With the cold and dry months of winter approaching, many of you might be worried about your skin becoming dry, itchy, rough, and scaly. Well, you’re not alone in this battle. Many people around the world struggle with dry and dehydrated skin, especially during the winter. While dealing with sensitive and dry skin can be frustrating, knowing what’s making your skin drier during the winter can help you find the right solutions to your skin problems.
We’re here to help you identify the symptoms and causes of your skin becoming drier in the winter, as well as explore different treatment options to keep your skin amply moisturized, even-toned, calm, and plump. So, let’s get down to business! Happy skin is on the way!
Symptoms of Dry Skin in the Winter
If you’re not familiar with dry and dehydrated skin indicators, let us help you recognize what it looks and feels like. When your skin becomes dry in winter, it is more susceptible to being inflamed, uncomfortable, uneven, and blotchy. Dehydration due to cold and drying wind, extreme temperatures, and other harsh environmental factors may also result in your skin looking dull, lacking elasticity, and showing the visible signs of aging (prominent fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration).
Dryness can get worse around the corners of your mouth, eyebrows, and nose. In worst cases, the skin can start flaking off when rubbed or stretched. If you have inflammatory skin problems, like eczema and dermatitis, they may exacerbate due to extremely dry and inflamed skin.
Causes of Dry Skin in the Winter
Extreme weather, unhealthy habits, and improper skincare can significantly affect your skin. Here are some of the common factors or reasons that cause your skin to get extremely dry and dehydrated during winter:
- Climate Change - As the level of humidity drops in the winter, your skin is more likely to lose its natural moisture and get dry and dehydrated. Cold and dry air outside speeds up the evaporation of moisture from the skin, making the skin feel tight, dry, and scaly. The skin loses around 25 percent of its ability to retain moisture in the epidermal layer.
- Hot Shower or Bath - We all love to enjoy hot and cozy long showers and baths without even realizing the toll it can take on our skin. Hot water used for baths and showers in the winter can strip the skin of its moisture, making it dry and itchy. So, fight the urge to hop into hot water this winter to protect your skin.
- Indoor Heating - It’s almost impossible to think of winter without an indoor heating system, especially after spending some time out in the cold. Spending a lot of time inside with indoor heating exposes your skin and body to dry air for extended periods of time. This may draw moisture from your skin, leading to chapped lips, dry or sore throat, and a dry nose.
- Wrong Skincare - As the weather changes, your skin’s needs also change. The same products that did wonders for your skin during the summer may not be effective in the winter months. You need to incorporate deeply moisturizing and nourishing skincare products into your skincare routine. Also, avoid chemical-filled products because they can further aggravate your dry and inflamed skin.
- Sun - We often tend to spend more time outside under the sun when the weather becomes cold. Frequent or extended sun exposure can pull water and sebum from the skin along with weakening the skin barrier.¹ A compromised barrier makes it harder to restore and preserve moisture, which leads to dryness and cell damage.
Ingredients to Help Dry Skin in the Winter
It’s needless to say that your skin needs more love and care during the harsh winter months. To fulfill the evolving needs of your skin and fix dry skin, your best bet is to find skincare products with soothing, hydrating, and moisturizing active ingredients. Here are a few ingredients to look for when buying your winter skincare essentials:
- Ceramides - Ceramides hold a unique place in the skincare world due to their matchless emollient abilities, which reinstate and preserve moisture in the skin even when the weather conditions are very harsh. Ceramides work effectively to treat persistent as well as seasonal dryness.
- Hyaluronic Acid - This compound is quite popular among people striving to relieve dry and dehydrated skin. The moisture-retaining and rebalancing properties of hyaluronic acid give it incredibly hydrating and moisturizing powers. It rapidly enters the skin and gives an instantly refreshing and hydrating effect that helps treat dry, irritated, and parched skin.
- Lactic Acid - Commonly recognized as a chemical exfoliator, lactic acid is also used as a humectant component in skincare products. Besides helping speed up the cell renewal and repair process, it enhances the skin’s lipid barrier, reduces water loss, and sustains optimal moisture levels in the skin.
- Glycerin - Humectant properties of glycerin helps to attract water from the surroundings and store it into the cells. Glycerin hydrates the skin giving your skin a smooth and youthful glow.
