6 Ways to Maintain Skin Health During Winter

Winter touches her cheek while standing in a flurry of snow.

December 08, 2022 | Tags: Preventive Care

Winter is here, and with it brings cold air, cuddling by the fireplace and low humidity levels which can all be very damaging your skin over time. According to a 2019 survey, conducted by CeraVe™, about 6 in 10 people say their skin feels “unhealthy” during the winter season, with the most bothersome symptoms including dryness, itchiness and redness. It is also common for eczema flareups to happen in colder months, affecting 1 in 10 Americans.

Signs of "Unhealthy" Skin

While signs and symptoms can vary with age, health status, skin tone and where the dry skin is located on the body, the main signs of “unhealthy” or dry skin include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Skin tightness
  • Flaking, peeling or scaling skin
  • Lines or cracks in skin
  • Raw skin is visible
  • Stinging or burning sensation

How to Keep Skin Healthy

To properly take care of your skin in the winter, you need to make a combination of habit changes and product swaps, while also carefully reading ingredient labels. Below are 6 ways to help maintain your skin health during the colder months.

Use a Humidifier

Humidifiers aren’t just useful when you have a cold. They can also bring moisture back into the air and act as a natural moisturizer, which can help reduce the effects of spending time in dry and low-humidity environments.

Moisturizing after Showering

It is important to use moisturizer after every shower, not just in the wintertime, because showering strips your body of its natural oils. For best results, pat your skin dry with a towel and then immediately apply moisturizer.

Adjust your Skincare Routine

Even simple changes can make a big difference in how your skin feels and looks.


  • Using fragrance-free and alcohol-free products
  • Looking for products that have hyaluronic acid and ceramides
  • Adding occlusives to your routine, such as shea butter or petroleum jelly-based products like Vaseline™ and Aquaphor™.

Limit Exfoliation

While exfoliation can help remove excess dry skin, be careful as to how much and what type of exfoliant you use. Exfoliate no more than two times per week. Additionally, use a gentle chemical exfoliant rather than a physical scrub, which is more likely to break down your skin’s moisture barrier.

Change the Temperature, Length and Frequency of your Showers

Long, hot showers can sound like a soothing and relaxing idea after dealing with winter weather all day, but they end up doing more harm than good. Hot water can not only dry out the natural oils in your skin, it can also additionally damage your skin.  The best way to keep your skin healthy in the wintertime is to limit your showers to 5-10 minutes while using lukewarm water.

Drink Plenty of Water

One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy, in the winter or summer weather, is to keep yourself hydrated. Ensuring that you’re hydrated can help make your skin less susceptible to drying out and more.

When Should You See a Doctor?

You may need to see your primary care physician or a dermatologist if:

  • Your skin becomes inflamed or painful
  • You are so uncomfortable that you're losing sleep or are unable to complete daily tasks
  • You have open sores or infections
  • You have large areas of scaly or peeling skin
  • You've tried home remedies and the signs and symptoms persist