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Hello (long post) 

Picture explanation

The first photo of my nose, is right after I’ve cleansed my skin and removed the dead skin with a cotton pad. You can see that my skin doesn’t have any hydration or a protective barrier. The second photo shows my chin after waking up. You can see the yellow / white flakes of dead skin on my chin. I do also have this on the rest of my face (mainly: chin, nose and eyebrows). The amount of flaky skin on my face varies from day to day and I don’t know why. This example was “lucky”, meaning that I usually have more flakes when I wake up.



Two years ago i started to get acne / blemishes. At first it wasn’t a huge issue but as time passed I just got more and more. At some point I started to treat it with a skincare routine (including BHA / Benzoyl Peroxide 2,5%) and I managed to get away with some of the acne. I did unfortunately not understand the importance of moisturizing the skin after applying any treatment cream / exfoliant.


Because I’ve used the treatments for a long time without moisturizing my skin, I’ve developed a skin condition. The treatments have dehydrated my skin and destroyed my skin barrier, which results in my skin flaking constantly. I hoped that it would be possible for my skin to heal, if only I stopped using any skin care products. I tested this during the last summer (2018), but it didn’t heal my skin after all. It’s important to mention that at this point I wasn’t aware of my skin being very dehydrated. I just thought that this was my now my skin and I there was nothing I could do about it.



Later I came across a few blogs / articles talking about dehydrated skin, destroyed moisture barrier and TEWL (water loss). I learned that this was commonly caused by overwashing, overusing harsh cleansers, treatments and not moisturizing the skin. The description matched perfectly with what I’ve done to my skin and I could strongly relate to many of the symptoms of having dehydrated skin. For instance: flaky skin and oily skin which was dry at the same time. I would always wake up with flakes of dead skin laying on top of my nose, chin, eyebrows and other parts of the t-zone. After cleansing my skin would also feel very tight and my face would be covered in white flakes of dead skin. A few minutes after the cleanse I could see how my skin would overproduce sebum due to the lack hydration in my skin. You could see sebum / oil coming out of my pores on my nose. The dead skin is also annoying because it makes everything very comedogenic. But right now I’m just focused on healing my skin. The acne can be dealt with later.


New routine

So back in the beginning of December (2018) I started to treat my dehydrated and flaky skin by ditching all drying products, any treatments and exfoliators. I maxed out on products with hydration and repairing ingredients. I also started to minimize cleansing / washing / showering because I figured out that it can also dry out your skin. This is what my new routine looks like:


(I’m only cleansing once / twice a week and showering when necessary)


Wash only with water (if necessary)

The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Danish Skin Care - Perfect Skin Day Protector (sunscreen)

The Ordinary - 100% Plant-derived Squalane  



Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (if necessary)

The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Cerave - Moisturizing Lotion (with ceramides and cholesterol)

The Ordinary - 100% Plant-derived Squalane


Note to products: I believe that using Hyaluronic Acid is a good thing, because I live in a humid area, but I’m spending the majority of my time inside. So is it still any good or will it then have a drying effect on the skin? The squalane oil is very hydrating, but I’m also getting rashes on my face and I think that it’s because of this oil? Is that a possibility? I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use natural products on your face if it’s very dehydrated.


So I’ve been using this routine since the 1st of December, but my skin hasn’t improved (as far as I can see). I still wake up with dead skin all over my face and my face being very dehydrated. I don’t get it because I’ve read that it takes approximately 1 month for the skin to recover, when using the right products. It has now been 1½ month with maximum hydration and I haven’t seen improvements in my skin. It’s mentally draining because I have to face this never ending problem of dead skin and dehydrated skin every day. I will continue with this routine until I know any better. If I can’t solve it, I’ll end up going to the doctor or a dermatologist.


So what are your thoughts on my situation? Have you experienced something similar or do you have any recommendations on something I should try / change? I currently feel like I can’t get rid of it because I don’t know what I can do to repair it. My theory is that my skin is lacking in something that combines the skin cells because right now they just go to the surface and become dead, flaky skin. Or should I just stay with it for a longer time?


Any help would be very appreciated!

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First off, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this! Dry skin can be very irritating and frustrating, especially when you're trying different methods and products.  Hyaluronic acid is definiitely beneficial to use, even if you live in a dry climate.  It attracts moisture from the air, and keeps your skin at an optimal hydration level...so definitely continue using that!

Have you ever heard of Rodan and Fields? They have a regimen called Soothe that is specifically made for rebuilding the skin's moisture and protective barrier.  It's extremely gentle (hence the name), and very helpful in restoring your skin's moisture levels and healing it. 

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