- Shea Butter - Shea butter is an age-old moisturizing ingredient that contains essential vitamins (A and E) and fatty acids needed to moisturize and nourish the skin. Shea butter strengthens the skin’s ability to hold moisture and prevent water loss by forming a protective layer on the skin.
- Squalane - Squalane is yet another natural compound that fights off dryness by restoring the skin’s moisture level. It works by imitating the skin’s natural oils and providing intense moisturization. It ensures the integrity of the epidermal layer of the skin, reducing the effects of extreme weather on the skin and preventing moisture loss.
In formulating Sundree’s RYSE+SHYNE Facial Serum, one specific goal was to make sure it left the skin hydrated and feeling supple. Our hydrating facial serum contains soothing skincare ingredients Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, and Aloe to hydrate the skin as well as Lactic Acid to keep the skin feeling moisturized and less dry. This lightweight serum helps boost moisture while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving a lit-from-within glow.
Tips to Prevent Dry Skin in the Winter
Besides upgrading your skincare routine and using the right ingredients, changing your everyday habits and lifestyle can also help keep dryness away. Let’s have a peek at some useful tips to keep your skin soft, smooth, and radiant throughout the winter:
- Moisturize Your Skin after Washing - Whenever you wash your face or any other part of the body, your skin loses its natural oils, which are essential for keeping the skin healthy. Hence, it’s important to make up for the lost moisture by applying topical skincare products with moisturizing ingredients, especially in winter. Keep a moisturizer nearby and use it every time you wash your hands, face, and body.
- Use a Humidifier - Indoor heating used in the winter can make the air in your home very dry, which can have a negative impact on the skin. Using a humidifier can replenish moisture in the air, which can work as an added natural moisturizing element. This, in turn, soothes and prevents dryness. “Running a humidifier pulls moisture back into the air to improve dry, itchy skin and help it retain that hydration,” says Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.²
- Turn Down the Temperature - No matter how badly you want to have a hot bath or shower at the end of a tiring and cold day, resist the desire. Hot water can remove the skin’s natural oils and cause cell damage, leading to dry, inflamed, and red skin. Dialing down the water temperature and using lukewarm or warm water for a shower or bath can keep the skin protected.
- Be Careful with Scrubs and Exfoliants - Regular exfoliation is great to get rid of dead and dull skin, revealing fresher, plumper, and smoother skin underneath.³ However, over-exfoliating or using harsh and abrasive exfoliants can irritate and dry out your skin. A gentle chemical exfoliator instead of a physical scrub is your best option to remove the flaky and dry layer of the skin without causing any damage. Physical scrubs with large particles can damage your skin cells and lipid barrier.
- Hydrate and Nourish from Inside Out - While it’s crucial to apply topical products to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized, feeding your body with nourishing and hydrating drinks and foods from inside is equally important. Lack of ample hydration can affect the way you look and put your skin at a higher risk of dryness. So, make sure you drink enough liquids during the day. Also, add antioxidant and fatty acid-rich foods to your diet to protect your skin from the harsh effects of winter.
- Never Forget Sun Protection - It can be tempting to cut out your sunscreen during winter as the days are shorter and there is less sunlight falling on your skin. Nevertheless, the fact is that UV rays are still as harmful to your skin as in the summer. These rays can deteriorate the integrity of the skin’s lipid barrier, making it more prone to dryness and dehydration.
It’s not unusual for people with dry and sensitive skin to experience their skin becoming drier and harder to manage as the cold winter weather arrives. The key to keeping your skin feeling and looking healthy and nourished is to know what causes your skin to become drier in the winter. Once you know the reason behind it, you can make some lifestyle changes and choose skincare products with active compounds aimed at targeting and treating your specific skin concerns.
- Joy, Rebecca. ‘What to Know About Your Skin Barrier and How to Protect It’, Accessed October 20, 2021. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-barrier
- Rearick, Lauren. ‘Should You Use a Humidifier to Hydrate Dry Skin’, Accessed October 20, 2021. Available at: https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/humidifier-benefits
- Sanathakumar, Sasha. ‘How can a person exfoliate their face naturally?’, Accessed October 22, 2021. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/exfoliate-face-naturally