeling soft after application. Milk contains lactic acid, another natural exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and accelerates cell turnover rate. Milk also moisturizes your skin and prevents it from becoming dry.
How To Use
- Mash a ripe papaya and add milk to it.
- Apply this pack on your face and wash off after 15 minutes to prevent skin peeling.
4. Yogurt And Glycerin
Yogurt's mild exfoliating properties gently remove the damaged peeling skin. It also helps soothe skin that is irritated and sensitive. Glycerin is the ultimate hydrating agent that is widely used to treat skin peeling, dry skin and eczema conditions. Being a humectant, it forms a protective layer over your skin and helps retain moisture in the stratum corneum.
How To Use
- Add glycerin to yogurt and apply on the affected skin.
- Wash off after 15 minutes.
“Soaking the skin in sour buttermilk with Amla powder is the therapy of choice in ayurveda to heal peeling skin”, says Dr Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
5. Amla, Olives, Almonds And Coconut Oil
A great source of Vitamin C, amla's antioxidant properties help in skin repair. It also prevents sun damage with frequent use. Both black and green olives contain Vitamin E that nourishes your skin and protects it from sun damage. Almonds are another great source of Vitamin E.
How To Use
- Blend 6 to 7 almonds, de-seeded olives and amla.
- Add coconut oil to make a smooth paste.
- Apply this on the peeling skin and wash off after 15 to 20 minutes.
Vedix Tip: Cold compresses can relieve burning sensations. Apply some aloe vera gel on a cotton towel and let it chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Gently compress the skin that is peeling for a fresh, soothing effect.
B. Ayurvedic Treatment For Peeling Skin On The Face
One of the best ways to treat skin peeling on the face is through Abhyanga or massaging herbal oils on the affected skin. This helps to pacify your vata and pitta doshas and remove harmful ama toxins that are often responsible for dry skin problems.
Abhyanga improves blood circulation and the herbal oils reach deep into the layers of your skin to restore its moisture balance. The below mentioned essential Ayurvedic oils are recommended to treat vata-pitta disorders of the skin.
A. Coconut Oil
An excellent vata pitta pacifier, coconut oil moisturises your skin and prevents it from peeling. Rich in skin-friendly vitamins and nutrients, coconut oil can be included in your daily skincare. Its antimicrobial nature also keeps chances of infection away.
B. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood is known for its pitta-balancing, cooling and skin soothing properties. Its anti-inflammatory  nature prevents inflammation, itch and redness like symptoms commonly noticed during skin peeling.
C. Sesame Oil
A tridosha balancer, sesame oil is extremely hydrating. Sesame nourishes your skin and prevents skin peeling on the face. Its antioxidant properties help your skin heal faster and strengthens your skin barrier.
D. Almond Oil
Almond oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant that protects your skin from sun damage. It also plays an important role in skin or wound healing. Regularly massaging your skin with almond oil will clear away the damaged skin, revealing soft supple skin in a short time.
E. Castor Oil
Castor oil’s viscous nature makes it a great vata dosha balancer. Being rich in triglycerides, it moisturizes your skin and prevents it from losing essential moisture.
F. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the best oils to treat skin peeling on the face. Rich in fatty acids and triterpenes, it deeply nourishes your skin and effectively cures dry skin and eczema related skin issues. Its antioxidant properties help in cell renewal and protects your skin from external damaging factors like heat, sun and weather changes.
Ayurvedic lepas or packs have served a key role in treating various skin diseases. Age old vata-pitta balancing herbal lepas are recommended in treating peeling, dry skin conditions. These anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial herbs rejuvenate dry skin and prevent it from peeling.
Effect On Vata Dosha
Effect On Pitta Dosha
Pacifies vata dosha. Nourishes skin and prevents scars.
Pacifies pitta dosha. Reduces skin inflammation.
Balances vata dosha. Prevents dryness and skin peeling.
Alleviates pitta aggravations. Anti-inflammatory
Pacifies vata dosha. Antioxidant and skin healing. Prevents dry skin, eczema.
Pacifies pitta dosha. Anti-inflammatory.
Calms vata dosha
Balances pitta dosha. Relieves inflammation, itchiness and skin peeling. Antibacterial. Blood purifier.
Pacifies vata dosha. Skin nourishing.
Pacifies pitta dosha. Antimicrobial.
Balances vata dosha. Treats dry skin.
Balances pitta dosha. Prevents inflammation, anti-microbial.
Vata pacifier. Hydrates and treats eczema and dry skin.
Pitta pacifier. Antibacterial in nature.
The excellent benefits of Gandusha in treating ‘twak rukshta’ or dry skin is cited in Ayurvedic scriptures. In this procedure, ghee, herbal oils or medicated water is held in the mouth cavity for a certain period of time. Gandusha helps rejuvenate dull skin, and prevents various skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis which can lead to peeling of skin on the face.
Nasya is the Ayurvedic procedure of administering ghee and other herbal oils through the nasal cavity. Nasya therapy is used to heal various skin diseases and balance vitiated doshas.
