How to Get Rid of Peeling Skin on the Face After Breakouts

by Jaimie Zinski ; Updated September 28, 2017

Some acne medications cause peeling.

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Peeling skin is caused by a number of factors, including sunburns, exposure to the wind, and the use of over-the-counter and prescription acne treatments. Peeling after an acne breakout requires special attention to ensure that further irritation doesn't occur and lead to more acne. The essential steps are to exfoliate your skin gently and avoid overwashing your face.

Wash your face with a foaming cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin. Choose a product that's oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog pores. Rinse the cleanser from your skin and pat, don't rub, your face dry with a soft towel.

Eliminate flakiness with a gentle, homemade exfoliator. Pour 1/2 cup raw, not instant, oatmeal into a food processor. Grind the oatmeal until you achieve a powdered consistency. Pour the oatmeal powder into a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon honey and 1 cup plain yogurt. Stir until well-incorporated.

Rub the homemade exfoliator into your skin gently, paying attention to avoid breaking open or irritating your acne. Allow the mixture to remain on your face for five to 10 minutes before rinsing it away with cool water.

Pat your skin dry with a soft towel before applying an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer formulated for acne-prone skin.


  • Avoid overwashing your face. Excessive cleansing eliminates protective natural oils from your face. Sensing the dry skin, your body will begin overproducing oils to compensate, which can make your acne breakouts even worse.

    Use a moisturizer that contains sunscreen to further protect your skin.

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About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.