How to give dry skin a hydration boost in the heart of winter

How to give dry skin a hydration boost in the heart of winter 1

As much as we love woolly knits and hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, there’s one side to winter that can be extremely challenging – dehydration. If you struggle with dehydrated or dry skin in winter, you’re not alone.

During winter the moisture levels in the air (also known as humidity) drop, making the air drier. When this happens, air draws moisture from anywhere it can, including our hair and skin. This is why your regular summer skincare routine probably won’t suffice in the colder months – you’ll need to up your moisture levels by switching over to extra hydrating and moisturising products to not only replenish the moisture lost, but to also lock it in.

Luckily, there is plenty you can do to give dry skin a hydration boost and keep it moisturised:


One of the most important aspects of skincare is whether or not your products are able to penetrate deeply enough to offer real results. This counts for hydrating products, too. Two of the most important things you can do to aid the process of product penetration is to remove makeup and dirt thoroughly, and to exfoliate once or twice per week.

Thorough makeup removal is essential, not only to clean skin and allow new products applied to penetrate, but also to avoid the formation of clogged pores and breakouts. Don’t rely on your cleanser alone – use a good quality makeup remover before cleansing to ensure no debris or makeup stays behind. We love Gatineau Age Benefit Melting Cleansing Elixir (R850.00), which effortlessly melts away makeup and has a plumping and hydrating effect, and The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (R310.00) which contains calming chamomile to soothe while gently removing makeup and dirt.

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Exfoliation plays a key part in skin health because it removes dry and dead skin cells that lie dormant on the surface of the skin. When these build up, they may lead to clogged pores and pimples, as well as lack of radiance. Slough these cells off by means of exfoliation, and you’ll enjoy a brighter complexion, as well as better product penetration. We recommend W Beauty Liquid Exfoliator (R199.00) which contains AHAs to brighten and exfoliate skin for a smoother and more even complexion.

Arguably the most important step in your skincare regime (after sunscreen, of course), is a good quality serum. There are plenty of fantastic hydrating serums on the market that contain effective hydrators like hyaluronic acid, to replenish and seal in moisture. We recommend:

NUXE Super Serum [10] (from R1475.00) contains natural hyaluronic acid and is infused with thousands of micro-spheres of fractionated Botanical Oils to hydrate and nourish skin.

Vitaderm Rapid Hydration Serum (R515.00) has a light-textured fast-absorbing active formulation that offers advanced skin hydration for all skin types, including oily skin types that are prone to dehydration.

How to give dry skin a hydration boost in the heart of winter 3

Once you’ve applied your serum of choice, it’s time to lock in all that moisture with an effective moisturiser that protects and repairs the skin barrier. We recommend Lamelle Serra Restore Cream (R595.00), which mimics the human skin barrier, replacing moisture and eliminating the root cause of dry skin. 

If your skin needs a pick-me-up throughout the day, consider spritzing a hydrating facial mist for a moisture boost and skin refresh. We love essence Hello, Good Stuff 48h Hydro Fixing Spray (R81.95), which is enriched with coconut water (and is made of 97% natural ingredients) to hydrate skin and keep your makeup locked in place.

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The cherry on top of any skincare regime is weekly or bi-weekly face masks. While not the most important step in your regime and often considered a luxury, masks give your skin that extra bit of pampering it needs to look its best. Plus, it helps lock in moisture when your skin needs it most. We recommend essence Hydro Gel Eye Patches (R189.95), which contain hyaluronic acid to provide moisture for up to 24 hours. These patches refresh and care for the skin, leaving skin looking brighter and refreshed.

Sothys Hydra-Plumping Youthful Mask (R750.00) provides skin with an instant burst of hydration, plumps and smooths to leave you with a radiant and moisturised complexion.

Body care

Scaly knees and elbows sound familiar? Sometimes we get so caught up in perfecting our facial skincare regimes that we neglect the skin on the rest of our bodies, only to panic when bikini season hits. Save your lighter lotions for summer – to combat the dryness associated with winter, you’ll need richer, creamier and oilier formulations that replenish and seal in moisture. These are the products our editor swears by (and is currently using):

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Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm (R229.99) is a paraffin-based product that helps skin heal faster by creating the ideal wound healing environment. It generates a protective barrier over the skin and contains Panthenol and Bisabolol to accelerate skin regeneration. Glycerin moisturises skin and strengthens the skin barrier. It’s the perfect product for dry and cracked heels, knees and elbows!

Eco Diva Vitamin Body Oil (R475.00) is a vitamin-rich oil infused with a potent blend of plant-powered vitamins C, A & E, hyaluronic acid, and superfoods to nourish and protect the skin. A powerhouse of skin-loving ingredients, this oil helps reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks while intensely moisturizing and keeping skin soft, smooth and nourished.

Letibalm Repair Nose and Lips Balm (R104.95) contains active ingredients to nourish, protect and soothe skin irritated by colds, flu and allergies. It’s an absolute lifesaver for dry and chapped lips and noses, restoring the skin and offering much-needed moisture and protection.

Clere Gly-Co-Oil (R27.99) contains moisturising glycerine, tissue oil and petroleum jelly to revitalise dehydrated skin and protect against (and minimise) the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Apply directly to the skin or add a few drops to warm bath water for an all-over moisture boost


One Response

  1. I love this article.
    My skin is so dry during winter -sometimes I don’t know what to do with it.

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