How to Stop Itchy Skin in Cold Weather | Winter Skincare Tips

As the winter air settles in, many of us eagerly anticipate the beauty the season brings in the form of dazzling Christmas decor and outdoor markets, but with these comes the arrival of dry and itchy skin. The colder temperatures and lower humidity levels can wreak havoc on our skin in the winter months, leaving it feeling tight, flaky, and uncomfortable. As we explore practical and effective tips to help you bid farewell to symptoms of the winter itch such as dry skin and rashes, you’ll be able to embrace the season with skin that's not only protected but also radiantly healthy for all those holiday family cards.

Why is my skin so itchy in the winter​?

The increase in skin itchiness during winter can be attributed to a combination of environmental factors that strip the skin of its natural moisture. These are a few common reasons why skin can become more itchy in the winter:

  • Dry air

Cold winter air lacks moisture and can pull moisture away from the skin, making it drier and causing symptoms of itchiness. Cold dry air outdoors often gets circulated indoors which is why utilizing indoor humidifiers can add moisture back and make winter air less dehydrating.

However, once you’re inside, you’re not necessarily safe from dry air but you can have further control over your environment indoors rather than outside. Indoor heaters and fireplaces tend to circulate dry air which can further dehydrate the skin. This can also irritate conditions like eczema. Be sure to stay hydrated and limit your time next to heat sources if possible.

  • Winter Clothing

Thick fabrics and wool sweaters can irritate sensitive skin in some people. Choosing smooth-textured clothing layered for warmth may be less irritating as a result. Covering exposed skin with items such as hats, scarves, and gloves when going out in the cold may reduce contact with cold air.

  • Hot Beverages and Alcohol

Consuming excessive amounts of diuretic beverages like coffee or alcohol can contribute to dehydration, affecting skin moisture levels. In the winter, it’s essential to stay hydrated not only to prevent moisture loss and combat environmental stressors but also to target premature aging signs such as wrinkles.


Dry itchy skin during winter season

What are the symptoms of itchy and dry skin?


Itchy and dry skin can manifest with various symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. These are some of the common effects cold weather has on the skin:

  • Itching (Pruritus) and Dryness

Persistent itching is a trademark symptom of dry skin. It may range from mild to severe and can be constant or intermittent. The skin may also feel rough or scaly and in more severe cases, it can even crack.

  • Redness

Dry skin can sometimes be accompanied by redness, especially if scratching occurs, leading to irritation and the chance for bacteria to penetrate beneath the skin if sores occur. Itchy and dry skin may also be associated with rashes, such as eczema or dermatitis, which can cause inflammation and sometimes blisters.

  • Flaking or Peeling

As the skin loses moisture, it may start to flake or peel, particularly in areas like the hands and feet. In extreme cases, dry skin can lead to the development of small cracks or fissures, which can be painful and may even bleed.

  • Tightness and Sensitive Skin

Dry skin often feels tight, especially after bathing or exposure to harsh weather conditions. Certain individuals may experience a heightened sensitivity to certain skincare products or environmental factors during the winter months.

  • Changes in Skin Tone

Prolonged dryness can sometimes lead to changes in skin color, making it appear lighter or darker than usual.

How to keep your skin hydrated in the winter?

Keeping your skin hydrated during the winter months involves adopting lifestyle habits that focus on retaining moisture. Here are some useful tips to help keep your skin hydrated in the winter and maintain overall health:

Limit Hot Showers: Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for lukewarm water instead, and limit your shower or bath time. Moisturizing the skin with creams after bathing ensures added retention to prevent dehydration and water loss.

Humidifiers: Humidifiers are a great way to remedy dry, itchy skin and maintain moisture in the air, even when relaxing at home. Not only do they help to replenish fresh moisture in the comfort of your home, but humidifiers can prevent mold and bacteria from forming, thereby intentionally releasing natural, hydrated air for the skin.

Stay Hydrated: The air is drier in the winter and can contribute to skin dehydration, which means you should always have a water bottle nearby. If you aren’t able to or don’t prefer water as your primary beverage, green tea contains antioxidant effects that you won’t get from other beverages such as soda and coffee.

Protect Your Skin from Harsh Weather: Wearing protective clothing, such as scarves and gloves, can shield your skin from harsh winds and cold temperatures. Be sure to use high-quality sunscreen of SPF 30 and above on exposed skin, as winter sun combined with snow glare can still cause damage to the skin’s barrier.

Don’t Forget Your Hands: We use our hands to conduct various activities throughout the day and it would be foolish to ignore them. Particularly our dominant hand, which we primarily use to write with and perform most tasks, can become irritated in the colder months as it is more commonly used. Between our dependence on our hands and sanitizing them with soap and antibacterial products in the drier months, our hands can further lose moisture, leading to skin peeling and cracks.

We recommend traveling with hand cream to ensure your hands are constantly moisturized to combat dryness. An activity you can perform at home to combat dry skin is to cover your hands with cotton gloves at night before you go to bed and apply lotion to retain the moisture overnight. This provides the hands with even further protection in the winter, ensuring they are constantly moisturized.

Lip Care: Much like our hands, our lips lose moisture easily in the winter months. This is due to the area around the lips being thinner than other areas of the skin, as well as constantly being exposed to external factors. In general, our skin contains over ten cellular layers of protection, but the lips only contain around three to five cellular layers.

They also don’t have natural oil glands to self-moisturize compared to the rest of our skin. Carrying lip balm along with your hand lotion can be crucial for lip comfort in the drier season.

Modify Your Diet: Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, which can contribute to skin hydration. Consuming foods high in antioxidants can also support overall skin health, incorporating an added boost of protection into your daily routine.


Tips for a winter skincare routine

An essential winter skincare routine should focus on maintaining hydration and protecting the skin from harsh environmental conditions. Here are some tips for an effective winter skincare routine:

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser with lukewarm water to clean your face without stripping away essential oils. Avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers with strong fragrances, as these can contribute to dryness.
  2. Hydrating Toner: It is optional to include a hydrating toner in your winter skincare routine. Toners help to balance the skin's pH levels and prepare it to absorb subsequent products.
  3. Moisturize Adequately: Choose a rich, moisturizing cream to lock in moisture. Keep an eye out for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, or ceramides. Using a separate, heavier moisturizer for the night to provide extra hydration is also an option if desired. Apply these immediately after bathing to secure moisture.
    Our Pick: Moisturizing Caviar Multi-Balm Stick 
  4. Use a Humectant Serum: Incorporate a hydrating serum with humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin into your skincare routine to further attract and retain moisture.
  5. Exfoliate Gently: Use a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and promote better product absorption. Exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and allow for better absorption of moisturizers. Avoid harsh scrubs, especially if your skin is sensitive, as this can cause redness and unwanted irritation. Be sure to avoid over-exfoliating, especially in the winter, as this can worsen dryness.
  6. Weekly Masks: As an added boost to your routine, use hydrating masks once a week. Look for masks containing ingredients like honey, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid.
  7. Modify your Skincare Routine for the PM: Consider incorporating a heavier night cream or facial oil into your nighttime routine for added nourishment.

For More Tips & Product Suggestions On: How To Get Rid of Acne In The Winter?

Conclusion : winter beauty tips

While some look forward to and dread the winter months in terms of skincare, there’s never been a better era than today to learn about what it takes to maintain healthy skin. Between the information on the Internet and consultations with skincare professionals, as well as accessible treatments made available to the general public both in clinics and pharmacies, there’s an outlet for every individual’s skin type to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the winter months without worrying about dry skin.