11 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy During Winter

Dry skin solutions for winter

Dry winter skin isn’t inevitable. By adopting a few changes to your skincare routine and habits, as well as using the right products, you can maintain soft, smooth, and vibrant skin all winter long.

Let’s explore 11 tips that can help you boost the health of your skin during the colder months.

1. Moisturize right after washing

When you wash your face, hands, or body, you strip your skin of its natural oils that help lock in moisture. To replenish these oils, it is vital to use a moisturizer immediately after washing your skin, especially in winter. Keep a bottle of moisturizer next to your sink as a reminder and carry a travel-size moisturizer with you on the go.

Here are some moisturizers that work particularly well for dry winter skin:

  • CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion – Developed by dermatologists, this moisturizer includes essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and protect your skin’s moisture barrier.
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – Formulated with glacial glycoprotein and olive-derived squalane, this lightweight facial moisturizer withstands cold, dry conditions.
  • Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme – This nourishing hand and body cream contains vitamin E and jojoba oil, absorbing quickly into your skin.

2. Apply sunscreen daily

Even during shorter winter days with less sunlight, harmful UV light can stress your skin’s moisture barrier, essential for maintaining skin health and hydration. Therefore, it is crucial to add a layer of sunscreen each morning after applying moisturizer. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

3. Use overnight treatments

Overnight treatments are an excellent way to revitalize or prevent dry skin. Emollients are great for moisturizing; however, they take longer to be absorbed into your skin due to their heavier texture. Applying an emollient to your skin overnight allows it to absorb the treatment and replenish your skin with the moisture and oils it needs. Consider wrapping your hands or feet in a plastic bag or gloves after applying an ointment to prevent spreading it on your sheets or bed covers.

Some emollients worth considering are:

4. Adjust your skincare routine

If your face feels sensitive or irritated due to the dry winter air, consider simplifying your skincare routine. Your skin’s moisture barrier needs to be healthy to respond well to various beauty treatments. Additionally, if your skin is irritated, it might become more sensitive to ingredients like fragrance and alcohol, which could turn products into irritants. Keep your skincare routine simple, using only a moisturizer and sunscreen in the morning and a gentle cleanser with a moisturizer at night. Gradually incorporate other treatments and ingredients once your skin’s moisture barrier is healthy again.

5. Use a humidifier

Humidifiers add moisture back into the air, which is particularly helpful when indoor heating is cranked up during the winter months. Increasing moisture in the air acts as a natural moisturizing agent, preventing and relieving skin dryness. According to Harvard Health Publishing, maintaining a humidifier setting of 60 percent in winter replenishes moisture in the top layer of your skin.

6. Dial down the temperature

Although hot showers or baths feel soothing after a cold winter’s day, keeping the water temperature closer to lukewarm can help maintain nourished skin. Hot water strips away your skin’s natural oils faster than lukewarm water, potentially causing damage. Pat your skin gently with a soft towel instead of vigorously rubbing to allow some moisture to hydrate the top layer of your skin.

7. Go easy on exfoliants and scrubs

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells from the surface, keeping your skin smooth and vibrant. However, overexfoliating or using harsh scrubs can damage your skin’s moisture barrier. If your skin looks dry or flaky, opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant instead of a physical scrub. Harsher scrubs with large particles are more likely to break down your skin’s moisture barrier. Avoid exfoliation if your skin is cracked, raw, or irritated until it has fully healed.

8. Try adding occlusives to your routine

If emollient ingredients alone aren’t sufficient to heal your dry skin, consider incorporating occlusive ingredients into your skincare routine. Occlusive ingredients create a physical barrier that locks moisture into your skin. Some examples include shea butter, cocoa butter, rosehip oil, jojoba oil, and petroleum jelly-based products like Vaseline and Aquaphor. Apply them once or twice a day after moisturizing.

9. Hydrate from the inside

Staying well-hydrated throughout the day is crucial to keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Insufficient fluid intake can affect your skin’s appearance and make it more susceptible to drying out. In addition to proper hydration, focus on consuming foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients protect your cells from environmental damage and promote the growth of healthy cells, including skin cells.

10. Opt for non-irritating fabrics

To reduce the risk of physical irritation, avoid wearing harsh materials if your body’s skin is extra dry. Opt for loose, comfortable, natural fabrics. When washing your clothes, use detergents formulated for sensitive skin, which are free of harsh chemicals and fragrances.

11. Wear gloves

Gloves provide the ultimate physical barrier against environmental agents that can dry out the skin on your hands. Protect your hands by wearing warm gloves when stepping out into the cold and using a pair of silicone gloves when washing dishes. Minimizing exposure to dry air and hot water can help keep your hands smooth and well-hydrated.


Q: How can I prevent dry winter skin?
A: Follow these tips to prevent dry winter skin:

  1. Moisturize right after washing.
  2. Apply sunscreen daily.
  3. Use overnight treatments.
  4. Adjust your skincare routine.
  5. Use a humidifier.
  6. Dial down the temperature.
  7. Go easy on exfoliants and scrubs.
  8. Try adding occlusives to your routine.
  9. Hydrate from the inside.
  10. Opt for non-irritating fabrics.
  11. Wear gloves.


By implementing these 11 tips, you can keep your skin healthy, soft, and vibrant throughout the winter season. Remember to moisturize regularly, protect your skin from the sun, adjust your skincare routine, and stay hydrated. With the right habits and products, you can combat dry winter skin effectively. Stay glowing!