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Irrespective of the skin type, winter can still get the best of it. Dry, itchy or flaky skin almost becomes a norm as the temperature drops and it can easily be the reason to keep you from enjoying the cold. Here, we chatted with renowned skin experts to get intel on winter dryness and how to retain that soft, plump glow. Read on for the best skincare tips to tackle winter dryness.

Switch to a cleanser that hydrates

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

“Opt for a cleanser that cleanses your skin and pores while packing in the moisture. Get a cream/oil-based or gel-based cleanser depending on your skin type. The ingredients to choose are hyaluronic acid, glycerine, glycerol, and Vitamin E,” says Dr Harshna Bijlani, celebrity skin expert and medical head of The AgeLess Clinic. Our pick: Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, Rs 2,400

Be careful with toners or exfoliators

skincare tips for winter dryness

“Make sure your toner is alcohol and astringent-free to avoid dryness. In winter your skin tends to be naturally dry so you could skip the toner or reduce its usage frequency. If you’re using one, opt for a toner that’s more hydrating. Look for ingredients like witch hazel,” says Dr Bijlani. Cosmetic chemist Dr Aneesh Sheth adds, “Using a physical scrub in dry weather may be harmful to our already damaged skin. Exfoliate with gentle acids—this hydrates skin.”

Our pick: Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Brightening Ayurvedic Face Scrub, Rs 1450

Moisturising is the most important step

skincare tips for winter dryness

“When the temperature and humidity drop, your body loses almost 25% of its moisture or water level without even sweating, this phenomenon is known as transepidermal water loss. Low temperatures also constrict your oil glands and blood vessels, resulting in further dry skin. Once you get out of the shower, moisturise immediately because your skin is softer and pores are open. This is the best time to allow your pores to take in maximum moisture. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane, silicone, rosehip oil, shea butter, and more. If you have oily or pigmented skin, you could also opt for creams containing lactic acid,” advises Dr Bijlani. Our pick: Boscia Cactus Water Moisturiser, Rs 3,750

Do not ditch the sunscreen

skincare tips for winter dryness

“Even though pollution may appear to make skies gloomy, sunscreen is a must in any weather. Ideally, coupling it with a hydrating anti-pollution serum [will do great things for your skin],” says Dr Sheth.

Our pick: Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Rs 2,750

Add face mists to your skincare regime

skincare tips for winter dryness

“Mist regularly throughout the day. As the weather gets dryer, the available humidity in the air is lower. Therefore, it’s important to mist with antioxidant ingredients like green tea and blue light protecting ones like butterfly bush as part of your skincare routine,” adds Dr Sheth.

Our pick: Dr Sheth’s Indoor Protection Mist, Rs 549

Use a hardworking night cream

Essentials Ojas: Glow Replenishing Night Beauty Balm

“Indian skin has a lower ceramide content and higher water loss relative to other skin types. Further, pollution damages the skin barrier making our skin sensitive, so it’s extremely important to keep it protected. Make sure you’re using ingredients like ceramides and fatty acids in your night cream. These will pull your skin together and keep it hydrated,” says Dr Sheth.

Our pick: Essentials Ojas: Glow Replenishing Night Beauty Balm, Rs 3,800

Keep your brightening skincare close

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum

“Dry skin is the first sign of pigmentation, so make sure you are constantly using anti-pigmentation or brightening ingredients like niacinamide, kojic acid and licorice extract in your products,” says Dr Sheth.

Our pick: Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum, Rs 9,000 (approx.)

It’s the season for serums and oils

Shangpree Marine Jewel Capsule

“Serums and oils are a great way to hydrate your dry in winters. If you have oily skin, I would recommend doing a patch test before you opt for oils, but those with dry skin should definitely opt for light oils and serums in winter. The ingredients you want to look for are idebenone, Vitamin E, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and rosehip oil. The Shangpree Marine Jewel Capsule has a fantastic formulation filled with hydrating, brightening, and anti-aging ingredients with patented marine ingredients like Salmon DNA and Pearl extract with a highly hydrating and weightless formula which works perfectly for winter,” suggests Dr Bijlani.

Our pick: Shangpree Marine Jewel Capsule, Rs 1,995 – Rs 9,250

Prioritise lip care

Glamglow Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment

We tend to overlook our lips all through the year. You think you can slap on a nice-smelling lip balm which gives your lips a good tinted appearance and you’re good to go. Dry lips not only chapped but also tend to look darker. Make sure you opt for a good quality hydrating lip care in winters. Look for ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and aloe vera. Another good point to remember is SPF, your lips need SPF throughout the year, just because it’s not too sunny outside does not mean the UVA and UVB rays will not harm your lips,” says Dr Bijlani.

Our pick: Glamglow Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment, Rs 2,200

Get face masks for added hydration

LuxaDerme Brightening Bio Cellulose Face Sheet Mask

Face masks are all the rage right now and rightly so. Sheet and gel masks go a long way in hydrating your dry skin and giving it the nutrients it needs. While looking for a facemask, make sure you opt for hydrating and nourishing ingredients like idebenone, Vitamin C & E, hyaluronic acid, AHA, ceramides, and peptides,” says Dr Bijlani.

Our pick: LuxaDerme Brightening Bio-Cellulose Face Sheet Mask, Rs 500

Anjan Sachar

While Sachar’s week is made up of writing and talking about everything from glycolic acid to the best new red lipstick, the weekends are spent testing them all, with ‘Gossip Girl’ reruns on the side. When she isn’t reviewing a new face mask, you’ll find her sipping on mimosas with a side of truffle fries. Her daily essentials: Iced latte with a side of J Balvin and Prateek Kuhad.