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Winter Skin Guide: Dry Skin Winter Skincare Routine

Woman feeling rejuvenated and smiling after applying her dry skin winter skincare

It happens almost as if on cue: When the weather gets cold and windy with the seasons, your skin may begin to feel dry, rough or flaky; you may even experience itchy skin. Dry skin in winter can happen even if you don’t necessarily have a dry skin type. When this is the case, it’s largely due to the environment, and therefore, a temporary concern – though hard hitting. Ahead, learn how wintry weather leads to dry skin, why having dry skin in the winter is so common, and a dry skin winter skincare routine, plus tips, to help you find relief.

Why is my skin so dehydrated in winter?

It’s not just you — skin really does get dry in the winter. The combination of cold temperatures and low humidity in the air have been found to impact the skin barrier, compromising skin barrier function and even causing stress in skin.1 Therefore, a strong skin barrier is essential for maintaining skin hydration and pH; when it’s properly cared for, it helps skin look smooth and firm.2

When the skin barrier isn’t working properly — as is the case in winter weather — that can lead to dry or dehydrated skin. Dry skin in winter can look rough, dull or flaky, and you might experience tight or itchy skin. The dryness can also make fine lines and wrinkles appear more noticeable.3

How do you hydrate your dry skin in the winter?

To keep skin hydrated in the winter, there are three types of ingredients to look for: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants are ingredients that both attract and retain water in skin, which can plump and hydrate from the inside out.4 These include Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally produced by the skin, but its levels drop over time due to a combo of age and sun damage.5 That can lead to the loss of elasticity and hydration, which is why incorporating a Hyaluronic Acid serum or moisturizer in the winter is especially helpful for those experiencing dry skin.

Next are your emollients, which typically consist of fatty acids and lipids, such as Shea Butter and Coconut Oil, and leave otherwise flaky skin feeling soft and smooth to the touch and visibly radiant.

Our Absolue Rich Cream Moisturizer contains Coconut Oil and Squalane for moisturizing benefits making it a great dry skin winter moisturizer, designed for day or nighttime use. While Advanced Génifique Night Cream contains Hyaluronic Acid and Bifidus Prebiotic which helps to repair the skin moisture barrier overnight.

The third type of ingredient to look for is occlusives. Occlusive ingredients are typically thick and provide an invisible “barrier” around the outside of the skin. Some occlusive ingredients to look for include Lanolin, Dimethicone, and Petrolatum. Learn more about humectants, emollients, and occlusives in our Guide to Moisturizing Dry Skin.

Genifique hydrating serum as part of a dry skin skincare routine

Which moisturizer is best for dry skin in winter?

Your dry skin winter skincare routine should have proper, balanced hydration at its core. So, a good moisturizer, serum, or both is non-negotiable in the winter, and you should apply some form of moisture – your choice of toner, serum, or moisturizer – soon after cleansing.6 Consider layering in hydration via skincare products throughout your skincare routine, starting with your cleanser.

Should you exfoliate dry skin in the winter?

Although the focus of a dry skin winter skincare routine is typically on moisturizers, exfoliating can be a key step to include in your skincare routine. When dry and flaky skin shows up, using an exfoliant can help to slough away dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and deeply cleanse the pores. For a refreshing and renewing skincare treatment, look to include Clarifique Facial Exfoliating Essence into your routine. Clarifique Essence works both to exfoliate and nourish the skin. The formula contains Glycolic Acid (AHA), known to exfoliate the skin’s outer surface, and Salicylic Acid (BHA), a well-known exfoliator widely used to remove dead cells from skin surface.

Your New Dry Skin Winter Skincare Routine:

Step 1: First, cleanse your skin. If you have dry skin on your face, skip foam or gel cleansers in favor of a gentle formula that nourishes and soothes skin as it washes away impurities and makeup, such as Crème Mousse Confort. Rinse with lukewarm water, as hot water can further dry skin.

Creme Mousse Confort Foaming Cleanser
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Crème Mousse Confort Foaming Cleanser

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One size available
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Step 2: Apply an alcohol-free toner that nourishes and further purifies skin, such as Tonique Confort. It’s blended with Hyaluronic Acid and Sweet Almond Oil to replenish skin hydration in just 15 minutes.

Tonique Confort Hydrating Toner with Hyaluronic Acid
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Tonique Confort Hydrating Toner with Hyaluronic Acid

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Step 3: Immediately after applying toner, massage a hydrating serum like Advanced Génifique Face Serum into skin. It contains Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin Cg, and Bifidus Prebiotic to deliver hydration and visibly improve radiance.

Genifique Serum Packshot
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Advanced Génifique Face Serum

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Old price New price $135.00

Step 4: Moisturize with a face moisturizer that suits your skin type. For instance, Absolue Rich Cream Moisturizer smooths and softens skin and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Our Advanced Génifique Night Cream contains Ceramides (an emollient) and helps to restore hydration and plumpness while you sleep. For moisturizing dry skin during frosty winter days, Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide Cream with SPF 25, Hyaluronic Acid, and Glycerin provides broad-spectrum sun protection and skin hydration.

Step 5: Dab eye cream around your eyes - the eye area has some of the thinnest skin on the body and is equally prone to dry skin in winter and dehydration under eyes. Advanced Génifique Eye Cream is formulated with Bifidus Prebiotic and Hyaluronic Acid to help accelerate skin’s moisture barrier recovery.* Absolue Eye Cream is our premium eye cream infused with exclusive Grand Rose Extracts, shea butter, Pro-Xylane, and linseed extract to reduce the appearance of under eye wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet which are often more noticeable and emphasized when the skin is dry or dehydrated. *Based on immediate expert grading assessment with product on.

Step 6: During the day, follow this regimen with sunscreen as your last step. UV Expert Defense SPF 50+ Primer & Moisturizer is our 3-in-1 primer, moisturizer, and SPF 50 sunscreen. It’s made with antioxidant-rich Vitamin E and Moringa seed extract to hydrate, prime, and help protect skin in one easy step. It’s also a great last step before applying your makeup routine.

UV Expert Defense SPF 50+ Primer & Moisturizer
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UV Expert Defense SPF 50+ Primer & Moisturizer

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One size available
1.0 fl. oz.

1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26449379/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608132/
3 https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/#sec1-3title
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/#__sec13title
6 https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin

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