How to take care of dry and itchy skin in winter

How to take care of dry and itchy skin in winter

4 minutes
Winter is coming, and for some of us, so is the constant battle with dry, flaky, itchy and chapped skin. Sometimes your skin can even look dull and it seems like it’s lost its glow. At Olay, we understand how frustrating it can feel, so discover why your skin gets dry during winter, how to moisturise it, and how to tackle winter rashes caused by dryness for a truly healthy-looking, hydrated skin.

Why does your skin get dry in winter

Dry, cracked skin on your body or face is one of the most common skin care conditions, and most people have had to tackle it before. It happens when your skin is unable to hold moisture properly, and it can result in patches of red, rough and itchy skin. The causes of dry skin can vary, but one thing is certain – winter is especially harsh on your skin. Cold weather, wind and low humidity in the air both outside and inside can all contribute to moisture loss that can lead to your skin drying out. Read on to find out what you can do to avoid your skin getting uncomfortably dry in winter.

Regenerist Ultra Rich Day Cream Rich feel

Ultra Rich Feel

The best ingredients to look for against dry skin in winter

Hydration is essential, so the first product you’ll need to choose when preparing your skin for winter is a great moisturiser. It’s not only the product that’s important, but the ingredients it contains. Here are some of the ingredients you should definitely look for when picking out an effective hydrating product:


Glycerine should always be the number one ingredient to look for when buying a product to protect against winter skin. It is an outstanding moisturiser, and an expert at pulling water to the top layer of your skin, keeping it moisturised.


Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B, and it strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier so it can better hold on to precious moisture better. It’s perfect for dry skin in winter, as with Niacinamide, your skin is less likely to dry out and stays hydrated longer.

Shea butter

Shea butter is basically a fat extracted from shea tree nuts, and thanks to its fatty acid content, it absorbs rapidly into your skin. It is not only incredibly effective in hydrating your skin, but it also helps restore your moisture barrier, so your skin can retain the precious moisture it has gained.

How to care for your skin during winter

Moisturisation is definitely at the centre of attention when it comes to winter skin care. But to get the most out of your hydration moisturiser, you need to apply it just at the right time in your skin care routine.

Step 1 – Cleanse

Cleansing should always be the first step in your skin care routine, no matter your skin type or lifestyle. A great facial cleanser, like Olay Cleanse Hungarian Water Essence Micellar Water, is designed to melt and remove even water-proof make-up, pollution, oils and other impurities from your face with a simple cotton pad.

Step 2 – Exfoliate

Exfoliating helps you get rid of dead skin cells and prep your skin to absorb all the moisture from your moisturiser later. Try Olay Detox & Glow Daily Polish with touch-activated particles for a bright and beautiful glowing complexion.

Detox & Glow Daily Polish

Exfoliates and Purifies

Step 3 – Moisturise

Now you are ready for your moisturiser. We recommend Olay Renegerist Ultra Rich as your face cream for winter, because it is packed with the most hydrating ingredients, designed to tackle dry skin in winter. Its rich texture wraps your skin in ultimate comfort and leaves a non-greasy feel after quick absorption.

Apart from its Niacinamide and Peptide Complex, it contains a unique shea butter blend that is truly effective against chapped skin.

If you want to learn more about the importance of the right ingredients and other interesting facts about the science behind Olay, make sure to join our master Skintellectual, Michaella Bolder as she explains what measures you can take against winter skin.

How to tackle winter rashes caused by dryness on dry skin

Cold weather and lack of moisture in the air can dry out your skin so much that it can lead to a winter rash. It is a form of skin irritation that can have symptoms such as redness, itching, flaking and even blisters. These symptoms, if untreated, can be irritating, but the good news is that with a great moisturiser you stand a really good chance of fighting them. Make sure to cleanse and exfoliate before applying your hydrating cream on the irritated area to get the maximum benefits of the moisturiser.

Additional tips to fight dry and itchy skin in winter

There are several other measures you can take when trying to prevent or treat dry skin in winter. We have collected a few tips and tricks you could try to keep your skin healthy-looking and glowing even in the coldest months.

  • Humidify. With the heating on in your house, the humidity in the air tends to go low during winter. Help your skin retain its moisture by investing in a humidifier.

  • No hot baths. You may love hot showers and baths, but your skin would disagree. Hot water can result in tight, dry skin, so try to limit the exposure as much as possible and use lukewarm water.

  • Drink lots of water. Hydration from the inside is just as important as from the outside. Watch out for your water intake and try to aim at minimum two litres per day.

  • Use sun protection. Yes, even in winter. UV rays are present throughout the whole year, so use sun protection whenever you go outside.

FAQs about dry skin in winter

What helps with dry skin in the winter?

Dry skin during winter is quite common, and one of the most important ways to tackle this skin concern is with a great moisturiser. Try Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich and pamper your skin with the instant hydration it deserves.

What makes skin dry in winter?

Dry skin can be caused by many things, but the low temperature and the lack of humidity in the air can be the main factors during the coldest months. Make sure you protect your skin with an effective moisturiser, so it remains soft and supple throughout the whole year.

Which moisturiser is best for dry skin in winter?

When it comes to tackling dry skin, it is not just about the moisturiser, but the ingredients it contains. Look for moisturisers that contain glycerine, Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B) and shea butter for the best results.

What makes skin dry in winter even with moisturising?

Environmental factors and lifestyle habits can both be the cause of dry skin. Try cleansing and exfoliating your skin before moisturising to make sure your hydrating cream has the maximum effect. Avoid long, hot showers, and drink plenty of water to hydrate your body from the inside. If your room has low humidity, it is worth investing in a humidifier.

The bottom line about dry skin in winter

Dry skin is a common skin concern, especially during winter, as the harsh environmental conditions can easily wreak havoc on your skin. Make sure to keep your skin hydrated with an effective moisturiser, be mindful about when you use it in your skin care routine, and make some lifestyle changes, such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding hot baths to ensure healthy-looking and bright skin all year long.