Beautiful young woman in the snow with glowing skin, mittens, and a hat.

Frosty Forecast, Radiant Skin: 10 Must-Know Hydration Hacks

Back to all posts December 29, 2023

As the winter months sweep in with their signature chill, the battle for healthy skin begins. New York Facial Plastic Surgery understands that keeping skin hydrated during this winter season is not just about looking good—it’s about feeling good, too. The cold air strips moisture, leaving our skin vulnerable to dryness, flakiness, and discomfort.  

But why does this happen? What causes dry skin in winter? The dip in humidity levels outside and the blast of dry heat inside our homes during winter create a harsh environment for our delicate skin. It’s a common struggle that many of us face, prompting the question: how to keep skin hydrated in winter? 

But fear not! Armed with the right knowledge and tools, you can protect your skin against the harsh winter elements. Knowing how to prevent dry skin is essential to implementing effective strategies into your skincare routine.  

Whether switching to fragrance-free products, avoiding those tempting long hot showers, or learning the best ways to apply a moisturizing cream, this guide will walk you through the essentials of winter skin care. So let’s dive into these top ten tips to ensure you know how to keep skin moisturized and hydrated properly in winter. 

Snow falling around a young lady embracing her hydrated face due to her skin care regiment during winter.

1. Understand Your Skin Type

The first step in any skin care regimen, especially during the demanding winter months, is to understand your skin type. Skin can be oily, dry, combination, or sensitive, requiring different care. Dry skin may become drier in winter, while oily skin may benefit from lighter hydration to prevent pores from clogging.  

If you’re unsure about your skin type, consider a visit to a dermatologist or a skincare specialist at New York Facial Plastic Surgery. They can provide professional insights tailored to your unique needs, ensuring your winter skin care routine targets your specific concerns.

2. Modify Your Skin Care Routines for Winter

Adapting your skin care routines for the colder months is crucial. As the weather changes, so should your approach to skincare. Introduce more hydrating products into your routine and cut back on those that could exacerbate dryness.  

For instance, if you normally use a gel cleanser, consider switching to a cream-based one that adds moisture rather than stripping it away. Furthermore, incorporating a heavier, nutrient-rich night cream can help your skin recover moisture lost during the day. Remember, the goal is to reinforce your skin’s moisture barrier, so it’s less susceptible to the winter elements.

3. Choose the Right Skincare Product

Not all skincare products are created equal, especially when it comes to hydrating your skin in the winter. Look for products with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides, as these ingredients are known for their ability to attract and retain moisture. Avoid products containing alcohol, which can dry out your skin, and instead opt for those that are labeled “hydrating” or “moisture-rich”. Always check the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendations for quality products suitable for winter skin care. 

4. How to Apply a Moisturizing Cream Properly 

The technique of applying moisturizer can significantly impact its effectiveness. To lock in hydration, apply a moisturizing cream immediately after washing your face or taking a bath or shower, while the skin is still damp. This helps to trap the water on the skin and maintain its moisture balance.  

Use gentle, upward strokes to stimulate blood flow and ensure even distribution. Don’t forget to moisturize your neck and décolletage, as these areas are often overlooked and can show signs of dryness.

5. Avoid Long Hot Showers

Long hot showers are a tempting reprieve from the cold, but they can wreak havoc on your skin. The heat can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. To prevent dry skin, limit your showers to 5-10 minutes and use lukewarm water instead of hot.  

After showering, gently pat your skin dry with a towel—don’t rub, as this can remove natural oils—and apply a moisturizing cream while the skin is still slightly damp to seal in the moisture. This simple change in your routine can make a big difference in maintaining your skin’s hydration levels throughout winter. 

6. The Role of Humidifiers in Adding Moisture

Your home heating system keeps you warm but often at the expense of indoor air quality and moisture levels, which can exacerbate dry skin in winter. Using a humidifier can reintroduce much-needed moisture into the air, particularly in rooms where you spend the most time, like the bedroom.  

Humidifiers help maintain a more skin-friendly atmosphere, ensuring your skin remains hydrated through the night and all day long. It’s a simple step that can make a significant difference in how your skin feels and looks during the colder months. 

7. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Protecting your skin from the harsh winter weather isn’t just about the products you use; it’s also about how you dress. Wearing gloves protects your hands, which are often exposed to cold air and can suffer from dryness quickly. Similarly, scarves can shield your face, and layers can prevent the itchy aftermath of having overheated indoors. Opt for soft, breathable fabrics directly against your skin to avoid irritation that can come from wool and other rough materials. 

8. Exfoliate to Remove Dead Skin Cells

Exfoliation is key to removing dead skin cells that can prevent your skin from absorbing moisture. However, during winter, it’s important to exfoliate gently and not overdo it—once a week is usually sufficient. Choose an exfoliator suitable for your skin type; those with dry or sensitive skin might opt for a less abrasive product. Removing these dead cells allows moisturizers to penetrate more effectively, keeping your skin smooth and hydrated. 

9. Use Fragrance-Free and Mild Products

Fragrances and harsh chemicals in skincare and laundry products can further dry and irritate sensitive skin in winter. Opt for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic options to minimize this risk. Gentle, non-harsh soaps are crucial for washing your face and body, as they clean without stripping away natural oils. Reading labels and being informed about the ingredients in your products will go a long way in keeping your skin protected and comfortable.

10. The Protective Power of Petroleum Jelly

For areas of your skin that are particularly prone to dryness, like the lips, heels, and hands, petroleum jelly can be an effective barrier. It locks in moisture and protects the skin from the elements. While not suitable for all skin types on every body part due to its heaviness, for persistent dry spots, it can be the shield your skin needs. Apply it to slightly damp skin for the best results.

The Bottom Line

With these ten tips, winter doesn’t have to mean enduring dry, uncomfortable skin. Understanding and caring for your skin type, modifying your skincare routine, choosing the right products, and taking proactive steps to protect and nourish your skin can all contribute to a hydrated, healthy glow even in the depths of winter. Remember, while the winter months can be unforgiving, your skin doesn’t have to suffer. It’s all about being mindful and proactive with your skin care. 

As you take on the challenge of maintaining hydrated skin, know that the experts at New York Facial Plastic Surgery are here to support you with tailored advice and treatments designed for your unique skin needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation. Embrace these winter skin care rituals as a commitment not just to your skin’s health, but to your comfort and confidence during the winter season.

Are you dealing with the signs of aging and it’s more than just dry skin? Consider Botox or dermal fillers.

Dr. Andrew Jacono

Dr. Andrew Jacono, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Dual Board Certified, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a thriving practice on Long Island’s Gold Coast and in Manhattan on Park Avenue.

Dr. Jacono specializes in reconstructive surgery, specifically facelifts, rhinoplasties and eyelid lifts with flawless, yet natural results. He’s internationally recognized for his innovative non-surgical and minimally invasive facial rejuvenation techniques. As Director of the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, Dr. Jacono's expertise attracts a wide range of clientele, from prominent celebrities to everyday individuals seeking various enhancements. He is also sought-after for his expert opinion as a lecturer and presenter. Dr. Jacono has presented his innovative techniques at leading universities in the US, and has conducted live surgery at over 100 global plastic surgery meetings and symposiums across multiple countries and organizations.

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