Dry Patches on Your Face: Causes and Treatments

Dry Patches on Your Face: Causes and Treatments

For those of us with dry skin, dry patches on the face can be a common, uncomfortable occurrence, especially during the colder months. Not only does flaky, scaly skin look bad, it itches too!

Fortunately, there are ways to help you combat dry patches on your face.

Follow along to learn if you have dry patches on your face, and the steps our beauty experts recommend to leave your face feeling moisturized and comfortable.

What are common signs of dry skin on the face?

Be it only during the winter, throughout the year, or after an intense workout, if you notice any of the following on your face, it’s a sign you have dry skin.

Common signs of dry facial skin include:

  • Flaky skin
  • Rough skin
  • Scaly or peeling skin
  • Tight feeling skin
  • Itchiness
  • Cracks on skin
  • Redness
  • Bleeding

  • If you notice that your cheeks are dry, while your T-Zone (forehead, nose, chin) is oily, it’s a sign that you may have combination skin.

What causes dry patches on the face?

So, you’ve confirmed that you have dry patches on your face for at least part of the year. But what causes dry skin in the first place?

“Dry skin” is a skin type, just like combination or oily skin. Our skin naturally produces an oil called sebum to keep itself hydrated. When a sufficient amount of sebum isn’t created, your skin doesn’t get enough hydration and becomes dry, allowing those pesky dry spots to make a home on your face.

However, it’s possible to get dry, flaky skin on your face from other factors like:

    ● Environmental factors:

    Cold weather, dry air, or excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause your skin to dry out (yes, even if you don’t usually have dry skin). Overheated or heavily air-conditioned rooms can dry out your skin, as low humidity levels lead to the loss of moisture.

    ● Low-quality skincare products:

    The harsh chemicals in some skincare and shower products can irritate your skin and strip all oils, causing dry, itchy patches on your face.

    ● Shower practices:

    While taking a long, hot bath might sound perfect after a busy day, frequent showering and scrubbing, or spending too much time in the bath may lead to drier skin from excessively removing the skin’s oils.

    ● Genetics:

    Dry skin is sometimes inherited with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. Other serious medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid, kidney disease, and HIV potentially impact the skin. If these conditions are a factor in your life, it’s recommended to consult a doctor.

    ● Lifestyle:

    If you aren’t drinking enough water, your body (including your skin) isn’t getting sufficient hydration, which means — you guessed it — dry skin. Other lifestyle factors such as eating poor quality food, smoking, or drinking alcohol can cause dry and dull-looking skin.

    ● Exercise:

    Your skin can lose moisture as a result of sweating when you exercise, so you need to stay hydrated while you work out or you and your skin will become dehydrated.

    Learn more in our guide to proper skincare for the gym.

    ● Age:

    As we age, our skin’s oil production slows, which can cause skin to become fragile and dry.

    It’s worth noting that dry skin from genetics or deeper medical issues aren’t the same as dehydrated skin. While both types of skin lack moisture, the causes for dehydrated skin tend to be mostly external, and aren’t due to a lack of sebum.

Why is having dry patches on the face bad?

Let’s admit it. Having dry, flaky skin on your face can detract from feeling like your most beautiful and confident self. It itches, makes your face look dull, and accentuates fine lines and wrinkles.

But, beyond that, very dry skin poses a serious threat to your wellbeing. When dry patches on your face flake or crack due to lack of moisture, you can develop rashes, sores and even start bleeding. Moreover, breaks in the skin create an opportunity for bacteria to enter, leading to skin infections. If the dry skin on your face ever gets this severe, you should consult a dermatologist.

So, as soon as you notice dry skin patches on your face, start a dry skincare routine.

What is the best face skincare routine for treating dry patches?

To treat or prevent dry skin, follow a regular dry skincare routine.

Here’s a step-by-step routine for hydrating dry patches on your face:

    1. Use a gentle facial cleanser

    Facial cleansers that contain alcohol, artificial colors, harsh chemicals, or fragrances can irritate and dry out your skin. Opt for a hypoallergenic gentle foaming face wash that's made specifically for dry skin. Look for products that are “fragrance-free” rather than “unscented,” because the latter typically contains chemicals that suppress scents.

    Expert tip: Use plant-based products such as Clarins' dry skin face cleansers for the best results.

