Dry or Dehydrated Skin: Here's How You Can Hydrate Your Skin During Winter

Cold and dry air can leave our skin red, itchy, and/or irritated, especially during the winter season. The freezing conditions outdoors can have our skin feeling raw, while the indoor heat can zap away moisture from the air and into our skin. Even what we love about winter, like sitting in front of the fireplace, can dry or dehydrate your skin.

Winter can unleash havoc on your skin — making it dry, itchy, and irritated. Also, it can feel like there’s no way out: Cold, tempestuous conditions outside can leave your skin feeling crude, while indoor warmth destroys dampness from the air and from your skin.

Notice how I say dry OR dehydrate? That’s because both are different conditions but with similar solutions, and that’s to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized! There are home remedies you can try as well.

So, read on to find out what dry and dehydrated skin is, along with what you can do about it.

Dry Vs. Dehydrated Skin – Spot the Difference:

There’s a big difference between dry and dehydrated skin, yet both will in general feel the equivalent—downright dry. Nonetheless, when your skin feels dry you may in reality be dried out and needing water. Dryness alludes to a skin type, while dehydration refers to a skin condition.

While these two terms are easily interchangeable, they actually have a few key differences.

Dry skin is a skin type where your skin lacks oil. It isn’t a temporary condition, and is more permanent, with its giveaway being the skin texture. It would occur deep between the layers of our skin, causing dry and flaky skin cells to appear on surfaces. This would have our skin look cracked, rough, and sometimes, a bit leathery, lacking elasticity and suppleness that may lead to wrinkles.

Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a specific skin condition that anyone may experience anytime. Even other skin types like oily and combination may end up being hydrated. Compared to dry skin that lacks oil, dehydrated skin would lack water, a vital component to make our skin plump and healthy.

Dehydrated skin appears flat because of surface cell deflation, showing networks of small and triangular fine lines. Your face would feel tight and your complexion appears like someone switched off the lights from the inside!

How You Can Hydrate Your Skin During Winter

Now that you know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, how can you keep your skin hydrated to ensure it stays healthy? Here are a few quick tips to follow:


  • Invest in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture


If you don’t have one yet, it’s best to use a humidifier wherever you usually are, which adds moisture to the cold and dry air from the weather or home heating systems. This keeps your skin hydrated and it won’t release moisture around you. Use a humidifier and set it to 60% for better effects.


  • Exfoliating at Least Once a Week


Another important tip is to exfoliate! When dead skin builds up, it may stop the absorption of your moisturizer. Exfoliate at least once a week and remove dead skin cells for your moisturizer to work better and keep the skin hydrated.


  • Lower the Thermostat to Avoid Dryness


When it’s cold outside, you’ll want to turn up the heat. However, this makes the home drier, making your skin dehydrated. Keep the thermostat to a cool yet comfortable 68-72 degrees F, which helps maintain healthier skin.


  • Add a Serum to Your Routine


To hydrate your skin further, apply the serum before moisturizer. Just remember that serums and moisturizers are different and that both have to be a part of your skin routine.

Go for a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, which is used in fillers. While our skin produces this ingredient, serums that contain it can further supplement the skin to keep the skin healthier.


  • Opt for Gentle, Fragrance-free Cleansers


Avoid using regular bar soaps that may have irritating ingredients and/or fragrances. Use fragrance-free and moisturizer cleansers or gels. Be sure they are labeled as such, and NOT unscented!


  • Adjust Your Shower Temperature


Relieving dry skin can be helped by changing your shower routine, particularly its temperature. Hot showers can scale your skin, causing damage and dryness. To help with this, take quicker showers using warm water, not piping hot.


  • Wear Appropriate, Comfortable, Non-Irritating Clothing


Did you know that cold-weather fabrics can aggravate our dry skin? When out, avoid having wool and other rough clothes directly touch the skin, as this has our skin irritated or itchy.

Rather, wear light layers made with soft and breathable materials under the skin, then wear heavier and warmer sweaters. Furthermore, wear gloves or mittens to protect your hands!


  • Antioxidants and Omega-3s


When the skin is dry, this means it’s exposed to elements that damage skin cells quicker than our bodies can repair them. There are foods that help keep the skin healthier though, particularly those rich in antioxidants. This is because they minimize toxin damage and help with cell reproduction.

Focus on foods like blueberries, carrots, beans, peas, lentils, tomatoes, and those rich in omega-3 fatty acids.


  • Drink Water


To keep the skin hydrated, YOU need to stay hydrated as well! Drinking water is essential for your overall health, and it affects your skin, too. Drink a lot of healthy fluids, consume fruits and vegetables rich in water, along with essential fatty acids. Opt for 8 glasses of water daily, or more if you sweat a lot.


Wrapping It Up


Winter skin is more fragile so if you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis be sure to avoid any irritants or allergens that you know flare your condition.

I hope that this quick guide on dry and dehydrated skin gave insight into the different solutions to keep your skin healthy and looking fresh. Do follow these tips and prepare for the cold weather ahead, good luck!

Do you have questions or want to share your thoughts and tips on keeping the skin hydrated? Share them in the comments section below, I appreciate all of your thoughts!

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].