How to care for your skin during winter

How to care for your skin during winter


During winter, our skin changes significantly. It tends to be drier than during the summer months, and for some people this dryness can develop into prickly, irritable skin that is difficult to soothe. Here we take a look at why this happens, how it can accelerate ageing, and what steps we can take to keep your skin feeling smooth, plump and glowing all winter long.

Why your skin is drier in winter

1) Your skin's barrier is weakened

 Studies have shown that the lipid component of our skin is depleted during winter (1). This makes our skin’s barrier less effective and therefore more prone to dryness than at other times of the year. This reduction in skin lipids becomes more pronounced as we age, and so as the years go by, winter dryness can become more problematic.

2) Cold air holds less moisture

Humidity drops significantly during winter. Couple this with our exposure to heated homes, cars and workplaces, and our skin is now exposed to a far drier environment. This means our skin can become easily dehydrated, further increasing the tendency for dry flakey skin.

3) We tend to take longer, hotter showers and baths in winter

It’s natural to want to luxuriate in warm water during winter. But hot water will literally melt away our skin’s lipid barrier. This is worsened when we use detergent cleansers on our skin, with further loss of lipids the result (read more here).

Why it’s important to not have dry skin

Medical science understands that low grade, chronic inflammation is one of the key drivers of ageing known as ‘inflammaging’. Inflammaging is thought to be behind a range of chronic diseases including type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. 

The evidence is growing that low grade inflammation of the skin, caused by reduced effectiveness of the skin’s barrier, could be a key contributor to the inflammaging of old age (2).

Therefore, dry skin could result in accelerated ageing not just of our skin, but of our whole bodies.

Many people focus on looking after the skin of their face and neck, but neglect the skin of their bodies. We need to keep in mind that dry skin anywhere on our bodies could result in low grade inflammation that could affect the health and speed of ageing of our whole bodies (read more here).

How to protect your skin from dryness during winter 

1) Feed and replenish your skin’s lipid barrier

Choosing the right moisturiser is key to keeping dry skin at bay. Moisturisers formulated with abundant omega-6 fatty acids are known to replenish the ceramides that are depleted during winter. Apply moisturiser to face and body immediately after bathing to restore your skin’s lipid barrier.

All Mokosh moisturisers are enriched for the omega-6 fatty acids. We recommend using one of our serums appropriate for your skin type - these are extremely rich in the barrier-restoring omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants that have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing benefits (read more here).

To counteract the low humidity of the air, our creams are extremely valuable during winter because of their ability to slow water loss from our skin. Our creams contain unrefined shea butter which will help lock in your skin’s moisture, while also delivering a range of anti-proteases, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules that protect skin elements and slow ageing.

Equally importantly, our products are free of preservatives and other synthetic ingredients that can disrupt our skin's microbiome (read more here), which is another key component of our skin's barrier.

2) Do not use detergent cleansers 

Overuse of detergents is considered by some dermatologists to be a key cause of skin problems (read more here).  We recommend completely eliminating use of detergent cleansers on the face, and using soap sparingly on the body so that you do not wash away your skin’s lipid barrier. 

Our detergent-free Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil dissolves away dirt, excess sebum and impurities, while replenishing omega-6 fatty acids, and can make an enormous difference to the health of the skin.

3) Warm, not hot, showers

Hot water will deplete lipids from the skin, leaving it feeling dry and prickly. Keep the water temperature as low as possible, and take short showers and baths to minimise the lipid loss. Always moisturise the skin of face and body after bathing with a well-formulated moisturiser.

4) Increase humidity

If you cannot avoid spending time in heated environments, ensure you drink plenty of water, and if necessary, use a humidifier.


Winter is an important time to slow down, take stock and contemplate life. Taking the best care of your skin is as important as providing the best nourishment to the rest of your body.  All at Mokosh wish you a healthy and happy winter season, with plenty of regenerative rest and heart-warming times with loved ones.


  1. Rogers, J. et al (1996) Stratum corneum lipids: the effect of ageing and the seasons. Arch. Dermatol. Res. 288:765-70.
  2. Agrawal, R. et al (2023) The Skin and Inflamm-Aging. Biology 12:1396

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