Skincare Products To Add To Your Winter Routine for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, you know how challenging it can be to find non-irritating products that are gentle, yet effective—especially during the harsh, dry winter months. That’s why, when it comes to winter skincare for sensitive skin, preparation is key. In this guide, we’re sharing our top product recommendations to help keep your sensitive skin feeling hydrated, soothed, and comfortable all winter long.
Winter weather can affect all skin types, but it can be especially tough on sensitive skin. This is because sensitive skin is considered more vulnerable to irritation from outside influences. In other words, there’s a higher likelihood for those with sensitive skin to be impacted by harsh winter conditions like cold temperatures, dry air, and chilly wind. Changing up your skincare routine in the winter can be a great way to ensure that you’re giving your skin the extra nourishment and care it needs during the colder months. Below, we’re uncovering the top CeraVe products to add to your face and body care routine for sensitive skin this winter.
Winter Routine Tips for Sensitive Skin
- Try not to introduce too many new ingredients and products during the winter. When in doubt, stick to the basics for your face and body routine: a gentle cleanser, hydrating winter moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- Look for fragrance-free and alcohol-free products that are formulated for sensitive skin, as well as ones with seals of approval from dermatological organizations—such as the National Eczema Association (NEA) or Skin Cancer Foundation.
- To help prevent winter dryness on your body, apply nourishing, non-comedogenic moisturizers regularly—especially after bathing, when skin is still damp, to help seal in moisture.
- Don’t forget about your hands, feet, and lips. Wear protective clothing—such as gloves to protect dry hands in winter weather—and try a petrolatum-based healing ointment on extra-dry areas, such as chapped lips and cracked heels.
What Is Sensitive Skin?
According to research, at least 50% of people have some degree of skin sensitivity.1 The sensitive skin type is generally used to describe people who are born with a higher level of skin sensitivity. However, the term “sensitive skin” can also be used to describe temporary sensitivity in any skin type—including dry, oily, and acne-prone skin. Regardless of whether your sensitive skin is hereditary or temporarily caused by external factors, the signs of sensitive skin are often similar. For example, you might notice sensitivity in the form of itching, burning, dryness, and redness, along with a tight, uncomfortable feeling.
Why Is My Skin So Sensitive in the Winter?
People with sensitive skin are believed to have a compromised skin barrier that is more easily disrupted, according to recent research.1 Your skin barrier (the skin’s uppermost layer) acts as a gatekeeper between your skin and the external environment, keeping moisture in and irritants out. If this protective barrier is disturbed by winter weather, for example, potential irritants or allergens can more easily penetrate your skin. A damaged skin barrier can also cause your skin to lose water too quickly, resulting in dry skin—a known trigger of sensitivity, according to dermatologists at Houston Methodist.2
So, what is it about winter weather specifically that can impact your skin’s moisture barrier? Depending on the severity of winter where you live, winter conditions that can strip moisture from your skin include low humidity, cold temperatures, strong winds, and more time spent around indoor heating.
What Helps Sensitive Skin in the Winter?
The right skincare products can help give your sensitive skin the extra care and hydration it needs throughout the winter. When temperatures dip and winter weather takes hold, it’s the perfect time to revamp your skincare regimen to focus on nourishing, fragrance-free moisturizing products with beneficial ingredients. Examples of ingredients to look for include dimethicone, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides—which make up about 50% of the skin’s lipids that help form the protective skin barrier.
With the help of a dermatologist, individuals with sensitive skin can also work to pinpoint specific sensitivity triggers and find ways to best avoid them. This may include altering your environment or lifestyle in the winter to help protect your sensitive skin—like adding a humidifier to your home, wearing protective clothing outdoors, and avoiding long showers.
Sensitive Skin Products To Try This Winter
The best winter skincare for sensitive skin can vary based on your personal preferences, sensitivities, and primary skin concerns. However, CeraVe’s range of formulas for sensitive skin offers the optimal place to start—with gentle, soothing options developed with dermatologists. Plus, all of our sensitive skin products feature three essential ceramides and are designed to help maintain your skin’s moisture barrier all winter long.
