12 Tips to Keep Skin Soft and Glowing In Winter

Winter Skin Care

Winter weather is not fun for skin. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin every second of every day. Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to cracking and bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse. Indoor heat further robs the air of moisture, as do hot showers or baths and harsh cleansers.

Additional moisture helps, but you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try these tips.

1. Wash in Lukewarm Water

Hot showers and baths always feel good in the winter, but when you can, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.

2. Moisturize Immediately Afterwards

Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower stall, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash.

3. Choose Moisturizer Carefully

Some over-the-counter moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months. Be sure to choose a smart formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter. Try Indie Lee’s natural moisturizing oils, as they’re made with natural, hydrating ingredients like lavender, chamomile, jojoba, and more, which help soothe dry, itchy skin.

4. Protect

Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect skin from cold winds, rain, and snow. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas.

5. Humidify

Heating systems dry out the air, so consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.

6. Drink

We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.

7. Overnight Moisturize

Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturizing balm Skin Food by Weleda at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.

8. Exfoliate

We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter, particularly on our hands. Yet moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months.

9. Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens and Irritants

Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics (like wool) and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.

10. Hydrate From the Inside Out

Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider an omega-3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.

11. Change Your Cleanser

Cleansers can be extremely drying to the skin. If you’re used to using options that contain glycolic or salicylic acid, rotate with a more hydrating version that contains moisturizing ingredients. Try like Suki Naturals Moisture-Rich Cleansing Lotion, or for really dry skin, try a cleansing balm like Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm. After cleansing, don’t leave the skin naked for more than 30 seconds, as this can dehydrate it, leading to increased dryness. Apply a hydrating toner and moisturizer to seal in moisture.

12. Use DIY Masks

Homemade hydrating masks can provide needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration.

Do you have other tips for pampering winter skin? Please share them with our readers.


“Cold Weather Skin,” Bingham Memorial Hospital, October 25, 2013, http://www.binghammemorial.org/blog/2013/10/25/cold-weather-skin/.

  • Elaine Springer

    Excellent tips, thank you ! I would like to add that I find it essential to use a high quality organic lip balm. I recommend the ones from Pangea Organics because they are free of petroleum and are composed of a unique blend of organic oils which sink into the lips rather than sealing them off from moisture. The organic tamanu, sunflower, jojoba, hemp and shea oils deeply hydrate your precious lips while protecting them from the harsh elements. They are infused with lovely flower and herb essences that comprise three coveted taste combinations : Lavender-Cardamom, Mandarin -Rose and Sweet Orange – Fennel. I always carry at least one with me, as their flower content serve as aromatherapy & keep me feeling balanced and pampered throughout my day ! For more information about these little gems, please visit : http://www.pangeaorganics.com/ElaineSpringer

  • Emily Miller

    Wow i like the way you describe each and everything, these tips helps me a lot. Winters started and I want these kinds of tips. Thanks for sharing. I am glad to read your post.


  • swapnil khamkar

    is olive oil can hydrate face skin long time?

  • slihgvosd

    i just laughed my butt of because this article says tea isn’t water hahahayhahahahahahahahahaha

  • Rae Estelle

    If tea has caffeine or sugar in it, it will dry your skin out.

  • Carolynwall

    I really love eyerid serum, i have been using for a couple weeks and it leaves my skin soft, and glowing! i have noticed my dark spots fading and I’m really enjoying this in my skin care routine

  • Rose

    Use lots of lip balm! Burt’s Bees has AWESOME lip balms for sale, and they are really affordable. Not to mention they are organic!

  • Lil Princess

    I have avery dry skin
    No matter how i drink
    I used every type of moisturizer face mask
    Everything but nothing helped me out
    My skin is hell dry and because of tht dryness iam getting wrinkels all over my face
    Under my eyes and my skin is very tight
    As if there is a rubber band under my skin
    And its driving me crazy
    I meed badly some help

  • Daniel

    Try going to a dermatologist. I know a lot of people that do. They gave me some medicine for mild acne, I dont have it anymore but the medicine makes my face peel. I might go back and ask them if they have some that’s not as intense.
    They know a lot of stuff. Tell them the things that won’t work, and what the problem is.

  • Patricia Smitth

    I really love the winter as it is synonymous for the Holidays (For me at least) but it really is a bummer to have a winter dry skin, I usually use Solvaderm to moisturize but after getting out of the bathg, my skin would just dry out. Your tips are a great read! I never thought it was this simple

  • Morgan Maughan

    My best friend recommended dermalmd serum. I apply at night and do a quick little face massage to work it in
    and try to even up the wrinkles manually while this serum does it stuff
    too. It feels rich on my skin and I think it is helping so far. It
    doesn’t have any strong, unpleasant odors like so many other products
    out there.

  • Sravya

    Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  • Amy Birks

    I just want to know how old are you and what products are you using right now.What face wash you are using.

  • Meena

    This is well written and explained. Along with what is being explained here I also prefer Using of a humidifier. This idea I got it from http://www.skinandhairacademy.in/article/how-to-keep-your-skin-healthy-this-winter. I read like a couple of week back and implemented afterwards I can say I have seen the positive changes. Thanks once again. :) Happy Winter with better skin.

  • Carrie Wilson

    Olive oil tends to clog pores even though many people use it to moisturize the face. It’s important to remember that the skin requires both internal and external care to keep skin healthy. Nelle Rome highlighted more on it here – http://nellerome.com/beauty/healthy-glowing-skin-winter.html

  • Hey, I wrote about some good stuff that can help with winter dry skin here http://katearora.com/cold-weather-skincare-essentials/. Hope it helps!

  • lem

    suggest to try some skin repairing and protecting skincare contains Amino Acids from MINON, its water binding property can heal your dryness skin and keep moisture in. search @MadeInAsiaMIA (MIA Miss Asian’s Skincare) on fb or visit http://www.miahada.com. hope this helps.

  • lem

    yes black tea and green tea are different

  • PankaAndrea

    Dermalmd Glowing Serum has helped my skin tremendously. I use it every morning after cleansing and toning, and before I apply makeup, and my skin is nice and clear and so soft.

  • Nikhil Sharma

    before sleeping wash your face with water after that use olive oil on your face it is the best idea to glow your skin fastly and healthy

  • Nikhil Sharma