Quick Fixes: Simple Solutions for Dry Winter Skin

Neutrogena Minimise Pores
Ruby Feneley

Beauty & Health Writer

Jun 02, 2021

Has the wild weather got your skin acting crazy? Winter is one of the most challenging times of the year for dry skin – plummeting humidity levels outside mean more often than not we’re cranking the heating and treating ourselves to hot showers at home. But these solutions can damage the lipid barrier of the skin, putting you at risk of broken capillaries and severe dryness. Even worse, by destabilising your skins lipid barrier chronic dryness and dehydration can trigger breakouts. Here are some quick product swaps and nifty hacks to keep your skin tip-top this season.

Protect Dry Skin by Changing Up Your Cleanser – and Showering Smart!

A common complaint of makeup wearers is those foaming cleansers that leave them feeling squeaky clean also strip their skin. But can a cream cleanser cut the mustard (or the makeup)? As a lady who wears a tonne of base and eye makeup on the regular, I was dubious. However, it turns out recent additions to the cream cleanser category CAN handle the dirty work!

Dry Skin Fix: Swap your foaming cleanser for a cream.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser, $58.00, Mecca, Kate Somerville Cold Cream Cleanser, $73.00, Mecca

The Kate Somerville Cold Cream Cleanser is my new favourite – designed to remove makeup (I haven’t tested this as I am an AVID oil cleanser fanatic) the product has more grip than traditional cream cleansers. This is attributable to its water in oil composition that makes cold cream a little thicker than conventional cream cleansers, and able to break down dirt and oil more effectively.

The traditional cold creams from which Somerville’s products take its name contained mineral oil and thick waxes. You can guess that Somerville, a Los Angeles based aesthetician entrusted with the complexions of Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle, and Chrissy Teigen, isn’t using those ingredients on her A-List clients.

Instead, she has opted for a formula containing white honey, jasmine, daisy and rose along with skin-boosting omegas. My favourite trick is to apply the cold cream like a mask in the shower and remove it just before stepping out. It acts as a softening mask as well as a cleanser and stops the hot water stripping the delicate skin on my face. Rather than stripping my skin, it’s doubling down on hydration while cleansing effectively.

Prevent Dryness by Powering Up Your Serum

One of my favourite hacks at any time of year is maximising my hyaluronic acid serum with a hydrating mist. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule well beloved in the skincare industry for holding 1000x its weight in water. However, hyaluronic acid traps water from the surrounding area into the skin. If there is very little moisture in the environment you are in, this can pose problems – and some have suggested that hyaluronic acid can even draw moisture out of the skin if it can’t find any externally. Short of white walkers, I can’t think of a more blood-chilling winter scenario. To ward off this dreaded dry skin situation, I pair my hyaluronic acid serum with a solid dousing of face mist.

Winter Skin: Supplement your hydrating serum with oils and facial sprays.
Favourite Winter skin products

There are many on the market but my favourites give a little extra – with antioxidants or glycerin to add additional protection.

At night, or pre-makeup, I use what I call a “sandwich technique” – once you’ve spritzed quickly follow with a couple of drops of face oil that will seal in the goodness and act as a barrier for your skin. My current top picks are August Organics Face Care Oil, the only face oil on the market to utilise organic soy along with argan, jojoba and apricot oil and the Rodin Olio Lusso. Both vials of liquid gold give an exceptional glow, smell divine, and sit beautifully under makeup. Pick your poison!

Banish Dryness by Oiling Up!

Winter Skin - Body oils are a winter essential and will keep you hydrated top to toe.
Mecca Winter Skin products

There is no more telltale sign of winter than dry, flakey skin on shins and elbows. Nothing leaves us feeling LESS snugly. Fortunately, this is one of the most straightforward winter problems to fix. I like to keep a body oil in my bathroom cabinet, so I can grease up as soon as I get out of the shoer. The oil traps the remaining moisture against the skin and heats up in your hands, providing a delightfully warming and dry skin banishing massage. The best oils contain omegas and antioxidants which support overall skin health. My top picks? The Mecca Cosmetica Luxury Body Elixir contains Rosehip and almond oil, Beaute Pacifique’s Copus Paradoxe Body Oil contains super antioxidant Chilean Grapeseed and squalene while Sheer Shea’s Body and Bath Oil provides 100% organic shea nut oil with a delightful citrus scent. Any, and all, of these elixirs, will keep you silken and snug this winter.

What are your favourite dry skin hacks for winter? Sound off in the comments and read about the foundation you should be taking for a spin this chilly season below.


By Ruby Feneley

Beauty & Health Writer

Ruby Feneley is The Carousel Beauty contributor. Her obsession with makeup and skincare started when she modelled in her teens. While she studied English Literature at Sydney University she pivoted from front to behind the camera – receiving her Diploma of Artistry and working as a makeup artist, assisting industry leaders across multiple top brands. In 2017, she moved to New York where she worked as a copywriter for celebrity children’s wear label Appaman Inc. Ruby is now combining her love of makeup and skincare with her passion for writing. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of makeup and skincare – she can spot a Nars lip from 30 feet and recommend skin creams and treatments from chemists to La Mer at a glance. She is always looking for the next big thing in beauty whether it’s an “unsung hero” product, a highlighter hack or a technological innovation to accelerate your anti-ageing regimen.


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