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Winter Skin Care

Winter Skin Care

Adjusting your skincare routine for winter involves prioritising hydration and strengthening the skin moisture barrier with winter skincare products.

Why does your skin dry out in winter?

Complexion concerns can change with the seasons, so you might find yourself wondering “why does my skin dry out in winter?” Cold, dry air in winter can draw out moisture from skin, a process called trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). The phenomenon refers to the passive evaporation of water from skin and can culminate in dry winter skin, including:

    Mild redness in skin
    Flakiness from visible build-ups of dead skin
    Dulled and muted skin tone
    Rough textured skin
    Itchy or tender skin sensations

Ingredients that support winter skin

To address the causes of winter skin, plant-powered winter skin care formulas from Kiehl’s are infused with humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients can support dry skin and itchy sensations in winter by drawing moisture back into the skin to counteract trans epidermal water loss. To deeply nourish and moisturise complexions, our winter skincare products include the following ingredients:


Extracted from olives, this botanical oil absorbs into skin easily and helps to strengthen the skin moisture barrier, which means that skin can stay hydrated for longer.


Found naturally in skin, ceramides hold skin cells together – helping skin maintain a bouncy appearance. Topical application of this ingredient within skincare formulas helps to protect skin from external stress like dry, cold air.

Hyaluronic acid

A humectant used frequently in skincare, hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. This helps to rehydrate dry winter skin on face and encourages plumpness in skin.


Another naturally occurring humectant, glycerin also supports the retention of water in skin and helps to address the look and feel of rough complexions in winter.

Avocado oil 

Derived from avocado fruit, avocado oil contains omega essential fatty acids which moisturise skin deeply and help to create a protective seal for dry skin in winter.

How to Care for Dry Winter Skin

Want to learn how to take care of dry skin in winter? Maintain a glowing, hydrated complexion in the colder months with our top 10 winter skin care tips.


Cleansing impurities from skin helps keep the skin moisture barrier intact, but it’s important to use formulas that won’t rob your skin of natural oils. Choose a conditioning face wash to clean skin in winter without drying it out.


Facial oil is one of the most valuable skincare products for addressing specific complexion concerns. To support dry winter skin, find the best facial oil for your skin type and look for ingredients that deliver moisture, improve tone and texture, and boost brightness.


Hot showers and central heating are tempting to help keep warm in winter, but the benefits don’t always outweigh the costs. Direct exposure to hot water can affect skin’s natural oils while central heating dries out the surrounding air, leading to moisture loss.


Useful year round, hydrating moisturisers are an important element of skincare in winter for dry skin. Choose an ultra-nourishing formula with a rich and creamy texture designed to hydrate and enhance moisture retention.


Sometimes, winter dry skin is unavoidable. When the forecast includes rain or brittle wind, supplement your winter skin care routine with a nourishing face mask. Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask conditions skin with avocado extract and oil to reinstate the look and feel of a hydrated complexion.


Skin is at its most permeable during sleep, which provides an opportunity to hydrate deeper layers. Before bed, supplement your skincare with hydrating plant extracts by applying an evening moisturiser like Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask followed by a complexion refining evening facial oil like Midnight Recovery Concentrate.


Exfoliating cleansers can be used to brighten skin by clearing away build-up of dead skin which allows new skin to surface. At least once a week, use a gentle exfoliating cleanser like Clearly Corrective™ Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser, formulated with pearlstone to boost radiance. For men’s skin, we recommend Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub to clean away dead skin cells, dirt and oil while helping to soften facial hairs for a more comfortable, close shave.


Exposure to UV rays can damage the skin moisture barrier even on cold days. While there are ways to care for a damaged skin moisture barrier, prevention is always preferable. Incorporate SPF into your skincare routine for winter (and all year round).


Like the face, hands are exposed to the winter air more than most areas of the body – so they’re prone to dryness and flaking. In terms of winter skin tips for hands, carry a nourishing hand cream with you - Ultimate Strength Hand Salve softens and conditions hands with the benefits of avocado oil for skin.


Dry skin in winter doesn’t just affect complexions, so hydrating body care can be beneficial to support skin elsewhere. With a rich, non-greasy formula infused with cocoa butter, beta-carotene and squalene, Crème de Corps is an ideal skincare product for winter to moisturise dry skin and improve texture.

Your winter skin care routine

Learn how to avoid dry skin in winter by adopting the ultimate skincare routine for dry skin when the weather starts to change.

glass skin brightening cleanser

Step 1: Oil cleanser

Adding an oil cleanser to your evening winter skin ritual will help remove grime that accumulates on skin throughout the day while imparting the benefits of nourishing oils. Massage 3-4 pumps of Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil into wet or dry skin, emulsify and rinse for soft, purified skin.

Add a facial oil to your routine

Step 2: Gentle cleanser

To cleanse dry winter skin, gentle face wash formulas are recommended. Ultra Facial Cleanser is formulated to assist sensitive or dry complexions with nourishing emollients like squalene, apricot kernel oil and vitamin E. In a winter skin routine for men, opt for Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser for a desert plant-infused wash that won’t remove skin’s natural moisture.

Turn down the heat

Step 3: Balancing toner

A mild toner for dry skin in winter should leave skin feeling soft and comforted. After cleansing, apply Ultra Facial Toner, a gentle formula packed with squalene to balance dry or sensitive complexions

Use a hydrating moisturiser

Step 4: Glow-giving essence

Essence is an additional skincare step that can help prime skin for hydrating products that follow. When it comes to dry skin in winter, gentle acids can encourage a refined, healthy-looking skin surface which readily absorbs moisture. Pour a small amount of Ferulic Brew Rejuvenating Facial Essence into your palm and pat into skin, allowing to sink in for a few seconds before moving on.

Opt for a nourishing face mask

Step 5: Hydrating serum and facial oils

In terms of how to keep skin hydrated in winter, adopt serums and facial oils with a high concentration of moisture enhancing ingredients. Ideal for the cold season, Hydro-Plumping Serum Concentrate utilises epidermal hydration filler and 15% glycerin to support skin texture and elasticity. Layer with Ultra Pure High-Potency Serum 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid to ensure skin stays hydrated all day.

Step 6: Apply a Firming Eye Cream

Step 6: Nourishing moisturiser

Complexions can’t get enough moisture in winter, so the key to hydrated skin is ultra-hydrating moisturiser applied in the AM, PM, and throughout the day when needed. Look for rich, creamy formulas that deliver lasting hydration.

Step 7: Nourishing Face Oil

Step 7: Hydrating face mask

An overnight moisturising facial mask can be used once or twice a week to deliver additional hydration to skin in winter. Designed to replenish skin’s water reserves during the night, Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask can help stabilise the skin moisture barrier and prevent a tight, flaky complexion

discover how to get glowing skin

Discover How to Get Glowing Skin

For glowing skin, hydration is a must. Moisturiser formulas are tailored to skin types and needs to ensure optimal hydration is achieved. For glowing, dewy skin, read the key to skin hydration and then view our range of moisturisers and face masks.


Explore the Kiehl’s range for glass skin every day.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help achieve healthy winter skin we’ve answered your most asked winter skincare questions. Read on.

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