A Flaky T-Zone: What it Means and How to Fix It

When you think of the T-zone, oil (and most likely acne) immediately come to mind. For many of us, that’s the location on our face where we use blotting sheets to get rid of excess oil, and where we break out the most. But during the winter, it also happens to be a place prone to dryness and visible flakes -  not even foundation can cover up.


Is Your Skin Dry or Dehydrated: What’s the Difference?

Now that winter is approaching although it feels like it is already here in most parts of the country. So be prepared for flaky skin that makes you feel prickly at night and itchy all day. But what sort of flaky skin do you have? Dry and dehydrated skin are similar conditions, but with different causes, and definitely different treatments.


  • are worse in cold and dry weather
  • can cause flaky skin
  • can be treated with moisturizers and other skincare products


Dry skin is a skin type that appears in almost all skin typing systems, and it means that your skin doesn’t produce enough oil.

How much oil your skin produces mostly depends on your genes, but can also be mildly affected by your diet and the weather. This means that, if you have dry skin, you’re likely to have dry skin for a long time, unless you make drastic, permanent changes to your diet. The same applies to oily skin. The best level of oiliness is somewhere in the middle, which is often called “normal skin”.


Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition that can happen to anyone: dry and oily skin can both lose too much water and become dehydrated. Usually, dehydration is a result of a weakened skin barrier, which means that the top layers of your skin is having a hard time slowing down the evaporation of water (technically known as transepidermal water loss or TEWL). This can be caused by cold dry weather, over-washing, over-exfoliating, and sun exposure.


What causes a dry t-zone, and what are a few ways to fix it?

Ditch the drying cleanser
Although your t-zone is a place vulnerable to oiliness, dry weather and dry indoor heat can actually cause a disruption in your oil production and even mess with your skin’s ability to hold onto needed moisture. So avoid harsh cleansers and acne treatments, and implement a richer moisturizer in your skincare regimen.

Don’t cleanse with hot water
It can be hard to give up a steamy hot shower, especially during the colder months, it is recommended to wash your face with tepid or warm water instead.

Sleep with a humidifier
Investing in a humidifier will help combat the excessively dry heat of indoor heating systems that tends to dry out your skin.

Exfoliate to get rid of flakes
Did you know that flaking, dry skin can actually make it difficult for your moisturizer to work? Because dry, hardened skin can prevent the product from penetrating. The solution is exfoliating, but there’s a catch. However, if your skin is severely red, sensitive, or irritated, exfoliating can make the problem worse. So be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin.

Stay on top of your skin care regimen
Following a healthy skin care routine can help you stay ahead of t-zone skin issues. A healthy skincare regimen of physical exfoliation, gentle cleansing, nourishment, hydration, and sun protection will help you reach and obtain a healthy glow.

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