Caring for Dry, Red, and Irritated Skin

Brrrr, this winter is the coldest on record, and one could say that “Brisk” is an understatement. Between the frigid moisture-sucking air outside, and the high and dry heat inside, our skin is having a tough time keeping up, and is freaking out. 

The reason winter dryness is a thing is that winter air contains less water, and in an attempt for balance, the air tries to ‘take’ moisture from where it can, which is often from our skin. This is referred to as Transepidermal Water Loss, a measurement of water passing from inside the body through the outer layer of skin into the atmosphere.

There is much we can do to help our skin until the weather heats up. Adding a few new products and making some changes can make all the difference. With some help from a Holistic skin care professional, we’ve rounded up 10 tips for dry winter skin. Do one or do them all - it’s up to you!


1/ Simplify. Holistic Skin Care specialist, Colette Yeomans explains, “When your skin is dehydrated from dry cold air and heated buildings it becomes much more sensitive. We need to change our routines with the season to prevent moisture loss  and keep the skin healthy. If your skin is dried out using too many active ingredients can be like fertilizing a dead plant and cause more irritation. Avoid over stripping the skin with gel/foaming cleansers and stick to oil based products.”

2/ Hydrate. Yeomans also recommends using a rich cream or salve over the skin to lock in moisture. Especially before venturing out into the brutal cold, a layer of May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate  or One Love Organics Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm will protect and hydrate. 

3/ Humidify. Simply make this part of your night time cleansing routine. While waiting for your  moisturizer to sink in, fill up the humidifier and turn it on. It makes the difference between skin feeling tight and itchy to feeling as soft as it does in the summer.

4/ Exfoliate. Dry skin on the surface can create a barrier to much-needed absorption, so adding an oil-based sugar scrub or doing a light body brushing in the shower removes these dead skin cells, making way for oil or lotion to do it’s job. We recommend Sólas Jasmine & Geranium Sea Salt Body Scrub for body and S.W Basics Exfoliant for face or body.

5/ Add More Oil. At the end of your shower, before towelling off, apply a body oil like Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil. Mixed with the water on skin, it will spread easily and hydrate, drying without any stickiness and feeling comfortable under layers of clothes. Or you can add a few glugs of Osmia Organics Night Body Oil to your bathwater before bed. 

As well, a facial oil like Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil or Crawford Street Repairing Facial Oil is a good idea year round, but especially now. 

7/ Eat More Oil. Yeomans has tips for internal help as well. “You can increase the amount of good fats in your diet by drizzling olive or flax oil on your salads or steamed veggies and adding avocado and walnuts to your meals.” She says.

6/ Hydrate from the inside out. “Drink hot water with lemon and herbal teas to stay warm and hydrated.” is another recommendation from Yeomans.

8/ Vitamins & Supplements. “You can also try supplementing omega 3. I also recommend cod liver oil for omega 3, vitamin A and much needed vitamin D.” Yeomans explains.

9/ Watch the Temperature. Though it’s tempting to use hotter water, try to resist the urge. High heat feels great when we’re cold, but is hard on skin. Be mindful of water temperature even when feeling the chill. 

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