Skip to Content

How To Even Out Peeling Skin For Men

The idea of tanning and getting that bronze glow sounds so sexy and fun, right up until you’re stuck trying to figure out how to even out peeling skin from that raging red sunburn.

Be careful when your plans to naturally tan turn into a burn – too much sun exposure can lead to immediate and long-term skin damage. But there are things you can do right now to at least even out the peeliness and soothe your aching skin.

Table of Contents

How To Even Out Peeling Skin For Men

The best way to even out your peel-y skin is with patience. Don’t rush the process – your skin is doing its best to heal itself.

Some things you can do daily to help:

  1. Stay hydrated. Severe sunburns can leave you dehydrated, so you need to replenish the water you lost, and give your skin energy to regenerate.
  2. Take lukewarm or cold showers. It’s a myth that hot showers can help with sunburn recovery. The heat can contribute to your skin damage and pain.
  3. Use a cleanser (soap) frequently to avoid an infection.
  4. Use a moisturizer too. Lots of people love how cold and soothing aloe vera is, but any lotion will do a good job of helping repair your skin.
  5. Don’t itch. If you’re feeling itchy, use an ice cube to relieve it without scratching it.
  6. Don’t peel too early. Wait until you have larger, dry flakes that look like they’d come off on their own. At that point, you can use a very gentle men’s body scrub or a washcloth in the shower to exfoliate. Peeling your skin before it’s ready can leave larger splotches of discoloration and scarring. Plus, your skin will take longer to fully heal.

And remember to prevent future peeling by wearing sunscreen!!

How Long Does It Take For Skin To Even Out After Peeling?

The amount of time that your sunburned skin takes to heal depends on the severity of your skin damage.

Mild burns that might not even peel usually peel and even out in under a week. “Regular” to severe burns will take at least a week to get through the peel-y stage, let alone evening out your skin tone. Remember, sunburns are just like any other skin damage: they can leave behind scars and discoloration that will take a while to return to “normal.”

Some of the two most important things to do for your skin at this stage are to moisturize daily and exfoliate once the skin flakes start to peel off on their own. Both will help even out your complexion.

And if you find that you have permanent scarring from a sunburn, you might need to see your dermatologist to talk about treatment.

Does Peeling Skin Remove Tan?

Peeling skin can leave you with a blotchy tan, or at worst, remove your tan entirely (especially if you use a tanning lotion for that bronze look).

But it’s inconsistent from person to person. Depending on your skin type, your sunburn might leave you with a coppery complexion or restore you to a lighter shade. If you brag that your sunburns always turn into tans, be careful: that’s still a sign that you suffered severe skin damage from your burn.

If you do get that patchy look after your sunburn heals – as many guys do – you can always try to even it out with a men’s tanning lotion. Just don’t use the tanning lotion until you’re entirely done peeling, or you’ll find yourself with an even patchier look.

And if you end up with a better tan than you had before…wear sunscreen in the future. Too much tanning throughout your life will increase your risk of skin cancer.

Will My Skin Go Back To Normal After Peeling?

The severity of your sunburn determines how quickly you’re going to get your normal skin tone back.

Once, after a terrible sunscreen mistake abroad, I had a faint red V-neck line along my chest for a few years. Point being, a light burn is probably going to peel and fade to unnoticeable in a week or two. A dark burn can stay with you in the form of scarring or a bad tan line.

Be sure to follow the steps we talked about in the first subhead – cleansing your skin, moisturizing, not picking at the skin. All of those can help you avoid as much scarring as possible.

Is It Bad To Peel Peeling Skin?

It’s bad to peel peeling skin before it’s prepared to be peeled. Say that five times fast!

If you’re still experiencing discomfort, itchiness, and redness from your sunburn, it’s probably too early to peel your flaky skin. If you find yourself tugging at it, ask yourself, am I peeling it or am I picking at it?

Picking at your skin is never good. That’s going to cause unnecessary damage that leaves you with a splotchy, textured complexion. The same thing can happen when you peel a sunburn too early.

The skin underneath all those flakes is still healing, too. And as gross as it is, your layer of dead skin is protecting the sensitive skin cells underneath.

So moisturize and cleanse frequently while your skin is healing, and wait until it seems like the skin is shedding entirely on its own. At that point, you can use a gentle washcloth or scrub to help rub away the flakes.

Should You Peel Peeling Skin?

You should only peel your skin if it’s ready and won’t cause additional damage. Some signs you can look for to ensure that peeling is a-okay:

• The flaky skin feels dry and is coming off on its own

• Your skin underneath the flakes feels healthy (not irritated)

• Your sunburn has had time to mostly fade

If all those are the case, then it’s probably okay for you to exfoliate away your flaky skin. For those who have sensitive, flaky skin already, treat it like you’re exfoliating with eczema.

Once your skin has completely healed from your sunburn, you should definitely peel your peel-y skin. Leaving it on your body can be irritating and even cause breakouts.

Will My Tan Come Back After I Peel?

Your tan may or may not come back after you peel. If you used a tanning lotion…don’t get your hopes up. But if your tan is natural, you’ll probably keep your glow.

Just remember, not all tanning is healthy. Too much sun exposure will damage your skin over your lifetime. Even if it looks sexy right now, years down the line you may be suffering from sun spots, hyperpigmented dark skin, or even a skin disease.

So avoid sunburns and skin damage in the first place by adding sunscreen to your daily skin care regiment.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.