Effective Skincare Routine For Dry And Flaky Skin In Winter

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 23, 2023
Updated 2023/07/23 at 1:13 PM
Skincare Routine For Dry And Flaky Skin In Winter

It’s widely known that severe winter conditions can have a detrimental impact on your skin, resulting from extremely cold temperatures and dry air that strip away its inherent moisture. However, by implementing the correct skincare regimen and making a few essential adjustments to your usual habits and products, you can maintain soft, hydrated, and flexible facial and body skin instead of experiencing cracked, dry, and irritated skin.

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Effective Skincare Routine For Dry And Flaky Skin In Winter

Avoid Taking Long Or Extremely Hot Showers:

There’s nothing more appealing than indulging in a warm shower or bath on a chilly day, but hot water can actually harm your skin during the dry winter season. Excessive hot water usage leads to higher evaporation of the skin’s inherent moisture, which can be detrimental.

You only require approximately 10 minutes to enhance the moisturizing effects of your shower. Instead of using drying soaps and gels, consider replacing them with a body cleansing oil or bath oil containing soybean oil or other plant oils that are rich in fatty acids. This will help strengthen and safeguard your skin’s moisture barrier.

Wintertime Calls For A Heavier Moisturizer:

After taking a shower, it is recommended to gently dry your skin with a soft towel and then apply a moisturizer that provides hydration. It is advisable to choose a cream or balm that is thicker in consistency compared to the lotion you normally use in the summer.

The thicker texture of the cream or balm helps to seal in moisturizing ingredients, which is particularly beneficial for dry, cracked, and flaking skin, promoting long-term and intensive healing. You can use balms and salves containing ingredients like silicone, petrolatum, lanolin, and natural oils.

For dry facial skin, it is beneficial to layer moisturizer with a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin. This combination can effectively increase moisturization and hydration.

Use Moisturizer Many Times Each Day:

Ensuring proper moisturization is crucial for your skincare routine, both in the morning and before bedtime. Begin by applying moisturizer generously to your face. Prior to wearing your pyjamas, massage a nourishing body cream onto your entire body, starting from the neck and extending down to your feet (consider wearing socks to aid absorption).

This method works similarly to night cream for your face, effectively moisturizing your skin and preserving its moisture while you sleep. For remarkable results, consider trying the Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Body Lotion, which performed exceptionally well in GH Beauty Lab tests by increasing skin hydration levels by an impressive 60 per cent, almost setting a new record.

Once Daily Facial Washing:

During the winter season, it is advisable to adjust your skincare routine to prevent your skin from becoming dry. Instead of washing your face multiple times a day, switch to washing it once at night. Additionally, the type of cleanser you use is important. While foaming and gel face washes can effectively remove impurities, they can also strip away moisture from the skin due to their strong cleansing ingredients.

To avoid excessive drying, it is recommended to choose a milder option such as a cleansing oil or micellar water cleanser. These alternatives are less likely to contain harsh surfactants that can dehydrate the skin. For individuals with extremely dry skin, a cleansing balm can be beneficial. Cleansing balms are luxurious, waterless formulas that incorporate nourishing butter (like shea) and oils. Not only do they effectively purify the skin, but they also provide hydration and can even double as makeup removers.

Do Not Use Toner:

During warmer months when you tend to sweat more, it’s advisable to avoid astringents that contain alcohol as they can worsen dryness. However, if you enjoy the refreshing sensation of toner, you can opt for an alcohol-free face mist that contains moisturizing components like natural oils and glycerin. A recommended choice is the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Face Essential Mist, which is favoured by GH beauty editors. Alternatively, you can create your own DIY face mist by combining 2 cups of water with 10 drops of calming chamomile essential oil in a small spray bottle and shaking it well.

Exfoliate Sparingly:

Winter-weary skin that is raw, dehydrated, and in need of care should avoid using harsh scrubs, peels, loofahs, or cleansing sponges, as these can exacerbate dryness and irritation. If you experience flaking or redness during exfoliation, opt for a milder face peel containing lactic acid or fruit acids, or a face scrub with smooth jojoba beads that are less likely to dehydrate the skin. Avoid stronger acids like glycolic acid and rough exfoliants such as sugar and salt.

Instead of using abrasive tools like scratchy loofahs, sponges, or body brushes, switch to softer washcloths that are gentler on the skin’s moisture barrier. When drying your face and body, lightly dab with a towel rather than rubbing. Refrain from scratching your skin, as it can damage the surface and lead to further moisture loss. Instead, soothe and protect the affected area by gently applying a hydrating ointment or balm.

Hydrate The Entire Body:

Parts of your body, such as your hands and feet, can often be overlooked but are susceptible to dehydration. The skin on the feet is thicker and can accumulate dry and rough layers of dead skin, while the skin on the hands is frequently exposed to harsh elements like cold weather and wind, as well as repetitive hand washing, which can strip away moisture from the skin.

To maintain soft and hydrated hands and feet throughout the winter season, it is recommended to generously apply nourishing hand cream.


Stay Hydrated:

Maintaining adequate hydration is closely linked to the renewal of skin cells, essential for achieving a radiant complexion. It is recommended to consume between eight to 10 cups daily of unsweetened fluids like water (including sparkling or fruit-infused varieties), tea, and coffee.

However, it’s important to note that excessive water intake won’t effectively moisturize your skin unless your body is dehydrated. Therefore, there’s no requirement to consume large quantities of water (unless you desire to do so).

Keep Your Lips Still:

The skin on your lips is thinner compared to the rest of your face, which makes it more vulnerable to damage caused by harsh winter weather. To keep your lips moisturized and shielded, it is particularly important to apply lip balm before bed.

Dryness can be worsened during the night due to indoor heating and breathing through your mouth. Alongside your regular face and body moisturizers, make sure to also apply a generous layer of a nourishing lip balm to prevent dryness, flakiness, and chapped lips.

Related: 10 Natural Ingredients For Reducing Dark Spots


Navigating the vast array of skincare steps and products can feel overwhelming when trying to determine which ones to choose without overspending. However, there is good news: there are numerous budget-friendly, high-quality products available specifically for dry skin.
Fortunately, you can find suitable options conveniently at your nearby drugstore or through online shopping. Take the time to examine ingredient lists and read reviews from individuals who also have dry skin. Remember, it’s important to note that a higher price does not necessarily guarantee better performance for your skin.

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