C. Natural Methods To Stop Skin Peeling On The Face
1. Stay Hydrated
Replenish the moisture from within. Drink enough fluids throughout the day to ensure your skin is well hydrated. Include fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. The recommended daily water requirement is 2.7 litres/day for women and 3.7 litres/day for men.
2. Use Gentle Cleansers
Since skin peeling is a sign of damaged skin, use gentle cleansers that are free of chemicals like sulfates, parabens and artificial colours and fragrances. Hydrating cleansers are a good option as they clean your face without stripping it of its natural oils.
3. Oatmeal Exfoliation
It is okay to exfoliate peeling skin from the face. Gentle exfoliation will help you remove the dead damaged cells and give way to healthy new skin cells. Grind oatmeal and add milk or lukewarm water to it. Apply all over the face and slowly exfoliate using upward, circular motion.
4. Face Mists
Face mists are a great way to stay hydrated. Choose a face mist that has hydrating ingredients like triglycerides, glycerin or aloe vera. Spray it whenever your peeling skin feels dry or sensitive.
5. Apply Moisturizer
The prescribed treatment for xerosis cutis, PSS and many other skin conditions that cause skin peeling is external hydration by moisturizers. Natural moisturizers such as aloe vera, honey, and coconut oil provide hydration and protect your skin from sun damage and weather changes.
6. Face Masks
The new rage in the skincare market are face masks. These super hydrating sheet masks come as an overnight moisturising treatment for skin peeling on the face.
Make your own sheet face mask by applying your favourite natural ingredients (cucumber, muskmelon, avocado, milk, glycerin) on the affected skin and cover it with a cool moist towel. The moisture in the towel prevents the ingredients from drying up and allows your skin to absorb their goodness for a longer period.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
What better way to soothe irritated skin than a generous amount of aloe vera gel? Aloin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound present in aloe vera, prevents swelling, redness, burning sensations and skin peeling. It is also antimicrobial in nature and protects the peeling skin from opportunistic pathogens.
8. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly has been every household's most trusted dry skin remedy. Apply a good amount of petroleum jelly to stop the skin on your face from peeling. Petroleum jelly prevents the loss of essential moisture from the damaged upper layer of your skin.
If your skin peeling is a result of sunburn, it is better to avoid petroleum jelly as it may prevent the release of heat and delay the healing process.
9. Apply Sunscreen
Protecting your skin from sun damage can minimize chances of skin peeling. Opt for a non-comedogenic, natural sunscreen that protects without blocking your pores or irritating your skin.
D. Medical Treatments
Medical treatments for peeling skin on the face can be prescribed only after examination and diagnosis of the condition that is causing your skin to peel. Based on the results, topical or oral drugs can be administered.
1. Hydrocortisone Ointments
For skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis that lead to skin peeling and inflammation, hydrocortisone ointments can be prescribed. However, these may cause skin sensitivity with prolonged use.
2. Topical Or Oral Antibiotics
For bacterial skin infections causing skin peeling, antibiotic ointments or medicines can cure the condition. One of the problems of using antibiotics is that it may also kill the good bacteria that protects your skin and reduces your skin’s natural immunity.
3. Anti-Fungal Medication
For fungal infections on the face that cause skin peeling, creams such as clotrimazole and ketoconazole can prove to be effective.
4. Anti- Allergic Topical And Oral Medicine
Allergic reactions can also lead to skin peeling on the face. To battle such conditions, antihistamine and anti allergic medicines are prescribed.
Side Effects Of Skin Peeling On The Face
One of the major side effects of skin peeling on the face is the chance of scarring or hyperpigmentation of the affected areas. Inflammation or tissue damage often results in scars that may take time to disappear. To avoid scarring, avoid forcefully peeling your skin. Wait for your skin to naturally discard the damaged layers.
Apart from scars, skin peeling can leave you feeling uncomfortable, as the affected skin tends to be sensitive and itchy with a burning sensation. Covering up peeling skin with makeup is not advisable, as it may aggravate the condition. Thus, you may be left with no choice but to wait until it heals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Peeling Skin
1. Should I Moisturize Peeling Skin?
Moisturizing peeling skin is an absolute necessity. The damaged skin in any case will be discarded. However, the moisturizer forms a protective layer over your skin and prevents excess transepidermal water loss. This helps your skin barrier to quickly heal and return to its original healthy state.
2. How Long Does Peeling Skin On The Face Last?
Cell turnover is a slow process. It takes time for your skin to completely replace the damaged upper layer. So skin peeling on your face can last for around 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the cause. However, in case of chronic conditions that have caused skin peeling, the condition may be a recurrent one.
The Last Word
Skin peeling on the face can be a symptom of an underlying skin condition. Visit your Ayurvedic doctor to know your doshas. A diagnosis of your Prakriti will help your doctor determine the root cause of the problem that is causing your skin to peel. A thorough knowledge of the condition will allow your doctor to prescribe the most appropriate herbal treatments to quickly restore your dosha balance and heal your skin problem.Know Your Dosha Now
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