Preventing Dry, Cracked Skin This Winter

Preventing Dry, Cracked Skin This Winter

As the temperature drops, you may be getting into a new routine: sweaters and coats come out, soup intake increases, and suddenly you’re swapping your iced beverage for a hot tea. It’s natural for us to acclimate to changing environments. But, are you extending that same courtesy to your health routine? 

One of the major changes to our wellness in the winter is the condition of our skin. In the winter, your skin may start to feel tighter than usual or look ashier; in more severe cases, your skin may even begin to crack. It’s an unpleasant but normal way that our skin reacts to lower temperatures. 

If you’re concerned about dry, cracked skin this winter, there’s no need to despair. There are clear ways to adjust your health routine so you can feel as comfortable and hydrated as possible during the colder months. 

Let’s get into the basics of preventing dry, cracked skin this winter. First up: understanding why our skin gets drier.

Why Does Skin Get Dry in the Winter?

woman inspecting dry skin


As the temperature drops, so do humidity levels. This means it’s harder for our skin to retain its moisture when outdoors. Unfortunately, one may run into this issue indoors, too. If the heater stays on to keep you warm, the air — and, correlatively, your skin — is likely to be drier than normal. With the upper layers of skin losing moisture, the skin can dry out. In other words, there’s generally less moisture for your skin to take hold of. 

Parts of your routine might also contribute to drier skin. The cold may make you want to take a steaming shower, but you’re inadvertently hurting your skin by doing so. Hot showers or baths can dry your skin out further or even damage the surface of your skin since hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. When your skin is already struggling to maintain its moisture, natural oils are especially crucial to keep. 

Now that we know the causes behind dry skin in the winter, let’s dive into the ways you can guarantee glowing, healthy skin throughout the year:

3 Tips for Dry Skin Prevention 

1. Increase hydration at home and shower in lukewarm water. 

Now that we know that it’s much more difficult for our skin to hold onto moisture in the winter, it’s even more crucial that we need to supply our bodies with maximum hydration. In addition to maintaining healthy levels of water intake, you can invest in a humidifier to make sure your skin thrives in ideal levels of humidity. 

Avoiding hot showers will also be a vital factor in ensuring healthy skin. If the sound of a cold shower is unappealing (although, cold showers have many reported health benefits), you can always aim for a lukewarm temperature. Additionally, you can substitute the warmth of a hot shower for a warm, freshly dried towel to use after your shower! 

Bottom line: remember that moisture and natural oils are your skin’s best friends during the winter, so adjust your routine to make sure they remain close. 


putting on hand lotion

2. Update your skin care routine to include protective products.

Take a good, hard look at your skincare products. Are the products you adopted for the earlier days of the year still serving you? Perhaps the light moisturizer that provided just the right amount of hydration during the summer needs to be swapped for a thicker cream. Or, you might realize that you need to increase your use of hydrating face masks throughout the week.

You don’t have to completely swap out your products, but there may be a few products that aren’t nourishing your skin as well as they need to. Just as you tuck away your tank tops and shorts for the winter season, you can retire products more suited for the summer months. 

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