Face is super dry and flakey!: Hello everyone! First... - MY SKIN


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Face is super dry and flakey!


Hello everyone! First time posting so hoping I can get some advice? Or if anyone else suffers?

I was diagnosed with (flexural) Eczema in 2008 aged about 15/16. Started as small patch in inner elbow, gradually spreading to forearms, wrists, backs of shoulders and hips that i can remember. Treatment was various steroid creams, emollients and non steroid i.e. Elocon ointment. However I don't recall specific patches on my face.

Majority of it cleared up few years ago - very occasionally wrists become itchy from my restaurant job & good hygiene.

I've not used soap on my face/body in over 10yrs but have used shower gels & face scrubs. After I've dried from the shower my arms & back used to itch so bad. My face was always tight & dry so used various moisturisers. Dove has been my trusty one for the last few years only recently needing to put a thin layer on my face and no one would know how dry it can be.

Occasionally however my face & neck gets so dry, flakey & itchy no amount of moisturiser or oil helps so i take an antihistamine and wait it out a few days. I've not been strict in doing it but I haven't been able to notice that its hormones, foods etc.

My mum suggested a month ago to stop putting anything on my face - maybe it was doing more harm than good. After a couple of weeks in which my face became the flakiest, tightest (sore to move neck etc) driest its been, it did start to improve. Few days later my face gets flakier until I wash/exfoliate again. Even if I pat dry, it gradually shows dryness & flakiness again for a few hours until it starys to calm down again.

I decided to search for natural/organic face products (due to my job I like to ensure my face is rid of the grime, grease and sweat).

I tried a sample of "Gentle Face Wash" from a well reputed independent organic skincare company made for dry & sensitive skin and it was the worst thing I could've done - see posted picture after my face was dry from using it!!

When it's that dry and flakey it almost feels like its not my face to touch it - almost slightly numb and plump. Thats almost how bad it was when I stopped using moisturisers but as I said there was a lot of improvement with even my friends commenting!

I also recently had some blood tests to see if it was an internal cause but GP says they're normal. It doesn't come up in a visible rash but have no idea why it's different to the rest of my body.

Any ideas/comments are most welcome and appreciated!! (Excuse the unflattering pic)

Thanks in advance!

9 Replies


I have had very dry & flaky skin for decades when I finally dared to ask my friend - who has beautiful skin making her like 20ys younger - what she uses and she said laughing she has never washed her face regularly, unless it became dirty, not even with water. She even goes to have her hair washed by the hairdresser so water will not touch her face. When she swims she doesn't put her head under water because she hates it so much.

Compared to hers, my skin was a disaster. As I have had acne, I religiously washed my face 2 times with 'gentle' washes, best & most expensive brands and did this for decades trying out always a new brand new treatment etc. The acne hasn't cleared up but I had as dry and flaky skin as you on the picture. (Just looked worse because of the spots.)

Since my friend shared this story with me I started to stop using the washes. I use make up removers instead only - it removes every grime from my face (and kitchen staff can't be worse than make up) - and it is not dry anymore at all, it even helped my acne. I tried many types and some is better than the other but I don't want to mention any brands because I want you to believe I'm genuine and don't want to advertise any stuff, just trying to help. The internet is full of those fake marketing stories so be careful.

Best wishes

Pippins92 in reply to sylvie777

Thanks sylvie777

It's somewhat comforting to know i'm not the only one (obviously i know for us its not). I have been off work for a few weeks so more confident to try this challenge of using no moisturisers on my face. However when my skin is bad i never leave the house like it. One time i resorted to dabbing actual olive oil on it at least to make it look better to others.

I have seen some improvement not using anything, but the pic is the worst after the natural facewash like when i first stopped putting anything on it. I'm starting to think your friend has a point by not washing it at all however it's me that will be "feeling" dirty even if it doesn't look it.

Completely understand you not recommending...i know what might work for one might not for another and after the natural product made my skin like it did im probably more weary now!

Maybe i'll give just makeup wipes a go - i've never used foundation just a bit of blush on cheeks with eyes done but least it'll give it bit of a clean.


Hi Pippins, I expect you use a shampoo fairly often. Being a detergent ,it has a tendency to strip the natural oil from your face. I find that using a product like Bio Oil on the face after shampooing does seem to re moisturise. With care it need not look oily, especially if used at night. I find that I can use a cheaper product with impunity. By the way, Elocon is a steroid product and not to be used on face. As a shampoo ,I use diluted J&J baby shampoo, one part in four, which keeps my persistent dandruff at bay.

