How to Combat Dry, Flaky Skin this Winter

If you’re like me at all, my skin during the hot summer months and the cold winter months is so different that I actually feel like I have two faces. I have to switch out and add in a lot of new products during the winter. Below is a list of products that I use to ensure hydrated and radiant skin even in the coldest of winters. (But before we get into products, lets talk about one thing you can change in the house. Cranking up the heater may feel cozy but it leads to even more parched skin. Invest in a warm snuggie instead.)

Now let’s talk about how to add that quench to your thirsty skin.


Pharmacy Clean Bee, Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel
Farmacy Clean Bee, Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel

Cleansing is more important than ever in the winter and an undervalued must-do is that you need to be extra careful to not cleanse the skin. By the end of the day, your skin has already been attacked by cut throat winds and is feeling very vulnerable. Opt for a super gentle cleanser as to not further damage that weak moisture barrier. Also, make sure to wash with lukewarm water (not hot water please!)

I ditch foaming or clay cleansers that tend to be stripping or drying on the skin and opt for gentler oil and powder cleansers. Powder cleansers gently exfoliate the skin so they are perfect for the winter if you need to exfoliate, but don’t want to strip your skin. I love Amore Pacific’s Enzyme Peel – it’s formulated with rice bran powder, which contains both antioxidants and enzymes to brighten your complexion at the same time. The enzymes are then activated by water and these gently digest away dead skin.

Oil cleansers are also great because they have higher levels of emollients to soothe your skin while maintaining the health of your skin’s moisture barrier. They gently lift off impurities while leaving the skin’s protective oils intact. My favorite is Clean Bee from Farmacy ; just like all Farmacy products, this cleanser is made with its unique Enchinacea GreenEnvy that’s made of powerful antioxidants. It’s got that strong honey smell [that I don’t mind one bit] and I massage this onto my skin gently and it leaves my face super smooth and hydrated.


Skin Rx Madecera Cream, Allies of Skin’s All-Day Pollution Repair Mask
Skin Rx Madecera Cream, Allies of Skin’s All-Day Pollution Repair Mask

I might skip using my moisturizers in the summer, but I bring out all my heavier creams in the winter. I look for ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Ceramides are fatty acids in the skin that help to maintain the skin barrier and retain moisture– they are what form the protective layer on your skin. In the winter, due to cold weather and dry heat, the ceramics in your skin naturally get depleted so it’s important to add that back in. My current favorite is Allies of Skin’s All-Day Pollution Repair Mask – it’s a day mask that combines the potency of a treatment mask with the ease of a moisturizer. It’s formulated with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, caffeine, honey, peptides, vitamin C and vitamin E. This creamy texture feels lightweight yet extremely hydrating– perfect for the day time!

Another favorite is SkinRx’s MadeCera Cream that is so helpful all year round, but skin especially benefits from this in the winter. Madecera is a natural healing ingredient that I used in ointment form for all the scars I got from falling growing up. It too has niacinamide, a powerful agent for brightening and ceramides.


Belif Aquabomb Skin Mask & Cosrx Rice Overnight Spa Mask
Belif Aqua Bomb Skin Mask & Cosrx Rice Overnight Spa Mask

When you crank up heat while you sleep, your skin loses moisture so you want to go that extra mile to give it a permeable seal to lock in moisture. Sleeping masks will not only prevent you from waking up to Sahara desert-like skin, but will maintain and support dewy skin  in the morning. My favorite is the newly launched Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask – a jelly-pudding like texture that reminds me of memory foam. It’s part of their cult favorite Aqua Bomb line that is rich in hyaluronic acid and a moisturizing herb which helps smoothe out your skin. I used this sparingly in the summer, but my skin is screaming for this in the winter. The best part? It’s mess-proof for your pillow.

Another sleeping mask you must add to your collection is the Cosrx Rice Overnight Spa Mask. Rice has traditionally been used in Asian cultures to soften and brighten the skin and it plays a leading role in this mask. This mask also has niacinamide, which brightens the skin and sunflower seed oil which nourishes the skin. It feels extremely lightweight despite its creamy texture and I think the hydrating power of this is incredible – the glow I get the morning after is next level.

Lastly, don’t forget your sunscreen! The biggest myth out in winter skincare is,”it’s cold and foggy out so I don’t need sunscreen”.  Rain or shine, your skin is exposed to sun all-year round and even 1 minute exposure to the sun without having protection can accumulate in drastic skin damage over time. I may sound insane but it’s true. It’s like how that extra bite of a brownie everyday leads to long-term weight gain.

So there you have it– 3 products you need to consider adding to your everyday routine this winter.

– Ava Lee

Photos by Ava Lee

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