What Causes Dead Skin and How to Remove It

What Causes Dead Skin and How to Remove It

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Are you wondering what causes dead skin in our body?

Every thirty days or so, your skin naturally goes through a cycle of shedding. This results in peeling off the top layer of the skin, which is the epidermis, and revealing the middle layer of the skin dermis. Dead skin cells might create dry, flaky skin and blocked pores. Exfoliating can help your body remove these skin cells.

So, let’s find out what causes dead skin and ways you can remove it safely.


What Is Dead Skin?

Dead skin cells usually make up the top layer of skin of the body. Despite being harmless, an accumulation of these dead cells can lead to various skin problems. To get rid of dead skin cells, skin care experts advise using skincare routines and treatments.

Dead cells on the outermost layer of skin can appear as flaky, dry, or rough patches.  Calluses can result from buildup, particularly on the foot soles. Using different exfoliation methods can help the skin shed more efficiently. Exfoliation is the removal of lifeless skin cells using an exfoliating agent, which can be brushes or chemical treatments.


What Causes It?

Skin cells naturally shed from the outer layer of skin between 28 to 42 days, bringing up new skin cells. The cycle makes it possible to replace damaged tissue and restore skin. But occasionally, these dead cells accumulate and may cause skin issues since they don’t come off as they should.

Dead cells can build up and negatively impact the health and appearance of your skin. Factors such as climate, lifestyle, skin care regimen, age, sun exposure, and dehydration might contribute to the accumulation of dead cells. If those cells are not appropriately shed, the skin becomes lifeless and occasionally even flaky and dry. This is where exfoliation becomes invaluable.


Skin cell renewal slows down with age, which causes slower shedding and less oil production, which results in dryness and buildup.

Not Enough Cleaning

Because oils and cosmetics remain on the skin after irregular or incorrect washing, dead cells can remain on the skin longer.

Incorrect Exfoliation

It is not necessary to exfoliate daily, but rather once or twice a week. Exfoliation hastens the process of skin cell shedding, facilitating the formation of new skin cells.

Misuse of Moisturizer

On dry skin, using the wrong or inadequate moisturizer might trap dead cells.

Climate and Weather

Dry air and heating inside can dry out the skin, which encourages the buildup of dead cells.

Sun exposure 

Unprotected UV exposure can cause the skin’s outer layer to thicken, causing dark patches and dryness.

Skin Disorders

Dead skin can also result from other skin disorders, including eczema and psoriasis. (If you believe you might have one of these, consult your general practitioner or medical expert.)


How to Remove

The accumulation of dead cells reduces the efficacy of skincare products. Even if you adhere to the recommended routine, you could want more nutrition from body lotion, face moisturizer, face cream, or toner. The efficacy of skin care treatments and general skin health is enhanced when dead cells are eliminated from the face or any other body region.

Chemical exfoliation

A mild acid is used during chemical exfoliation to dissolve skin cells. The majority of people can safely use most face cosmetics because they include low amounts of chemical exfoliants. Because they might irritate or dry out sensitive or dry skin, chemical exfoliants might not be a good choice for them.

Gradually increasing the amount of chemical exfoliation can assist in avoiding irritating the skin. The most common types of chemical exfoliants are:

  • alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)
  • beta hydroxy acid (BHA)
  • retinol


It’s crucial to cleanse your skin completely, getting rid of all the extra debris, makeup, and pollutants that have accumulated over the day. Maintaining clean, healthy, and glowing skin is facilitated by regular cleansing. If done incorrectly, the skin could be more prone to acne, dehydration, and early aging symptoms.

Because it opens up the pores on the skin, cleansing the face before exfoliating is also advantageous.

Physical exfoliants

Physical exfoliants exfoliate lifeless skin cells by hand using abrasive pads or wipes. Physical exfoliants provide quick results when applied to the skin in small circular strokes, giving a softer, brighter, smoother complexion. After cleansing the skin, it is ideal for exfoliating it to help lock in skin hydration.

  • Gritty scrubs that contain ground-up debris, beads, or granules
  • cleaning instruments or brushes 
  • Wipes or whitening pads
  • Procedures for microdermabrasion

Hydrate and moisturize

Regardless of the method you use for exfoliating, make sure to moisturize afterward. Dehydration after exfoliation might lead to a compromised skin barrier. Also, maintaining adequate skin hydration helps prevent the first buildup of dead cells. Purchase a high-quality body lotion to help the skin barrier, and if you feel like you could use a little additional push, consider getting a beauty supplement to help hydrate your skin from the inside out.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels


What is exfoliation? 

To make room for new skin cells, exfoliation involves eliminating lifeless skin cells from the skin’s surface. Physical or chemical methods can be used to accomplish it.

What are the different types of exfoliants? 

Chemical and physical exfoliants are the two primary categories. While physical exfoliants employ an abrasive substance or instrument to remove dead skin cells physically, chemical exfoliants use mild chemicals to break down dead skin cells.

What is the best facial treatment for getting rid of dead skin? 

For normal to dry skin, a facial that combines deep cleansing, a moisturizing massage, and a steam treatment to eliminate additional dirt is perfect. Choose a hydrating serum or a moisturizing mask to complete. A facial that incorporates natural extracts emphasizes toning and deep washing along with extraction, a face mask, and a protective serum is the best option for oily skin. The mask will make the skin softer, reduce pore size, and eliminate extra oil 1.

When is the best time to exfoliate? 

To maintain healthy skin, exfoliation is advised once or twice a week 12.



Dead skin cell removal is a must for every skincare routine. Ignoring it deteriorates skin health and causes skin issues. To maximize the benefits of skincare treatment and preserve the health and natural glow of your skin, make sure you are properly exfoliating and hydrating your skin. Our board-certified experts can guide you in choosing the right treatment for your skin. 

Contact us today.

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