    2. Moisturize at least twice a day

    Moisturize your face a few minutes after you shower and before you go to bed every night. You can also moisturize after washing your face during the day. Use gentle moisturizers made for dry skin to hydrate your face, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too.

    3. Exfoliate

    Sometimes, dead cells tend to accumulate on the skin, which can show up in the form of dry patches. Exfoliating once a week with a gentle exfoliating scrub can visibly clear away dead skin cells and dry patches.

    Clarins’ exfoliating face masks are gentle on your skin and remove dead cells to reveal the soft, smooth skin underneath, making the perfect addition to your dry skincare routine.

More helpful tips for preventing dry patches on the face

Target dry patches by changing lifestyle habits

Spending too long inside the bath or the shower can exacerbate symptoms from dry skin. So, limit your bathing time to 5-10 minutes and use warm water instead of hot water. Pat yourself dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower. If you wash your face during the day, use lukewarm water and make sure to moisturize after.

When removing your makeup, use a gentle face cleanser and don’t scrub too vigorously. Limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake will also help. And don’t apply talcum powder to your face, as it is notorious for its moisture absorbing properties. Long-term usage of talcum powder also can reduce your skin’s natural sebum production.

Limit exposure to air conditioning and heaters

Spending too long in front of a fireplace or in an air-conditioned room can suck the moisture from your face. Invest in a humidifier to add some moisture to your room during the dry season.

Don’t forget to cover your face when going out in extreme weather conditions. Before stepping out in the sun, lather on some facial sunscreen (preferably broad spectrum SPF 50+) which contains moisturizer to prevent your face skin from drying out too much. Clarins sunscreens come with an anti-pollution complex that helps reduce dry skin while protecting your face from the harsh effects of the sun.

What kind of skincare products should you use for dry, patchy skin?

Skincare products composed of toxic ingredients can do more harm than good for dry skin, and in some instances, can even cause dry patches!

The beauty experts at Clarins carefully select plant-based ingredients that target each skin type. If you have dry skin, you need hydrating skincare products. Explore the full set of dry skin skincare products available:

Here’s the full set of combination skincare products:

Read more of the latest skincare tips from Clarins’ experts:

How to apply Double Serum

Discover our most powerful age control concentrate ever!

27 sec. application

Cutting-edge technology! Powered by [20+1] potent plant extracts, Double Serum decodes the language of youth for visibly smoother, firmer, more radiant skin in one week.*

  • 2 power-packed anti-aging serums in 1.
  • Dial pump delivers the ideal amount— from a drop to a power shot— depending on your skin’s needs.
  • All ages, all skin types, all ethnicities.
  • *Satisfaction text - 362 women - 7 days.

  • Clarins +
  • Applying Double Serum with both hands allows for even distribution of the product.
  • Using Clarins’ Draining Pressure Method enhances circulation to promote firmness, elasticity and radiance.
  • Gently pressing your skin with both hands before applying the product creates feelings of relaxation and well-being.

Target all visible signs of skin aging

  • 1


    Dispense a dime-size amount of Double Serum into your palm. Warm the mixture in your hands to bring it to body temperature, so that your skin accepts it instantly.
    3 seconds

  • 2


    Use the natural weight of your hands to distribute the product evenly over your face, neck and décolleté.
    8 seconds

  • 3


    Use Clarins’ Draining Pressure Method to enhance circulation, revive radiance and promote firmness. Repeat: 3 times on the cheeks, 3 times on the forehead, 5 times on the neck and décolleté.
    16 seconds

    Our Expert’s Tip

    Apply to neck and décolleté with the natural weight of your hands to distribute the product evenly, and enjoy a moment of pure well-being

    Denise Barthe, International Training Director

    Why choose Clarins Double Serum?

    Double Serum is our award winning, best selling anti-aging treatment serum. If you only have access to one anti-aging product, make sure it's Double Serum. The iconic two-phase formula delivers the perfect ratio of water and oil soluble ingredients, combining into one potent serum that absorbs easily into the skin and effectively targets all visible signs of aging. The results speak for themselves: thousands of customers report seeing a more smooth, firm and radiant skin both over time.

    Can I use Clarins Double Serum under my eyes?

    Double Serum is an incredibly effective all-round anti-aging face serum, and is fantastic for targeting the delicate area around your eyes too! Inspired by the original formula, this two-phase eye serum smoothes and hydrates the area around the eyes for brighter, more refreshed-looking eyes. Enjoy the skin-tightening effects of a gel with the comfort of an eye cream.

