Dry skin happens to everyone from time to time, but what do you do when that dry skin is concentrated around your eyebrows? Well, it turns out that while there are several conditions that can cause dryness in this area, the solution for how to get rid of dry skin on your eyebrows is largely the same: focus on using gentle moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients, and occlusives. “The same products that you use on your facial skin should be used on the eyebrows as well,” dermatologist Tanuj Nakra tells Elite Daily. “The critical components of a facial skin care regimen include deeply hydrating moisturizers, nutrient-rich serums, and mineral sunscreens,” he adds of which products you should be using. Dermatologist Hadley King, who also spoke to Elite Daily for this article, says that your moisturizer in particular should be formulated with ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, and petrolatum (these are those humectant, emollient, and occlusive ingredients mentioned earlier), while “skin-calming ingredients like cica, niacinamide, and aloe vera may also be helpful,” Dr. King adds.
Dr. Hadley King, M.D., is board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Hadley King Dermatology in New York City. She specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology and also serves as a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. King’s research has been published in a variety of medical journals, and her expertise has been featured in numerous beauty and health publications.
Dr. Tanuj Nakra, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a double board-certified facial and ophthalmic plastic surgeon. He currently practices with TOC Eye And Face in Austin, TX, and serves as Clinical Faculty at the Dell Medical School at UT-Austin. Dr. Nakra has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and is the co-founder of medical-grade Ayurvedic skin care brand, AVYA Skincare.
What’s Causing Dry Skin On Your Eyebrows?
“Dry, flaking skin of the eyebrows can result from simple dryness, or can also be symptoms of dermatologic conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema,” Dr. Nakra says, adding that colder temperatures and dry conditions tend to trigger these things. If your symptoms go beyond run-of-the-mill dryness and are due to one of the aforementioned conditions, both Drs. Nakra and King note that you’ll likely experience redness or inflamed, itchy patches of skin in addition to dryness and flaking. “Ultimately, if you are experiencing anything beyond mild flaking, it is a good idea to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment,” advises Dr. Nakra.
One other bit of advice you may want to consider is taking a break from your eyebrow grooming routine, which could cause further irritation to dry eyebrows. “It’s always best to get the medical condition under control before undergoing eyebrow shaping,” Dr. Nakra says, explaining that “Waxing, threading, and plucking are all quite irritating to the skin.”
How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Eyebrows
According to two dermatologists, here are the best ways to get rid of dry skin on your eyebrows:
1. Stay Away From Exfoliating Cleansers
“Avoid ingredients that may be potentially irritating or drying, such as hydroxy acids, retinoids, alcohol, and benzoyl peroxide,” Dr. King says of keeping these active ingredients out of your routine entirely until the dryness resolves. When it comes to cleansers, Dr. King says you’ll want something that’s gentle and non-drying, like CeraVe’s cult-classic Hydrating Facial Cleanser. It’s beloved by dermatologists and consumers alike (on Amazon alone, it has more than 80,000 five-star ratings) for its non-foaming, creamy formula that feels like lotion, but effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup from skin. Developed to cleanse without disrupting your skin’s natural protective barrier, CeraVe’s cleanser contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, and it’s so gentle that it boasts the seal of approval from the National Eczema Association.
2. Add A Calming Serum Into Your Routine
To soothe dry and irritated skin, follow up your moisturizing cleanser with a gentle serum like Aveeno’s Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum. The lightweight serum contains the brand’s Triple Oat Complex, which combines oat flour, oat extract, and oat oil to soothe skin and help support its moisture barrier by reducing water loss. Nourishing ingredients such as centella asiatica extract and glycerin further help to protect sensitive skin, while the hypoallergenic formula is free from common irritants like fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and alcohols.
3. Switch To A Richer Moisturizer
When it comes to treating dry skin, perhaps most important of all is using a moisturizer that’s able to draw in moisture, seal it in, and leave your skin feeling immediately smoother. La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer has all of your bases covered with its allergy-tested formula that contains humectants like glycerin, emollients like ceramides and vitamin E, and occlusives like dimethicone. Despite its ability to hydrate skin for up to 48 hours, the moisturizer has a lightweight, creamy texture and is noncomedogenic and oil-free, so it won’t clog your pores or exacerbate acne. It also provides additional calming benefits with niacinamide (a multi-tasking ingredient) and the brand’s thermal spring water, which is sourced in France and is naturally rich in soothing minerals like selenium. (Dr. King also likes Vaseline for an occlusive option that contains just one ingredient – petrolatum.)
4. Choose Something Developed For The Eye Area
Because your eyebrows are so close to the sensitive eye area, Dr. Nakra says that you might find it helpful to apply a moisturizing eye cream to your dry brows. “I designed the AVYA Hydroveda Eye Cream with these goals in mind — blending medical-grade active ingredients with anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic botanicals into a deeply hydrating balm for the eyes and eyebrows,” he says of the hypoallergenic formula from his own brand. In addition to containing moisturizing and calming ingredients like sweet almond oil, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, the eye cream also contains peptides to help promote collagen production.
5. Don’t Forget The SPF
You may be tempted to scale back on your skin care routine if you’re experiencing dry skin around your eyebrows, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the SPF. Dr. Nakra points out that sun protection is crucial no matter what time of the year (yes, even in the winter), and that mineral formulas with zinc oxide can actually have a soothing effect on the skin. SkinMedica’s Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35 Sunscreen is the best sunscreen I’ve come across (and as a sunscreen devotee, I’ve tried a lot of them), with a mineral-based formula that’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and oil-free. The sunscreen won’t pill or interfere with your makeup (in fact, I find that it sits more like a primer on my skin), and it doesn’t leave behind as much of a white cast as other mineral formulas do.
6. Try Hydrocortisone Cream
You’ve probably turned to an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream a time or two in the past to help with a rash or itchy bug bite, and both Drs. Nakra and King recommend giving it a try for dry skin around your eyebrows, too. “If you are having active flaking and redness, I recommend using OTC hydrocortisone 1% cream to neutralize advanced cases of inflammation,” Dr. Nakra says of topical ointments like Cortizone-10 Anti-Itch Creme With Soothing Aloe. He advises that you apply the hydrocortisone cream first and then follow up with your moisturizer or eye cream of choice to soothe your dry skin. “If the dry skin is not improving after two weeks of using hydrocortisone cream, then see your board-certified dermatologist,” Dr. King advises. Dr. Nakra agrees, noting that a dermatologist can help determine what is causing the dryness and develop an effective treatment plan.
Dr. Hadley King, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, and founder of Dr. Hadley King Dermatology in New York City.