What Exactly Is "Orange Peel Skin?"
Oranges aren’t just the source of your favorite juice, as it turns out, they’re also relevant in the world of skin care. Or so it would seem, with all the talk of “orange peel skin.” The only issue? It isn’t immediately clear what orange peel skin is. To get to the bottom of the question ‘what is orange peel skin’, we spoke with board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali.
What Is “Orange Peel Skin”?
As you might be able to guess, “orange peel skin” is not a scientific skin condition. Rather, it’s a term used to describe a common complexion concern, in which skin has enlarged-looking pores and a dimpled texture. The look created by the large pores resembles the texture of an orange peel, hence the name. Despite a recent uptick in how frequently the term is used, your dermatologist probably won’t refer to your large pores and dimpled skin texture as orange peel skin. Rather, it’s a way that patients can describe their skin concerns in a clear manner.
Can “Orange Peel Skin” Be Prevented?
Orange peel skin isn’t an issue that impacts only a single skin type. According to Dr. Bhanusali, he sees people with all skin types that have so-called orange peel skin. That’s why everyone, regardless of skin type, can benefit from taking preventative measures. And yes, there are ways to help prevent orange peel skin. Here are Dr. Bhanusali’s recommendations:
1. Exfoliate frequently. To help prevent orange peel skin, Bhanusali suggests “frequent cleansing of the skin with exfoliative products.” Choose a face scrub that’s gentle enough to use multiple times a week and make exfoliating a regular step in your skin care routine. The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Face Scrub is a prime pick, since it’s meant to be used three times a week. Additionally, the sugar scrub removes dirt, oil, and impurities for skin that feels clean and—with continued use—it leaves pores looking tighter and less visible.
2. Be diligent with sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential for preventing a variety of potential skin issues, from sun spots to fine lines. As Dr. Bhanusali says, “Sunscreen is always important.” Emphasis on always. Sunscreen is particularly key in preventing orange peel skin because, according to Dr. Bhanusali, sun damage is one of the most common causes. Try an oil-free sunscreen that’s suitable for everyday wear, like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Sunscreen.
How Can “Orange Peel Skin” Be Addressed?
If you already have orange peel skin, is there anything to do? Thankfully, there is. In the case that you’ve noticed you have large pores and think your skin could be described as resembling the skin of a citrus fruit, you can take steps to help minimize the appearance of your pores. Try these tips to improve the look of orange peel skin:
Wash with a cleanser formulated with salicylic. Dr. Bhanusali encourages using a cleanser formulated with salicylic acid to help dissolve debris and oils that may be causing your pores to expand. We recommend replacing your current cleanser with CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser, which contains the most common beta hydroxy acid—i.e. salicylic acid—and helps detoxify and exfoliate to remove dirt and oil.
Rely on retinol. Introduce your skin to retinol by using the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 into your night routine. If your skin can handle the retinol without overdrying or sensitivity, you may be able to switch to the Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 after building up your skin’s tolerance. Since retinol can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight, always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen during daytime hours.
Research laser treatments. Another option is laser treatments performed at your dermatologist’s office. Often, lasers can impact the skin—in a fraction of the time—which makes them an appealing option. Dr. Bhanusali says certain lasers can be used to target orange peel skin by helping to improve the texture of your skin. Talk to your dermatologist about your options.