What Causes Dry Skin in The Winter?

What Causes Dry Skin in The Winter

Many women suffer from dry skin in winter. We take a look at some of the most common causes of dry skin in winter, as well as our tips for staying hydrated when it’s cold out.

Whether our skin type is dry, oily, combination or sensitive, most of us have experienced dry skin at some point or another. Dry skin can occur as a result of age, genetics or skin imbalances, but it also often occurs as part of our skin’s response to changes in our environment.

During winter months, our skin is plagued with cold air, low humidity and indoor heating. Other factors affecting skin in winter include colder temperatures and a decrease in humidity.

When looking at how hyaluronic acid is produced in the body, research has shown that the production of hyaluronic acid decreases with age. This results in a gradual increase in dehydration, loss of elasticity and dullness.

Specifically in winter, rough-textured clothes, particularly garments made of wool, as well as showers or baths at too hot of a temperature can contribute to uncomfortable, dry skin, with scratching only making the problem worse.1

How to Moisturize Dry Skin in Winter

As you would in summer, it’s important to adapt your skin care routine to take into account winter’s changing climate. Just as lips tend to become dry in winter, skin can become dry as temperatures start to drop.

Many skin care experts recommend swapping lighter creams and gels, that worked during the summer months, for products with a richer texture and more moisturizing properties. For example, you may find that skin care oils can help with symptoms of dry skin. Obviously, diet also plays a key role in maintaining skin’s health so make sure to maintain a healthy diet throughout the year.

Finally, it’s crucial to remember to apply a daily SPF moisturizer throughout the winter, as UVA rays - the ones responsible for premature skin aging - are present all year round. Also, don’t forget that UV rays are able to reach our skin even on cloudy days.2 Reach for a daily face moisturizer with SPF to get in your daily dose of hydration and sun protection in one.

1 Weber, T. et al, "Treatment of Xerosis with a Topical Formulation Containing Glyceryl Glucoside, Natural Moisturizing Factors, and Ceramide", in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology 5.8 (2012) pp. 28-39 [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424590/]
2 Robert Kandel, directeur de recherche honoraire du CNRS, Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (LMD/IPSL), Palaiseau.
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