Health News

How To Deal With Dry Winter Skin According To A Dermatologist

Winter has well and truly arrived. And in true cold weather fashion, it’s brought a whole host of skin issues with it.

“In winter the air becomes drier, meaning less moisture”, says dermatologist Dr Alice Rudd. “As water naturally wants to go where there is dryness, it leaves our skin osmotically to enter the environment. This means we lose water and moisture in the skin, [causing it] to feel dry.”

Add heaters and more time indoors to the mix and the situation becomes even more dire. 

“The dryness can lead to eczema, flakey skin, itchy skin and dehydrated skin,” Dr Rudd tells Women’s Health.  And those with skin sensitivities such as rosacea and psoriasis are also particularly at risk of flare-ups.

But it’s not all bad news, and there are a few simple changes we can make to our routines to help combat and protect our skin from the woes of winter.

1. Avoid soaps and detergents

When it comes to face cleansers and body wash, avoid formulas that contain true soaps and detergents, and stick to soap substitutes. 

“Overuse of harsh exfoliants and soaps will strip the skin of oil and moisture, and further dry and irritate the skin”, explains Dr Rudd.

In terms of texture, look for creamy cleansers over foaming ones, as these too can have a drying effect.

DermaVeen Soap Free Wash 1 Litre, $20.99 at

Sukin Sensitive Soap Free Body Wash, $9.99 at

Nobody wants to hear this, but long, hot showers in winter are a big no-no if you’re trying to care for your skin. Same goes for standing directly under or in front of a heater.

“Spending too much time in the heating and under the hot shower will dehydrate the skin”, says Dr Rudd. 

So even though it feels good in the moment, the long term discomfort, dryness and possible irritation just isn’t worth it. Our advice? Get cosy under the blankets instead.

3. Moisturise the whole body

It’s cruel, but winter is the time to truly ensure you’re moisturising every inch of your limbs, as well as your face.

“It may be time to do a twice-daily moisturiser too, and switch to a heavier moisturiser such as Avène Skin Recovery Cream ($38.95,, which is a winter fave,” recommends Dr Rudd.

“Stick to hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredients”, she adds, and in regards to the face, “I suggest switching from a lotion to a cream-based product or serum.”

4. Switch to gentle actives

In winter, some skin types may not be able to tolerate their usual active ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C, as these may further impair an already compromised skin barrier.

However, dullness is also a winter issue many of us would like to combat, so Dr Rudd recommends switching to something like Avéne’s A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum ($59.95 at, which has antioxidant and photoprotective benefits. as well as a brightening effect. 

“Gentle formulas such as the A-Oxitive are suitable for a sensitive skin type,” she says. 

“Like most things when it comes to skincare, it’s not the concentration, it’s the formulation that counts.Most vitamin C products containing ascorbic acid are irritating and unstable and so It’s important to find a stable and non-irritating formulation that suits your skin type.”

Source: Read Full Article