Winter can wreak havoc on the skin — but there are smart steps to take to protect and nourish it during the colder months.

“Most people know the impact that the summer weather and UV rays can have on the skin, but not everyone is aware that they need to take just as much care of the skin in colder winter months,” Dr. Dave Reilly, a U.K.-based skin care research scientist for the Absolute Collagen company, told Fox News Digital in an email.

“With the humidity of summer gone and the dry winter air coming in, you may notice your skin feels less hydrated, leading to drier, duller and more sensitive skin that is prone to redness and cracking.”


The key to keeping skin looking fresh is to maintain its moisture, Reilly noted.


“Drinking plenty of water and staying on top of SPF is important all year round, but it can also be beneficial to winter-proof your skin care routine with a more intense nighttime ritual, as well as investing in home products like humidifiers,” he said.

Moisturizing skin in winter

An expert shares steps you can take to protect and nourish your skin during the colder months. (iStock)

Below are five ways to ensure that your skin stays supple and “glowy” throughout the winter.

1. Drink plenty of water


Drinking water in summer can feel like second nature, as the hot temperatures make us crave cold drinks, but our thirst response diminishes in winter because we lose less body water through sweat, Reilly said.


It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even in cold weather, the skin care expert noted.



“If you struggle to stay on top of this, you could pick up a time-marked water bottle to keep by your desk or to bring along with you as a reminder to keep sipping to stay hydrated,” he suggested.

2. Boost with supplements 

Supplements are available that can help boost the brightness of your skin, according to the team at Absolute Collagen.

Woman taking supplements

“The body naturally produces collagen to support healthy and firmer skin, and by taking collagen supplements, you can boost your natural glow,” an expert told Fox News Digital. (iStock)

“The body naturally produces collagen to support healthy and firmer skin, and by taking collagen supplements, you can boost your natural glow,” said Reilly.


It can also be beneficial to take vitamin D supplements, particularly during the winter months, he noted, as the shorter days mean we don’t get enough high-quality sunlight for our bodies to generate their own.

3. Don’t toss the SPF

While sunscreen is emphasized more during the summer, when the sun is more intense, experts agree that it’s just as important to apply SPF in the winter.


“There is still a considerable amount of UV radiation during the winter that can cause damage,” said Reilly.

While sunscreen doesn’t eliminate exposure to all harmful UV rays, an SPF factor of 30 will block out 97% of them, experts say.


It’s also important to make sure your sunscreen offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

4. Keep your skin moisturized

Turning on the heat in your home can dry out indoor air, which can also impact the skin.


To counteract this, Reilly suggested investing in a humidifier to return some moisture to the air.

Woman face mask

Using moisturizing face masks is a good way to keep the skin hydrated, say skin care experts.  (iStock)


Using moisturizing face masks is another good way to keep the skin hydrated, according to skin care experts.

The best moisturizing ingredients to look for when making or purchasing face masks include honey, yogurt, avocado and banana.

5. Adjust your skin care routine


Although you don’t have to do a total overhaul of your skin care routine, creating a more moisture-intensive routine at night and investing in products to lock in moisture can keep the skin feeling hydrated and fresh during the day, said Reilly.




“Products like glycerin or rose water mix are great to apply on top of moisturizers, creams and oils to ensure that the products are protected and your skin can fully absorb them,” he added.

Adding a lip balm to your winter skin care routine is just as essential as a moisturizer or SPF, Reilly noted.