WebMD BlogsHealthy Skin

How to Get Your Skin Ready for Winter

Brandith Irwin, MD - Blogs
By Brandith Irwin, MDBoard-certified dermatologistNovember 11, 2016
From the WebMD Archives

A famous skin doctor in Estee Lauder’s generation, Erno Laszlo, used to say that “you want your skin to be just this side of dry.” So, not oily, but not dry – just that *perfect* level of moisture that’s so hard to attain.

Winter weather can make getting to that perfect moisture level especially challenging – and not just in cold, dry climates. Even in rainy Seattle where I live, skin is generally drier in the winter because most of us are indoors more with central heating on.

As we head into the season, here are some things you can do to keep dryness down:

  • Change to a super gentle cleanser, if you haven’t already.
  • Use a humidifier to keep central heating from drying out your skin.
  • Add an extra layer of moisturizer, or two, under your daily sunscreen.
  • When using two layers of moisturizers, pick products with different, but complementary, approaches to hydrating your skin. For example, layer a hydrating non-alcohol gel, like the SkinCeuticals Vitamin B5 hyaluronic, under your traditional moisturizer.
  • Look for moisturizers with a higher oil content, which will help to hold water in your skin and keep it better hydrated.
  • Facial oils may work well for very dry skin, but avoid them if you have acne. And if you do decide to try them, be aware: you usually won’t see the effect of a facial oil on your acne for 4-8 weeks after you start using it, so watch carefully for changes.
  • Exfoliate less frequently – it reduces the barrier layer of skin, and losing this layer allows more evaporation from your skin.
  • Rinse the salt off your skin after you work out and apply moisturizer or sunscreen.
  • Put an extra layer of moisturizer on your face midday at work. It’s quite amazing how much this helps!
WebMD Blog
© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Brandith Irwin, MD

Brandith Irwin, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and founder of Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington. She is also Co-Founder of SkinTour.com a website focused on accurate consumer education on nonsurgical, aesthetic procedures and products. Through her books and website, Dr. Irwin is dedicated to educating people about skin care in the context of a global conversation about beauty, self-esteem and inclusiveness.

More from the Healthy Skin Blog

  • hair loss illustration

    Hair Falling Out? This Might Be Why

    You may be experiencing telogen effluvium, a common form of hair loss that I often call “shock shedding.” Learn more.

  • sun damage

    How to Reverse Sun Damage

    Did summer leave you with wrinkles,brown spots, and visible blood vessels? Here are some derm-recommended strategies that can help.

View all posts on Healthy Skin

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More