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Peau sèche : pourquoi je pèle ?

Dry Skin: Why am I Peeling?

Various factors can lead to excessively dry skin that begins to peel. Sometimes unsightly, these "skin flakes" can itch. But what are the physiological reasons for skin peeling? How can this phenomenon be avoided? Typology provides information on this subject.

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What is peeling skin?

This is a phenomenon of accelerated desquamation of skin cells. The skin is often compared to a "crocodile skin", with scales that detach on their own or at the slightest friction and take the form of thin, flaky white layers. A peeling skin can most of the time be associated with itching.

From a biological perspective, peeling skin is due to an overly rapid cell cycle. Indeed, a natural cycle of skin cell renewal lasts approximately 28 days. During this cycle, new cells are born at the level of the basal layer, which is the deepest layer of the epidermis. As the cycle progresses, these cells migrate to the skin's surface. During this process, they lose their nuclei and transform into dead cells. They then make up the horny layer, the most superficial layer of the epidermis. The dead cells or keratinocytes are then shed (either naturally, or through chemical or mechanical exfoliation) and a new cell cycle begins. When the rhythm of this cycle is disrupted or accelerated, we then observe peeling skin.

What factors are involved?

Dry skin characterized by excessive flaking can be due to internal factors such as heredity or even certain skin conditions and general diseases (eczema, nutritional deficiencies, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis etc...). However, skin can sometimes peel due to external causes such as climate changes, care products containing overly harsh ingredients (like alcohol or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, to name a few), too frequent showers or even certain medical treatments (anti-cholesterol drugs...).

Note: It is common to have peeling skin around the eyebrows and/or nasolabial folds. In this case, it is usually a seborrheic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by erythematous scaly patches. This condition is due to the colonization of yeasts of the Malassezia genus.

What to do in case of peeling skin?

Firstly, we advise against picking at flakes. Even though it may be tempting, it's better to wait for the dead skin to fall off naturally. To soothe peeling skin, it's crucial to pamper your epidermis and avoid anything that could irritate it. Externally, it's advisable to rely on the application of skincare products enriched with lipid-replenishing and occlusive agents (ceramides, squalane vegetable oils, vegetable butters, vegetable waxes, etc...).

For instance, morning and evening, you can apply ournourishing serumwith olive squalane. This lipid intake helps to repair the hydrolipidic film, thus limiting water evaporation. You can supplement this treatment with the application of alipid-replenishing serum with ceramides and lavender extract, which will help to reform the skin's hydrolipidic film, protect the skin from external aggressions, and prevent water from evaporating.

How to prevent peeling?

Here are some steps to adopt to prevent peeling skin:

  • Drinking an adequate amount of water (1.5 liters per day);

  • Select non-aggressive products;

  • Avoid overly heated environments;

  • Pat your face and body dry without rubbing;

  • Settle for using a lotion or a hydrosol in the morning during the cleansing step;

  • Always protect yourself from UV rays. Indeed, they tend to dry out the skin more. Our face sunscreens are composed of a combination of mineral and organic filters offering broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. These protective treatments are also enriched with aloe vera, karanja oil and hyaluronic acid derived from fermented wheat. The clever blend of these three components prevents photoaging, while maintaining skin hydration.

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