    When should you start using anti-aging products?

    Timing is key to anti-aging skincare. It's never too early to start taking care of your skin, and healthy skincare habits will help to make sure your skin stays beautiful for longer!
    In your 20s, focus on the basics: cleanse, moisturize, and SPF. As you enter your 30s, start incorporating targeted anti-aging products, such as a tightening serum. Formulas like Double Serum are designed to nourish, visibly firm and smooth the skin. By your 40s, your skin may require more intensive anti-aging treatments. These products can help improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of deeper wrinkles.

    What are the benefits of adding a facial serum to my skincare routine?

    Serums for your face offer unique skincare benefits compared to facial cleansers or toners. serums allow you to fully customize your skincare routine to your specific skin concerns while facial cleansers and toners have more general uses. Serums are formulated with high concentrations of active ingredients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and peptides, serums work to address concerns like aging, dehydration, dullness and more.
    A face serum for wrinkles, like Double Serum, may contain ingredients like Leaf of Life and Teasel extracts, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other visible1 signs of aging. These powerful ingredients penetrate deeply into the skin, delivering potent benefits that can help improve overall skin health.

    Is Double Serum suitable for my oily skin?

    Still want the anti-aging effects of our iconic all-in-one serum for the face, but you have oily skin and are worried about clogged pores and breakouts? Not to worry, while Double Serum wouldn’t cause breakouts, we have an ultra-lightweight formula perfect for oily skin and warm, humid climates. Double Serum Light Texture Anti-Aging Serum gives you all the benefits of the original formula, with the same potent 21 plant extracts hard at work. Its non-oily, non-sticky texture absorbs quickly and leaves a fresh, bare skin finish.

    Are serums for anti-aging more effective than other anti-aging skincare?

    Serums work best when used in conjunction with other skincare products. Each product in your skincare routine plays a specific role, and used together, they deliver desirable results.
    With their high concentration of active ingredients, serums target specific skin concerns rather than focusing more general moisturizing benefits. This makes face moisturizer an important aspect of your anti-aging skincare routine. Applying an anti-aging serum and moisturizer, after effectively cleansing the skin, will enhance the appearance of your skin for a radiant, youthful look.

    How to apply face oil

    Rebalance your complexion.

    30 sec. application

    At Clarins, we have a special place in our hearts for Face Treatment Oils. Add a drop or two to your night cream or use alone to:

    • Soothe your skin—and senses—with Clarins’ aromatic, 100% pure plant extracts.
    • Relax and unwind before going to bed.
    • De-stress for a good night's sleep.
    • Rebalance your skin type.
    • Clarins +
    • Clarins’ exclusive Draining Pressure Method helps enhance circulation to promote skin radiance.

    Wake up looking rested and refreshed

    • 1
      Mix and warm

      Mix and warm

      In the palm of your hand, blend 1-2 drops of the oil with your night cream. Warm between your hands to bring it to skin temperature, so that your skin accepts it instantly.

    • 2


      Use the natural weight of your hands to distribute the product evenly over your face and neck.

    • 3


      Use Clarins’ Draining Pressure Method to enhance circulation, revive radiance and promote radiance. Repeat: 3 times on the cheeks, 3 times on the forehead, 5 times on the neck and décolleté.

      Our Expert’s Tip

      Finish with a drop of oil on the insides of your wrists, take a deep breath, and you're ready for bed.

      Denise Barthe, International Training Director

      How to get glowing skin?

      Depending on the season, your skin is exposed to harsh environmental influences like sun, cold, wind, pollution, heating, air-conditioning, or sudden temperature swings—aggressors that can leave it looking dry, dull and weathered…old before its time.

      Why do I need a neck and décolleté skin care product?

      Nothing is as aging as a sagging neck and wrinkled décolleté. Read on to find out how your skin care routine can help you maintain a youthful-looking décolleté.

      How to protect your skin from stress aging

      Learn how stress and heightened cortisol levels can visibly impact your skin. Clarins Experts provide skincare advice to help reduce the risks of aging from stressed skin.

      How do I know if my skin is oily or combination?

      Read on to find out what causes oily skin and how to get oily and combination skin under control with the right skin care routine for both skin types.

      How can I reduce under-eye puffiness?

      Most people struggle with puffy eyes as they age. Here’s how you can use Clarins’ eye cream and simple lifestyle adjustments to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.