Patrick, retired pharmacist.

Pippins92 in reply to xavier

Thanks for your reply. Yes i have to wash my hair every couple or 3 days with just regular shampoo however i tend to wash with my head upside down under the shower so it does limit how much of it touches my face.

I did used to use something light like Dove after every shower but occasionally it doesn't do anything..a month ago i was using Aveeno and also Vaseline body gel oil and it still didn't work. It only does this occasionally but then it's fine and Dove is all i need again. After reading and giving up moisturiser altogether i was surprised to find improvement..i thought maybe my face would kickstart its own moisture again. But then disappointed to find a gentle face wash did that in the picture when i could've used diluted shower gel with less effect.

Also, i've had a look..maybe it was Protopic i had for my face?..it was definitely a non steroid for there and not to be in the sun with and possibly Elocon for my body after using hydrocortisone & betnovate.

I have a B12 deficiency/pernicious anaemia too so was wondering if maybe something was haywire internally hence the blood tests.

Maybe i need moisturiser for the rest of time afterall :/


xavier in reply to Pippins92

If we really went back to nature ,Pippins, we would not be using detergents to wash our hair and body. We should be bathing in spring water and eating loads of veggies. So what is the problem of using moisturisers "for the rest of time". I would bet that our monkey ancestors used coconut oil many moons ago.

Cheers Patrick

Hi Pippins92, Not sure if you've sorted your problem but thought id reply anyway in case it can help others. I had a kind of similar issue and the best thing i did was ditch all products on my face and instead started using coconut oil to cleanse my face (was super soothing!) and i also found a product called Skin Salvation from Pure Potions. Its absolutely brilliant, keeps your face from drying out and is completely natural. Worth a google at the very least! Re the coconut oil, I used the organic cold pressed stuff and just applied to my face, left for a few mins then rinsed off with water. Better than any of the steroid creams! You do have to be sure that the underlying cause isnt bacterial though.

I have the same problem and have had some success with a product called Equeous a cream lotion in a large plastic tub that is a skin moisturizer. It can be use as a body wash in the shower and bath and also also skin moisturizer to smear on your whole body and your face.


It may be helpful to look at the ingredients listings of the products you are currently using. If they contain snythetics or SLS you may find that your skin and scalp is reacting to some of those. In terms of your face, trying a fragrance free gentle oil cleanser (perhaps containing Safflower seed oil) and a using a muslin cloth could be a way to keep your face free of dirt, debris and to remove make-up if required. Even washing with water will actual take away some of the skin's natural oils. Oil attracts oil which is why a facial oil cleanser can be good to lock in moisture and to maintain the natural Ph balance of your skin. I hope you find products that work for you.

Hye Pippins. I don't think that this is the answer that you wanted to hear from. But, I have seen some life experience which been told in the tv . The girl in the tv said that she also suffer from eczema. All places on her body, just like the one you told . But she did have them on fingers and toes too. She admits that it is super tiring to try almost all product that have benn reccomend you her from friends families.

By the time she has already tried enough, she stopped using every product. She starts to eat super healthy. Like no instant food, fast foods. She's not taking too much sweet in her foods anymore. But she practise taking one spoon of olive oil every day. I don't remember how long did she managed to get her glowy skin back. Her skin becomes smoother than ever. She also applies the olive oil on her skin too. I don't know what brand she is using.

When I heard that, i tried to apply a very healthy lifestyle too. It was hard, because i drink sweet beverages every day. I tried for like a week. I stopped drinking carbonated drinks. I stopped drinking any sweet dranks and dranks only white water. I stopped eating all kind of junk foods. And I started too cut off a bit of carbohydrates in my diet since I knew I was taking too much of it . I also started too increase my vegetables and fruits portion / daily. But I didn't took olive oil.

My skin did look better in just that one week. The dry patch in inner elbows was decreasing. All eczema prone's area on my body were fairer (the skin tone). I also gain better eyesight, since my eye problem is also because of eczema. Everything was feeling better until I lose my track and again consume all those unhealthy foods because now i m back to my college and don't have time or enough money to practice healthy lifestyle anymore. Now my skin have turn to its normal flaky and itchy condition. Well, that's what they say, what we eat will definitely effects our body. I think , persons that have eczema really really needs to eat healthily.


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