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9 tips to keep skin winter happy

This seems to be among the coldest winters we have seen here in Australia for some years and we are not coping!

Winter is a season characterised by lower humidity, scratchy fabrics and often, heating that leads to dry, irritated skin.

So what are some winter basics to keep skin happy?

Here are some basic tips to keep skin happy on a day to day basis at home that won’t break the bank, and some suggestions if you are open to in-clinic treatments.

1. Keep your skincare simple.

Sun Protection

I’m not a fan of complicated, multi-step skincare routines or switching it up too often at the best of tines, but winter is especially one time to go easy on changing your products too often!

I typically pare products down to 3-4 steps, max when I see new patients for a skincare audit, and this is generally what I recommend, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Year round, skincare really does not need much more than a cleanser, SPF during the day, an active or two if you can tolerate it and moisturiser. Serums and other creams are optional, but you may benefit from them, based on your skin needs, and in winter, you may need thicker and richer formulations to help keep more moisture in.

2. SPF and sun protection remains just as important as in summer

sun protection

We live in Australia, which means, barring very few states and areas, we get abundant sunshine and UV exposure year around, with UV index usually well above 3, which means daily sun protection will continue to be your best defence against photo damage as well as sunburn. Yes, even in winter, daily sun protection is vital.


3. Ease up on the exfoliants and scrubs

It can be tempting to up the exfoliants to deal with dry, flaking and peeling skin, but this is usually a bad idea. As counterintuitive as it sounds, deal with dry, flaky skin by focusing on adding more moisturiser and if you must, use a gentle enzyme peel once a week instead of harsher products such as acids or physical scrubs, which may affect your skin barrier.


4. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

personalized skin care
This one cannot be emphasised enough! In winter, drier air, heating, warmer showers and winds can all lead to drier skin - on the face, lips, hands as well as extremities as our heart shunts blood away from them, leading to a multitude of problems including worsening of chronic skin conditions such as eczema, keratosis pilaris and more.

So one of the good things to do, to switch up your skincare routine, is a gentler cleanser + serums that are hydrating, if you use them + moisturiser and consider adding in occlusive such as Vaseline at night to seal it all in while you sleep.

5. Go easy on the heat

To combat the cold, we commonly heat our homes, our beds and in the shower, our bodies, all of which act to dry our skins out more. Add to this fabrics that can sometimes be scratchy and irritate dry skin, and it’s easy to understand why winter can often be so uncomfortable for skin.

Simple solutions include not overheating the home, limiting overly hot showers, and consider a weekly warm bath with a soothing oil if you can to add moisture to dry skin.

6. Hydration is more important than ever

Due to the cold, we drink less as we sweat less, and often stick to hot drinks, usually tea, coffee and yes, alcohol all of which can dehydrate in larger quantities. Watch how much you drink, especially water, and try and remain as hydrated as is possible.

7. Consider in-clinic treatments

If your budget allows for it, winter is a great time to invest in your skin’s future health with skin therapies that will induce collagen and help reverse some of summer’s signs of sundamage and build collagen for the summer that is just around the corner!

Minimal downtime treatments like laser genesis are great for collagen induction with no pain as well as other options, such as injectable hyaluronic acid (SkinBoosters) that add lasting moisture to skin, skin needling, RF microneedling and more. Be guided by your clinician as to what is best for you, and be sure to understand what is needed as most skin therapies need an initial series of treatments in close succession, followed by maintenance sessions 1-2 times a year.

8. Sensitive skin will need extra TLC


Eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and more will all suffer more during the cooler weather and needs extra TLC, so if unsure, see your doctor to have a plan in place for the cooler weather so you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily or chase your tail once flares have begun to take place.



9. Don’t forget other body parts!

Dry hands Dry legs

Chapped dry lips, hands as well as lower extremities are all common areas that suffer from dry winter skin woes, so be sure to get on top of these too.

Many of the same strategies for the face, neck and décolleté will work well for the body. Hands are especially prone to dryness and chapping, especially if you work with your hands so I often recommend applying similar skincare to your hands as to your face, and then a layer of Vaseline and then cotton gloves to sleep in at night.

Tried the basics and still suffering? Consider making an appointment with a trusted doctor to problem shoot your concern!

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