Does Your Skin Get More Sensitive In Winter?


Updated 1/23/15. Many people experience dry skin in the winter. What exactly is dry skin? Dry skin is caused from harsh winter weather and using strong products that deplete moisture out of the skin. These create tiny, superficial cracks in the skin that break down the skins protective moisture barrier to let moisture further escape out of the skin, adding to the cycle of dryness.

For those with sensitive skin, these little cracks in the skin allow irritants to enter into the skin more easily, causing redness and skin sensations from products and environment you might not have any other time of year. Even if you haven’t changed your skin care products, you may find that now that winter is here, your regular products seem to not work the way they did before and they may even be causing a stinging sensation and irritation. It’s all because of the winter dryness.

What is the cure for dry skin? Aside from being sure to not use any harsh products on the skin, the solution is to use a moisturizer high in lipid-rich oil that can repair the skin’s protective barrier (those little cracks) so that moisture stays in so less dryness occurs and irritants stay out.

To repair dry, flaky skin, look for the following emollient barrier-repair ingredients when choosing a moisturizer.

Borage Oil
Bois De Rose Oil
Carrot Oil
Evening Primrose Oil
Cranberry Oil
Linoleic/Linolenic Acids
Linoleic Acid
Tocopheryl Linoleate
Shea Butter
Sunflower Oil
Soybean Oil
Safflower Oil
Jojoba Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Canola Oil
Sesame Seed Oil

These ingredients will correct both the lack of oil and lack of hydration deep within your skin and actually repair the skin’s lipid moisture barrier to make your skin moist, supple, and smooth—and more importantly, less sensitive during the winter. My very favorite moisturizer to repair dry skin to make it less sensitive skin is Phytolipid Comfort Cream.

It’s also important to pay attention to the ingredients in your skin care products so you’re not using anything harsh or drying. Read my list of skin care ingredients to avoid.

Read: Five Skin Care Ingredient Myths You Need to Know

Read: 34 Tips To Get Your Best Skin Ever

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

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Content found on, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.