How to address dry, flaky and peeling skin on your face, especially around your nose, mouth and eyes 

Dry skin can appear in various ways, such as rough, scaly, itchy, and flaky skin patches across different areas of the body.1 These dry skin symptoms can be particularly bothersome on the face. Find out how to deal with dryness around your nose, mouth, and eyes, as well as which skincare products and tips can help prevent dryness and improve the appearance of the skin on your face.

close up of person's eye with dry skin

What causes dry skin on your face?

Dry skin is often a symptom of a damaged skin barrier. The skin barrier is a protective layer that helps keep your skin hydrated by preventing moisture loss and shielding it from environmental stressors.

Over time, factors such as excessive sun exposure, aging, harsh weather conditions, washing with hot water, and skin conditions can cause your skin barrier to lose its natural moisture and become dehydrated, which can lead to dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. By taking steps to protect and strengthen your skin barrier, for example moisturizing, you can help prevent and minimize dryness and maintain a radiant complexion.2

To find out how to tackle the most common causes of dry skin, have a look at our article Dealing with 5 Most Common Causes of Dry Skin.

Why is the skin around your nose dry?

Dry, flaky skin around your nose can occur for various reasons. Skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea can cause dryness and flakiness around the nose area.3,4 Cold and flu viruses, as well as changes in the weather, allergies and UV damage can contribute to dryness and irritation as well. In addition, certain skincare products might strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness or irritation.5

To first address this skin concern, it is essential to identify the underlying cause of dry, flaky skin around the nose. A tailored skincare routine that focuses on hydration and repairing or restoring your skin barrier can help reduce and prevent dryness. Our scientifically-based skincare products offer you also solutions for irregular dry skin concerns from colds, weather, and irritation.

How to manage dry, flaky skin around your nose

Using gentle, non-irritating, hydrating products is essential for managing and helping prevent dry, flaky skin around your nose.2,6,7 Soothing and hydrating products such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion are great options for those with dry skin.

Incorporating gentle exfoliation into your skincare routine can also help to improve the texture and appearance of dry, flaky skin, as it helps to remove dead skin cells and promote surface cell turnover.8 It’s important to avoid harsh exfoliants, because they can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause further dryness. A gentle exfoliator, such as Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub is a great option, as it is formulated to gently exfoliate without causing irritation or dryness.

Over-exfoliating can also be harmful to your skin. Check out our article Are you Over-Exfoliating? for more information.

Why is the skin around your eyes dry?

The skin around your eyes is delicate and thin, which is why your eye area is more prone to dryness and irritation.9 Dry skin around your eyes can have negative impacts on the appearance of your skin as it contributes to the development of lines, dark circles, and puffiness, making your skin look older and tired.

In addition, certain skin conditions can affect the skin around your eyes, including rosacea and eczema. Rosacea is a skin condition that mainly affects the face and can cause dryness, burning, itching, and irritation. One type of rosacea, called ocular rosacea, affects the eyes.10

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that can cause dry, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. This skin condition can occur anywhere on the body, including the eyelids and around the eyes.9,11 If you already have eczema on other parts of your face, you may be more prone to developing eczema around your eyes. In fact, the more severe your eczema is, the higher is your risk of developing it around the eye.9 For more information on eczema, read our article A Beginner’s Guide to Eczema: What to Know and Care Tips.

How to manage dry skin around your eyes

To combat dry skin around your eyes, it's important that you use hydrating, non-irritating products specifically formulated for the sensitive eye area, like Cetaphil Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum.

If you are dealing with eczema symptoms around your eyes, it is essential to use gentle products and seek advice from a dermatologist. To keep the skin around your eyes well-hydrated and prevent further dryness and irritation, you might want to use Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream.

Why is the skin around your mouth dry?

The reasons why the skin around your mouth might get dry are similar to those of dry skin around the nose. In addition, over-exfoliation can contribute to dryness around your mouth, and can dry lips.

Dry lips can lead to excessive lip licking, which can further contribute to dryness and irritation.6 This can create a vicious cycle of dryness and irritation, making the area around the mouth more susceptible to infection and other skin conditions.

How to manage dry skin around your mouth

To help prevent dry lips and skin around your mouth, it's important to keep the lips well-hydrated and soothe them with a moisturizing or ointment,6 such as Cetaphil Healing Ointment, which can be used on lips and the skin around the mouth.

Don’t forget to use sunscreen on the lips to prevent dryness and sunburn on the surrounding skin.11 Consider using a product like Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50, which is in stick format, making it easy to apply on your lips.

Quick tips to help dry, flaky or peeling skin on your face

Managing dry, flaky or peeling skin around your nose, eyes, and mouth can be a challenge, but there are some quick tips that can help:

  • Apply moisturizer consistently to damp skin to help lock in moisture.
  • Choose products that help restore your skin’s moisture barrier, such as Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel and Cetaphil Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm instead of hot water, which can strip your skin of its natural oils.
  • Protect your skin from the sun with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  • Avoid over-exfoliating, which can lead to dryness and irritation.
  • Consult a dermatologist if your dry skin persists or becomes severe.

The bottom line

Sometimes skin irritations on your face happen due to circumstances like cold, weather, and other irritants. Knowing the right ingredients and products, help you manage these skin concerns. To address dry skin around your nose, eyes, and mouth, it is essential to use gentle, non-irritating products, to hydrate your skin, and incorporate gentle exfoliation into your skincare routine. If you have a skin condition, such as rosacea or eczema symptoms on your face, please seek advice from a dermatologist first.


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  2. Rosso JD, Zeichner J, Alexis A, Cohen D, Berson D. Understanding the Epidermal Barrier in Healthy and Compromised Skin: Clinically Relevant Information for the Dermatology Practitioner: Proceedings of an Expert Panel Roundtable Meeting. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(4 Suppl 1):S2-S8. Epub 2016 Apr 1. PMID: 28936279
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  10. Rivero AL, Whitfeld M. An update on the treatment of rosacea. Aust Prescr. 2018;41(1):20-24. doi: 10.18773/austprescr.2018.004
  11. Amaro-Ortiz A, Yan B, D'Orazio JA, et al. Ultraviolet radiation, aging and the skin: Prevention of damage by topical camp manipulation. Molecules. 2014;19(5):6202-6219. doi: 10.3390/molecules19056202