Winter Skincare | Cruelty-Free Skincare Products to Treat Dry Skin in Winter

The southern hemisphere is in the grips of winter and everyone is dealing one common skin problem: dry skin.

Whether you have always had dry skin or not, everyone seems to struggle with dry skin during the season. Dryness can lead to more problems such as flakiness, itchiness, irritation, puffiness, and dehydration. I have dealt with these problems before, which is one of the reasons why I despise winter.

Let’s face it: the only nice thing about winter is the fashion.


With years of experience in the dry winter skin department I can confirm that there are four essential products that will help beat dull winter skin. Before I reveal the top 4 (and a few extras) it’s important to first know exactly what skin problem you need to tackle.

Is your skin dry, dehydrated or both?

Not many people know this but there is a difference between having dry skin and dehydrated skin. It took me years to find out that there are several products that are created to target these specific problems. The difference between dry and dehydrated skin is simple. Dry skin is often one of the main skin types in which there is a lack of oil. Dehydrated skin, however, is not only susceptible to just dry skin. People with combination or even oily skin can have dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin means that your skin particles simply lack water.

Now if you have one or the other or both do not fear! The products I recommend have treated these problems before.

Facial Oil

Seems like a given but oils are the holy grail of winter skin. Whenever I feel the temperature drop below 20 degrees I immediately take out my facial oil. Facial oils provide additional moisture and often contain anti-oxidants which promotes skin health. I suggest using a facial oil at night as the nights are generally colder – and you wouldn’t want to walk around with an oily face during the day. You should be careful when choosing a facial oil as some oils are comedogenic (clog pores) and your skin may react to the wrong type  of oil. The oils I generally buy include vitamin e, almond oil, avocado oil and rose oil as these are generally considered fatty oils. The fattier it is, the more moisturizing. The oils I avoid that are highly comedogenic are coconut oil, olive oil and shea oil.

There are two facial oils that have always worked on my skin in winter. Both are drugstore and cruelty-free oils that are available online or in store. The Elf Nourishing Facial oil is a light-weight oil that contains a mixture of rose, avocado and grape seed oil. The Ordinary Borage-Seed Oil is a concentrated seed oil that focuses on combating dryness, redness and uneven skin tone.

Hyaluronic Acid

This one is for dehydrated skin – and dry skin too! I have met many people with different skin types who rely on hyaluronic acid for different reasons. For people with dry skin like me hyaluronic acid is best used for added hydration. People with sensitive skin often have no reaction to the serum as it is quite gentle compared to other acids. Other benefits of this acid include evening out skin tone, brightening scars and smoothing textured skin. If you struggle with one of these problems or just want a boost to your skincare routine I suggest adding a hyaluronic acid serum.

My favourite serum that I have been using for months is The Ordinary hyaluronic acid serum. There is a detailed review on the serum here. I recently ran out and decided to try a serum from a different brand. I found this Q+A serum which is a little more concentrated but just as effective. It is also a drugstore brand so it is affordable. I apply 2-3 drops day and night in winter as the serum is lightweight and fragrance free.


This might seem like a no-brainer since everyone uses moisturiser. However, it is important to change your moisturiser as the seasons change. In summer I usually opt for a light-weight and sometimes gel-based moisturizer that is sweat proof. In winter I still want a light-weight moisturiser that contains more hyaluronic acid. Whether or not your skin is dry or dehydrated there is something about a moisturiser with added hyaluronic acid that makes all the difference. So, if you cant find a simple, concentrated hyaluronic acid serum you can simply use a moisturiser along with a facial oil (if desired).


A common mistake people make in winter is skipping sunscreen. Sunscreen is important in every season. Whether or not the sun comes out YOU NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN. Any sunscreen will work depending on your preferences and needs. I am yet to try a chemical sunscreen. For now, I am using the Cancer Council matte-based sunscreen SPF 50 for sensitive skin.


There are a few extra products that I use in my routine that help with winter skin. You could incorporate them if you wish.

Firstly, a hydrating toner helps in the mornings. Any toner with rose water is good enough for my skin to stay hydrated throughout the day. At night I apply niacinamide serum as well to help beat blemishes (because I binge eat in winter). Obviously, a good face wash, facial oil cleanser to remove makeup and facial mask are always beneficial.

You can follow my journey on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

-Kayla Shivana


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