January 21, 2015 Diana Crisan Spotlight

Dry Patches: What Your Dry Skin Says About You

Dry skin. It may not sound like a big deal, but it can mess with your clear complexion, cause your makeup to flake off, make you late to an important meeting, completely ruin your day … OK, maybe we’re getting a little dramatic here, but you get the picture! While dry skin is typically a head-to-toe issue, we’ve noticed some particularly funny business going on in the facial region when it comes to the issue of dry skin patches. Like, what’s up with the nose peeling? And the flakes near your eyebrows? We HAD to get to the bottom of this beauty conundrum, so we asked dermatologist, Dr. Bruce Katz of Juva Skin in New York City a few questions as to why this happens and how to FIX it!

dry patches
The Issue: Dry Skin Around Eyes and Eyebrows

Potential Causes:

  1. Cosmetic Irritation
  2. Allergies
  3. Seborrhea

Do you fiddle with your mascara-coated lashes all day? Or are you constantly rubbing your eyes during those boring meetings? Touching your face is always a common culprit of dry skin, especially in/near the eye region. According to Dr. Katz, another common factor is the same reason some of you may hate cats — allergies. “Dryness or irritation around the lids can be caused by a skin allergy due to cosmetics, fragrances and also products that come down from your hair,” he says. Keep those bangs clean, ladies!

“A medical skin condition called seborrhea [red, itchy white scales] can easily be mistaken for typical dry skin. Flaking actually occurs from the scalp and can affect parts of the face such as the eyebrows and eyelids — in this case, it’s important to see your dermatologist if the signs and symptoms persist,” says Dr. Katz. 

The Issue: Dry Skin Around Nose

Potential Causes:

  1. Cold Weather
  2. Dry Heat 
  3. Harsh Soaps 

It’s nearly impossible to get your makeup to stay on right when your nose is practically shedding all over the place! Why is this happening, you ask? “With cold weather comes low levels of humidity and dry heat. Women should use humidifiers in the bedroom during the nighttime to hydrate skin and counter the drying effects,” says Dr. Katz.

“Irritation around the nose is also commonly caused by harsh soaps drying out the skin — make sure to use a creamy moisturizer daily to combat this and sun protection in the daytime. Redness and peeling can also be due to a runny nose in the wintertime from a cold,” says Dr. Katz. To prevent dry skin and redness from seasonal sniffles, try this skin-saving beauty trick!

Product Recommendations: L’Oréal RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser, Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light

The Issue: Dry Skin Around Cheeks

Potential Causes:

  1. Environmental Factors

A few flakes falling from your pink cheeks? Dr. Katz says this could simply be due to factors such as sun exposure and windburn. Keeping skin hydrated and protected is essential year round, but dry skin is especially prominent when winter weather sets in. That’s why he recommends moisturizing regularly and sleeping with a humidifier to alleviate some cold-weather ailments.  Since Mother Nature loves to take a toll on your complexion, liquid makeup is one way to conquer the elements.  

The Issue: Dry Skin Around Mouth

Potential Causes:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Lip Plumpers/Chapped Lips
  3. Perleche

Dry skin around the mouth often happens because lips get chapped from dry, cold weather or dehydration. Some lip plumpers can also be irritating, so it’s important to steer clear from them if you’re noticing sensitivity,” says Dr. Katz. Remember to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (8 by 8!) and keep lips soft and supple with these lip treatments!

Another possible causation of dry skin around your mouth is a condition called Perleche. “The redness and cracking is caused by factors such as excessive licking and dry air from colder weather that can lead to yeast-related infections, and it’s important not to lick your lips or areas around your mouth,” says Dr. Katz 

How can you tell if your dry patch is just a seasonal issue or a medical skin condition? According to Dr. Katz, if you’ve been moisturizing the area for a week and your skin still hasn’t cleared up, it’s time to make an appointment with your derm for treatment.

Do you get dry patches in any of these areas? If so, what helps soothe your skin? Let us know in the comments below! 

Illustration by Leslie Kim



    About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.