7 Winter Skincare Essentials to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Hydrated

7 Winter Skincare Essentials to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Hydrated
January 26, 2024
RxLocal Team

In the winter, cold air, crisp days, and falling snowflakes do wonders for your spirit — but not so much for your skin. For many people, the winter also means dry skin, chapped lips, and itchiness all over.

In fact, 69% of Americans report having dry skin in the winter, while 51% experience itchiness and 24% experience redness.

These common skin complaints lead nearly 65% of Americans to see a dermatologist in the winter — but did you know that many winter skin conditions can be solved with a few essentials from your independent pharmacy?

Read on to find the winter skincare essentials you need to keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and itch-free this season and beyond.

1. Cleanser

Cleanser is the first step in any skincare routine, but many Americans aren’t doing it right. 80% of Americans make at least one or more mistakes when cleansing their face, according to a survey from skincare brand CeraVe.

Mistakes include skipping cleansing, using bath soap or hand soap to cleanse, or just using water to cleanse (as is the case with 1/3 of Americans).

Many of these mistakes come from being uninformed about proper cleansing techniques, not understanding cleanser ingredients, and not knowing which ingredients work for particular skin types.

For dry skin, especially in the winter, essential skincare ingredients include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, and shea butter — all of which retain essential moisture in the skin.

Some of the top dermatologist-recommended cleansers for dry skin, according to Healthline, are:

2. Moisturizer

Even after you cleanse, your skincare isn’t done. The same CeraVe survey reveals that 25% of Americans don’t use a moisturizer — a cardinal sin for dry skin.

In the winter, cold, dry air saps your skin of its natural moisture, leading to dryness, flakiness, and irritation. If you want to combat dryness, opt for a good moisturizer.

Your local pharmacy likely offers a number of moisturizers, but some of the top dermatologist-recommended options to consider are:

3. Exfoliator

Even with proper cleansing and moisturizing, you might find yourself susceptible to dry skin. In the event you do, opt for an exfoliator. Exfoliators remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and leave it feeling polished.

There are two primary types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation uses abrasive tools to physically scrub away dead skin, while chemical exfoliation uses acids or enzymes to dissolve and remove dead skin.

For dry skin, dermatologists recommend using a gentle chemical exfoliator once a week. Some of the top exfoliators include:

4. Sunscreen

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should skip out on sunscreen. Even on cold, cloudy days, a good sunscreen can protect your skin from UV damage, dryness, and irritation.

Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and cite that anything over 50 offers minimal extra protection, usually at higher costs.

Some of the best sunscreens to look for at your pharmacy include:

5. Lip Treatment

As you moisturize your face, don’t neglect your lips.

Especially during the winter, your lips are susceptible to dryness. To keep them hydrated, make sure you drink plenty of water, limit exposure to irritants (like drying lipsticks, lip balms, and toothpaste), and avoid licking your lips.

In addition, make sure you have a hydrating lip treatment on hand. Lip treatments are best applied at night when they can soak into the skin. Throughout the day, you can apply hydrating lip balms.

Some of the best lip treatments include:

6. Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your face. During the winter, it's exposed to the same harsh elements, making it more vulnerable to dryness, redness, and fine lines.

To protect the area, make sure you avoid excessive rubbing, wear sunglasses to protect from UV rays, and moisturize with a dermatologist-recommend eye cream. Here are a few to consider:

7. Hand and Body Cream

As you cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate your face, don’t forget to do the same for your hands and the rest of your body. The same hydration principles apply, especially in winter.

Choose hydrating body washes, take shorter, lukewarm showers (hot water can dry out your skin); and use hand and body creams to lock in moisture.

A few options you may be able to find at your local pharmacy:


As winter continues, it's crucial to adapt your skincare routine to fight the cold air, keep your skin hydrated, and prevent dryness in even the harshest conditions.

You can find a wide variety of winter skincare essentials at your local pharmacy. If you’re facing chronic skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, your local pharmacist can help.

Next time you feel the familiar itchiness and irritation of dry skin, then, plan a trip to your pharmacy.

Don’t have a local pharmacy, or looking to find a new one? RxLocal’s Pharmacy Finder can help you find the right one for you and keep your skin healthy this winter.