Although the winter season brings much to celebrate like holidays, cozy sweaters, time with friends and family, etc. there’s a strong chance you may also experience a visit from an unwanted guest: winter skin. We’ll dive into what winter skin is, what causes it, and most importantly, the easiest ways to treat and prevent it so you can embrace your glow all season long.


What is Winter Skin?

Simply put, winter skin is a condition characterized by dryness, roughness, and a compromised skin barrier that becomes more pronounced and noticeable during the colder months of the year when humidity levels drop and cause the air itself to become much drier. Without a healthy amount of moisture in the air, your skin’s ability to retain water inevitably decreases, allowing winter skin and its unwanted side effects to creep in.


What Are the Common Causes of Winter Skin?

  • Low Humidity Levels: Cold air holds less moisture and indoor heating systems contribute to a drier environment, leading to increased water loss from the skin.
  • Wind Exposure: Harsh winter winds can strip away the skin's natural oils, exacerbating dryness and irritation.
  • Hot Showers: While tempting in the cold weather, hot showers can strip the skin of its natural oils, contributing to dryness.
  • Inadequate Hydration: Dehydration affects the skin's ability to maintain optimal moisture levels, making it more prone to dryness, flakiness, and dullness.
  • Age: Aging is associated with a natural decline in oil production, making mature/aging complexions more susceptible to winter skin.

What Are the Common Signs of Winter Skin?

  • Dryness: Tightness, itching, and flakiness are telltale signs of dehydration.
  • Redness: Irritated and inflamed skin appears flushed and patchy.
  • Roughness: Loss of moisture and exfoliation from the wind create a bumpy, textured feel.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles: Dryness accentuates existing lines and can even lead to the formation of new ones.

How Can I Treat Winter Skin?

  • Nourish from Within: Drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, and prioritize sleep. These contribute to overall skin health and resilience.
  • Gentle Cleansing is Key: Avoid harsh cleansers that strip away natural oils. Choose mild formulas that cleanse without compromising your skin's barrier.
  • Don’t Over-Exfoliate: Over-exfoliation can worsen dryness, but focusing on incorporating gentle, chemical exfoliants like AHAs, PHAs, and BHAs helps remove dead skin cells without irritating your skin while improving dullness & improving absorption of your moisturizer.
  • All About Moisture: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Opt for rich, emollient creams to attract and retain moisture. Apply generously after cleansing/toning and throughout the day if needed.
  • SPF All Year Round: Yes, even in winter! UV rays can still damage your skin, promoting premature aging and dryness. Use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days.
  • Humidify the Air: Combat indoor dryness with a humidifier. Aim for a humidity level between 40-60% to keep your skin happy and healthy.
  • Boost with A Mask: A few times a week, layer a nourishing sheet mask into your skincare routine to maximize your moisture.

Karuna’s Go-To Nighttime Routine for Winter Skin

  • Step 1: Cleanse with Cleansing Oil
    • Packed with nourishing Camellia Oil, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid & soothing Prickly Pear, it gently removes dulling impurities while restoring hydration to the skin’s natural barrier.
  • Step 2: Tone with Radiance Toner
    • Exfoliating Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) and clarifying Salicylic Acid help slough away dead skin cells to reveal your natural glow while Niacinamide eases redness and hydrates.
  • Step 3: Moisturize with Wake Up Eye Cream and Lights Out Cream
    • Shea Butter and Peptides help restore skin’s moisture balance and resilience while targeting loss of firmness and visibly fine lines/wrinkles for a balanced, youthful complexion. Pro-Tip: Add a couple of drops of Multi-Tasking Face Oil into your moisturizer for an extra surge of soothing hydration!
  • Bonus Step: Boost with Quench Bio-Cellulose Mask
    • 1-2x a week, take advantage of the nourishing Black Truffle Extract & Plant Peptides to enhance your moisture game. You can apply it as your “serum” step after toning and before moisturizing, or any time during the day when skin is feeling extra winter-y. Your choice!

Navigating winter skin can be tough but here at Karuna, we’re here to help make it as simple as possible to help you maintain a healthy, radiant complexion even in the coldest months. By understanding how winter skin works and what skincare best practices can be implemented to best treat and prevent it, we can send winter skin packing together to keep you GLOWING! 

How do you tackle winter skin concerns with Karuna? Comment below or let us know on Instagram @karunaskin – we love hearing from you!

January 09, 2024 — Linda Wang

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