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How To Care for Dry Skin in Winter?

24 Apr 2021

Sensitivity, discomfort and dulled, dry skin are all commonly experienced symptoms of epidermal stress during winter. While those with dry or dehydrated skin may experience these changes in a heightened way, everyone (including those with typically oily skin) can be prone to dry skin in winter.

What causes dry itchy skin in winter is not just isolated to environmental shifts in climate. Behavioural factors can impact the severity and length of time that symptoms like dry hands or legs in winter last. To mitigate the effects of cold weather and dry skin, a holistic approach needs to be followed.  

For skincare routines, some seasonal change is required. Dry skin face creams, cleansers and serums are formulated with especially gentle and nourishing ingredients to properly support skin during dry weather periods. Discover the range of causes for dry skin in winter and the best way to keep skin hydrated below.

What causes dry skin in winter?

While external stressors are the major cause for dry skin in winter, the way that we combat those conditions can also make dry skin symptoms occur. Each cause has a similar effect on skin – weakening the skin moisture barrier and compromising moisture retention. The causes of dry skin, chapped lips and dry eyelids in winter include:

UV radiation: Because of the common misconception that sunscreen is only required during summer, many of us don’t protect skin from UV radiation in winter. Without adequate sun protection every day of the year, irreversible damage is caused to skin cells. This affects the overall health of skin layers – with one result being dry skin in winter.

Environmental conditions: The major stressor associated with dry hands in winter alongside other symptoms. Climate shifts such as frigid air, cold dry winds and a general lack of humidity draws moisture away from skin. Technically termed ‘trans epidermal water loss’, the phenomenon causes water to passively evaporate through skin.

Behavioural stressors: Many of our attempts to mitigate winter weather causes further friction to skin. Wearing scarves and other materials close to face, indoor heating as well as hot showers can further draw moisture away from skin layers and compromise the skin moisture barrier, which then makes the epidermis more vulnerable to irritants.  

Signs of winter compromised skin

In cold weather, dry skin can set in and remain for prolonged periods of time without proper skincare and habitual changes. Other signs (which can vary across different parts of the body) include:

•    Dry or rough textured skin
•    Visible flakes and dead skin build ups
•    Tight or uncomfortable feel to skin
•    Redness in skin or increased sensitivity
•    Dry scales

Supporting dry skin in winter

To replenish moisture to dry skin in winter, products targeted for specific areas of the body should be implemented. This is because different areas of skin have different levels of thickness as well as exposure to external elements. Included in the Lipikar and Cicaplast range are ingredients that support the skin moisture barrier and reinstate hydration to skin. The optimal skincare routine for winter includes the below steps.

Dry lips winter skincare

Particularly sensitive and thin, steps for dry lips in winter ensure that this more vulnerable area of skin is protected from dryness and becoming chapped. To hydrate and comfort dry lips, a moisturising lip balm can be used throughout the day. Cicaplast Levres Moisturising Lip Balm contains vitamin B5 alongside lipids to reinstate comfort and strengthen the skin moisture barrier.

Moisturising dry hands in winter

Hands are largely exposed and come into contact with a range of stressors throughout the day and are one of the major areas of the body that experiences trans epidermal water loss. Cold weather garments like gloves will keep hands warm but can cause friction to skin. To hydrate dry hands in winter, Cicaplast Mains Hand Barrier Cream comes in a transportable tube and is formulated with glycerin and niacinamide to hydrate and protect skin from the elements.

Dry eyelids winter skincare

The area of skin around our eyes is 40% thinner than the rest of our face – which is why it tends to present signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles first. As an anti-ageing step and to hydrate in cold weather, dry eyelids winter skincare should be applied each morning and night. Toleriane Dermallergo Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin contains niacinamide and thermal spring water to lock moisture into skin.

Reducing dry, itchy feeling skin in winter

Rich-textured moisturisers are an integral step to addressing dry and itchy feeling skin in winter. Thicker than their summer counterparts, dry winter skin face and body moisturisers help to keep skin hydrated. For face, Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm Cream is enriched with madecassoside, a herbal extract with promotes stronger skin. For body, opt for a creamy textured moisturiser. Lipikar Lait Body Milk Moisturiser is a body emollient lotion, supplying skin with hydrating shea butter and niacinamide.

Winter sunscreen routine

Hydrating sun protection should be used as your final step in daily morning routines. For face, Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ contains glycerin to increase comfort in skin.  Follow with Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Body Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+ for the additional application of sun protection for exposed skin.


Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.

Discover the benefis of niacinamide on skin next.


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