Here are our top product picks for sensitive skin that can help you get ahead of that grueling winter weather and support smooth, healthy-looking skin.
Comforting Eye Makeup Remover
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body, making the eye area especially delicate and sensitive. To remove eye makeup extra-gently this winter, we recommend CeraVe Comforting Eye Makeup Remover. This bi-phase water and oil makeup remover effortlessly removes even the most stubborn eye makeup, without making your skin feel tight or disrupting your skin barrier. To use Comforting Eye Makeup Remover as part of your winter routine, simply shake the bottle, saturate a cotton pad, hold the pad closed over your eye for a few seconds, and gently wipe away the makeup.
Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
When choosing a winter face wash for sensitive skin, it’s essential to choose one that focuses on maintaining your skin’s moisture. Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser effectively removes dirt and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural moisture or leaving it feeling tight and dry. This gentle, fragrance-free option allows you to enjoy the benefits of both a cream cleanser that hydrates and a foaming formula that provides a refreshing skin feel—without having to choose between the two.
Soothing Body Wash
If you’re dealing with dry, sensitive winter skin, it’s important to give just as much TLC to the skin below your neck. And this begins with choosing a body wash for sensitive skin that won’t disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier. CeraVe Soothing Body Wash is a gentle formula that effectively cleanses as it soothes your skin, with ingredients like omega oils, hyaluronic acid, and three essential ceramides. Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this fragrance-free sensitive skin body wash can be used in the winter on sensitive, extra-dry, itchy, and eczema-prone skin.
For a face toner option that’s suitable for sensitive skin, we recommend CeraVe Hydrating Toner. This allergy-tested, pH-balanced formula can be used after your facial cleanser to help remove any leftover residue. It’s non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, astringent-free, and fragrance-free, making it gentle enough to use as part of your hydrating winter routine for sensitive skin.
Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrating ingredient found naturally in your skin. CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum can be used daily, alone, or layered with other serums and moisturizers to replenish hydration, restore the skin barrier, and provide instantly smoother, softer skin.
Moisturizer is essential when it comes to keeping winter skin properly hydrated. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a dermatologist-developed, fragrance-free cream that can be used on both your face and body to moisturize and help restore your skin’s protective barrier. Its rich, fast-absorbing texture makes it a great non-greasy moisturizer option for the cold winter months. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is formulated with three essential ceramides, dimethicone, petrolatum, and patented MVE Technology, which helps support your skin’s protective barrier long after you’ve finished applying.
Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Face Lotion
CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Face Lotion is our 100%-mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It forms a protective barrier on your skin’s surface to help reflect the sun’s UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin. Formulated with ingredients such as niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, this gentle sunscreen for sensitive skin has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance and the Skin Cancer Foundation Daily Use Seal of Approval.
Remember: Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine for sensitive skin, even during the winter months or on cloudy days. However, sunscreen alone cannot completely protect your skin from UV rays. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a comprehensive approach to sun protection that includes applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, reapplying at least every two hours, wearing protective clothing, seeking shade when possible, and avoiding direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.3
If you’re wondering what dermatologists recommend for extremely dry skin and itchy skin in winter, it’s often a gentle skin protectant, such as an ointment. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests using an ointment to help very dry skin, since these formulas can often be less irritating and more effective than creams and lotions.4
If you’re looking to add an ointment to your routine for extra-dry skin in winter, we recommend CeraVe Healing Ointment. This petrolatum-based ointment, which is accepted by the National Eczema Association, forms a protective layer to enhance your skin’s natural moisture barrier function for up to eight hours. It helps temporarily protect, soothe, and hydrate skin as it recovers from cracking, chafing, and extreme dryness. For best results, CeraVe Healing Ointment can be applied on chilly winter evenings before bed to help lock in moisture throughout the night.
Note: Sensitive skin can sometimes be linked to an underlying skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis. Therefore, if you suspect your dry, sensitive skin may be caused by a skin condition, it’s important to consult with a board-dermatologist for an accurate assessment and the most effective treatment options.
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