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What Causes Dry Skin in the Winter?

Skin Care Concerns

What Causes Dry Skin in the Winter? What Causes Dry Skin in the Winter? What Causes Dry Skin in the Winter?

As if the freezing cold temps and super-short days weren’t enough, you might also have dry skin to look forward to in the winter. What a bummer. Seriously, what gives? Well, just like you swap out your summer wardrobe in favor of cozy sweaters and boots when temperatures drop, the same rule should apply to your skin care products. What that means: When it begins to get cold outside, it’s important to switch up your daily skin care routine for one that’s better suited to the frigid weather. (For example, you may want to use a no-rinse facial cleanser, ultra-hydrating moisturizer, or even a new face mask to help combat the effects of cool temps on your skin.) To help you better understand how to update your skin care routine, we’re sharing what can cause dry skin in winter and what you should do about it.  


When it comes to having drier than dry skin from December to February, it isn’t as simple as blaming the time of year. Yes, the shifting seasons can wreak havoc on your skin but they aren’t the only source of your skin care concerns. Below, find out what could be contributing to your dryness in order to have a balanced complexion all year round.


Most of the time, winter brings about drier air and colder temperatures—and the lower moisture levels of in the air can lead to dry skin. Not only that, Mayo Clinic states that central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin. So, while you may simply be trying to keep warm, sitting or sleeping in a room with the heat blasting can also lead to dry skin in winter. What can you do? Invest in a humidifier and place it next to your bed to help counteract these drying effects. 

Editor’s note: Debating whether a humidifier is a worthwhile purchase? Before editing your shopping list, find out How Using a Humidifier Can Benefit Your Skin.


Washing your face twice per day is a skin care must to help remove dirt, oil, and grime that has built up on the surface of your skin. But, cleansing more than twice a day can be too much for your complexion to take, especially in the winter. If you have dry skin during the winter, reach for a no-rinse cleansing option that doesn’t require you to harshly rub your skin. Try a micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser - Normal to Dry Skin, which hydrates and soothes—a skin care must during colder months. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that act as a magnet to lift dirt and oil up and away from your skin. Just saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe the pad across your face.

Editor’s note: Heading on vacation this winter? Micellar water is a great travel-friendly skin care product since you don’t have to be near a sink to use it. In related news, here are 5 Travel Skin Care Hacks to Use on Your Next Vacation.


Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, normal skin, or something in between—do not, we repeat do not, skip out on applying moisturizer, especially in winter. Your skin needs daily hydration, which is why moisturizer should play a starring role in your skin care routine. Since the air can be drier in winter (and you’re probably spending a lot of time in central heating), you may want to consider changing up your moisturizer. If you have dry skin in the winter, pick up the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin. Both of these water-based moisturizers act like a “boost” of water for your skin, delivering long-lasting hydration. They’re formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid for comfortable-feeling skin. Smooth on after cleansing morning and night.


According to Mayo Clinic, while soaking in a hot bath can be enjoyable and relaxing (especially when it’s freezing outside!), long, hot showers and baths can actually strip your skin of its natural moisture, resulting in dry skin. Ack. So, instead of using piping hot water, opt for lukewarm water or take a shorter bath to help prevent your skin from feeling even drier. And remember to help lock in moisture by applying your moisturizer to damp skin after bathing (this goes for face and body). 

Is the winter taking a toll on not just your skin, but your beauty look as a whole? Next, learn How to Winter-Proof Your Look