9 Gentle (But Effective) Winter Skin Care Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin 9 Gentle (But Effective) Winter Skin Care Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin

Skincare

9 Gentle (But Effective) Winter Skin Care Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin

January 12, 2024

6 min read

If winter is so NOT your favorite season… well, that’s fair. Between scraping your car off in the morning and it getting dark sooo early, the winter blues are real. But when even your skin starts reacting poorly to the season, something’s gotta change. And it’s not gonna be the weather 😅

It’s not just in your head: our skin tends to behave differently during the winter, due to low humidity, cold weather conditions, and indoor heating. No matter your skin type, this can result in dry, flaky, itchy, tight, sensitive, chapped skin – issues your usual skin care routine may not be wholly equipped to address. 

If your skin seems to be less-than-thrilled with the cold, don’t worry: there are simple swaps and tips you can implement to get your skin through the long winter. You don’t have to just endure the dry skin season – with the right skin care habits, your skin can look and feel just as glowy and comfortable as it does the rest of the year.

We’ve compiled nine gentle but highly effective winter skin tips for dry, itchy skin, ranging from product recommendations to techniques to simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference. Let’s dive right in!

How to Treat Dry Skin In Winter: 9 Ways

1. Keep Things Extra Gentle

Your skin could really use an extra dose of TLC during the winter. That goes for what you put on your face… but perhaps even more importantly, what you avoid putting on your face.

Here are a few skin care practices and products to avoid:

  • Harsh cleansers
    While harsh cleansers can do a great job at removing makeup, dirt, and debris, some can also go a little too far and strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for a non-foaming cleanser that’s free of soap and SLS. If your skin is especially dry, try only cleansing once a day during the winter. If you’re looking for a deep clean, cleanse with a gentle cleanser and a sonic facial cleansing brush.
  • Alcohol-based toners
    Alcohol-based toners can be great for keeping excess oil in check, but they’re also notoriously drying. Some dermatologists advise avoiding products with alphy hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid (AHAs and BHAs) as well during the winter.
  • Too much hot water
    There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are happy with a lukewarm shower and those who turn the hot water as high up as it can go just to feel something. If you’re the latter (guilty) consider toning that down a bit. Extremes in water temperature can majorly dry out your skin, both when taking a shower and when washing your face.

2. Stay Hydrated

Did you drink water today? If your skin seems thirsty, it probably is. Hydration is important year-round for overall health as well as skin health. Studies have shown that if you’re dehydrated, increasing your water intake can have a positive effect on skin appearance and skin hydration.

Related: Dry vs Dehydrated Skin

3. Swap Out Your Moisturizer

In the summer, heavy moisturizers may not be the way to go, especially if you have oily skin or are prone to clogged pores. But if you always have dry skin in the winter, you can probably afford to go a little heavier. Look for a petroleum or cream-based moisturizer to get your skin through the winter, and apply it immediately after washing to trap moisture in your skin. Try using a petroleum-based lip balm as well.

4. Bundle Up (Thoughtfully)

One of the easiest (and warmest) ways to protect your skin from drying, cold air is with clothing. Make sure that as little of your skin as possible is exposed whenever you venture out into the cold – wear gloves, warm socks, and hats to protect your extremities. The fabrics you wear matter, too. Organic cotton and silk are ideal for sensitive skin, and moisture-wicking fabrics are a must for whenever you work out.

5. Soothe Irritated Winter Skin

Prevention is always ideal, but if your skin is already irritated by harsh winds and too-cold air, give it the attention it needs.

  • If your skin is itchy:
    Winter itch is a real thing. Stay moisturized, minimize your use of soaps and hot water, wear lightweight clothing, and avoid fragranced products – that includes soaps as well as detergents and fabric softeners. If you’re looking for immediate relief, try taking a baking soda bath or applying itch creams to particularly itchy winter skin.

  • If your skin is dry or tight:
    Moisturize! Try an aloe-based body lotion to soothe your skin while providing much-needed moisturizer, or opt for a thicker body butter.

  • If your skin numb, painful, or has changed color:
    Exposure to extreme cold can cause skin disorders or frostbite in some people – if you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor.

6. See a Dermatologist

When in doubt, ask a professional. While winter dry skin is common, persistent dry skin, scaling, flaking, irritation, and rashes isn’t something you should just have to live with.

7. Wear Sunscreen 

News flash: the sun shines year round. And sun exposure can lead to premature aging and skin cancer, not to mention irritated skin. Apply sunscreen daily as the last step of your morning skincare routine, even throughout the winter.

8. Evaluate Your Lifestyle

Winter skin care goes way beyond your morning and evening skin care routines. Here are a few other factors that can impact your winter skin health, for better or for worse:

  • Sleep
    You can’t avoid all the environmental factors that buffet your skin during the winter. But you can make sure your skin has a good chance to recover from them. Adequate sleep allows your skin to recover and stay healthy. Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom – it can both improve your sleep and hydrate your skin throughout the night.

  • Stress
    Stress can take a real toll on your skin, aggravating skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema as well as causing breakouts. Reducing your stress can make life happier and your skin happier.

  • Exercise
    Exercise can make your skin more glowy and less tight. Not only can it help you achieve better sleep AND manage stress, it also can increase blood flow and clear impurities from the skin.

  • Heating
    When it’s freezing outside, it’s super tempting to blast the heat… but that can be just as bad for your skin as the cold air. Indoor heating is dry heat – it takes moisture out of the air and causes dry skin during winter. Consider using a humidifier to add that moisture back into the air, and/or leaving your thermostat alone and bundling up with warmer clothes and blankets during cold days instead.

9. Ditch Your Razor

It is a truth universally acknowledged that wintertime is a time for not shaving your legs. No one sees them anyway, and shaving dry, irritated legs can be an unpleasant experience. 

But the winter can also be a great time to start a permanent hair removal routine to prep for warmer days ahead. Lumi, RoseSkinCo’s permanent hair removal device, allow you to get rid of unwanted body hair for good from the comfort of your home. It’s easy to use, pain-free, and works just about anywhere – legs, armpits, face, bikini area, you name it.

Order Lumi now and, by the time you’ve completed full treatment, it’ll be warm enough outside to show those ultra-smooth, permanently hairless legs off! 😏 (And next winter, you’ll have hairless legs under all those layers without having to shave them 🙌)