How to Prevent and Treat Dry Skin During The Winter


Wintertime can be especially harsh on skin—cold and dehydrating air, freezing dips in temperatures outside mixed with dry heat inside, and winds that can leave skin wildly uncomfortable. Regardless of your skin type, winter is when most of us need to adjust our skincare routines. The change of seasons is a perfect time to call for a reevaluation – you can always recalibrate or enhance your usual ritual to fit your skin’s new needs. Safeguard and cold-proof skin with a few quick swaps, all in the name of winter skincare.

Whether you adapt your routine with a few of these tips (or all of them), the hope is to combat dryness and comfort winter skin. Below, find 8 tips to soothe dryness this chilly season.

Creamy Cleanser

Morning and evening, cleanse with a gentle cleanser. Try The Camellia Cleansing Oil which is formulated with camellia oil to gently remove even waterproof makeup, melt away excess oil, and nourish skin to feel softer than silk.

Our founder Vicky Tsai has perfected her cleansing oil application. “To use cleansing oil, always begin with dry hands and a dry face,” she says. “Fill your palm with a shallow well of oil and, using your fingertips, gently massage it onto your face—including around the eyes, plus lids—for 15 to 20 seconds. (Not all cleansing oils are safe for use around the eyes, so be sure to check the label.) Splash water onto your face and watch the oil quickly emulsify into a milky layer and effortlessly melt away makeup and debris. Rinse off with a few handfuls of warm water or softly wipe away with wet cotton pads. Oil cleansers are gentle and effective for all skin types. Just avoid cleansing oil formulas with mineral oil, which is known to clog pores, especially if you’re prone to breakouts.”


It can seem counterintuitive to exfoliate when skin is dry, but a gentle exfoliant helps naturally shed the buildup of flaky dead skin cells. And that exfoliation will help your essence, serum, and moisturizers work much better too.

Try a natural enzyme exfoliant, like The Rice Polish which removes impurities while also providing potent antioxidants and nourishing moisturizers. Many exfoliants contain harsh abrasives and can only be used weekly, but The Rice Polish is gentle enough to be used every day. Wet your palms and splash a handful of warm water onto your face. Pour half a teaspoon of powder into one hand and gently rub your palms together to create a creamy, luxuriant foam. Massage gently with your fingertips onto your face in circular motions for 10 to 20 seconds, avoiding your eyes. Rinse well and pat your skin dry with a soft face cloth.

“When activated with water, rice powder not only decongests your pores, but also brightens skin tone, diminishes hyperpigmentation, and enables skin to better absorb the next steps in your ritual,” says Tsai. “Many conventional Western exfoliants contain seeds, salt, or ground shells that can tear and tug at the skin — even weekly use can cause irritation. Rice powders are beloved because they can be used every day without stripping or pulling at your skin. Instead, the foam delicately removes the dead skin cells that make your complexion appear dull.”

Soothing Essence

It may seem like the classically thin and fragrance-free liquids are insignificant when it comes to fighting chronically dry skin, but it’s one of the most beneficial additions to your daily ritual. “A water-light essence floods skin with hydration and amplifies the performance of any treatment—including sheet masks and serums—by channeling it into the skin,” says Tsai.

“The essence, which is patted to the skin twice daily after polishing, should always precede any ritual enhancements like brightening serums, deep moisture treatments, or beauty oils,” she says. “You may be so enamored with the plumpness of your skin and its resulting luster that you’re tempted to skip the next step. Don’t. The most important job of the essence and its primary function is to make the skin ready for whatever treatment follows. The essence is the first act of giving back to your skin after you have shed impurities by purifying and polishing. Though it takes only 7 seconds to apply essence, the act reminds me that many major life events happen in mere moments. Now that I am a devout believer in the plumping power of essence, I look forward to this part of my ritual the most.”

To amplify the benefits, use the essence twice daily on a dry face, after cleansing and before applying any additional skincare steps. Pour a shallow well of essence into one hand, press your palms together, and then gently pat the essence into the skin of your face, neck, and décolletage. Try The Essence which boosts the effects of skincare, resurfaces, and hydrates for primed, plump, and petal-soft skin.

Not all liquids are created equal though—look for skin-replenishing ingredients and avoid drying, sensitizing ingredients (like clays, essential oils, and denatured alcohol).

Hydrating Serum

Layering on extra hydration during colder seasons will restore lost moisture and relieve dry, thirsty skin. And a super-boosting serum can deliver a much-needed dose of hydration to return your skin to the supple, bouncy radiance lost over the wintertime.

Morning and evening, apply a skin-replenishing serum to the face and neck, no need to rinse. Using your fingertips, massage serum into your skin in upward circular strokes. The Dewy Serum is beautifully restorative and replenishing, and particularly great for achieving smoother, plumper, and dewier skin.

Rich Moisturizer

A richly restorative moisturizer is a no-brainer when it comes to soothing itchy skin in the winter. Dry skin loves pampering, so hydrate with a rich day cream and a creamy, rejuvenating nighttime moisturizer.

How to care for oily skin in winter? If your skin is more combination or oily, managing it during cold and dry winter months doesn’t mean loading up on heavy-duty moisturizers. Aim for a series of lightweight products (think essence, serums, and a gel moisturizer) that provide replenishing ingredients without weighing skin down. Try The Water Cream a clarifying water-based moisturizer that releases a burst of hydrating nutrients and pore-refining botanicals for balanced skin.

When it comes to moisturizer application, place a pearl-size amount of moisturizer onto your palm and dot to each cheek, your chin, and your forehead. Then, using your fingertips, massage gently in upward and outward strokes. “My rule for choosing a moisturizer is to look for an antioxidant-rich form that suits your skin type,” says Tsai. “If your skin is dry, opt for a rich cream or beauty oil. If your skin is more oily in profile, try a lighter gel or lotion.”

Nourishing Face Oil

Seal that series of moisture-loving products to your skin by applying a face oil immediately after a moisturizer. Apply two to three drops to your fingertips and rub together to warm the oil. Gently pat the oil all over your face, pressing it into your skin.

Choose non-comedogenic oils, like macadamia nut oil, rice bran oil, and camellia oil. Our Gold Camellia Beauty Oil is formulated with extra virgin Japanese camellia oil and 23-karat gold, locking in moisture, adding instant nourishment, and infusing your skin with radiance.

Lip Treatment

If you seem to suffer from chronically flaky and parched lips in the winter, restore your pout with a leave-on treatment, like the bestselling Kissu Lip Mask The jelly mask has squalene, Japanese peach, and camellia oil to nourish, calm, and restore lips lushness. Massage a generous, even layer onto clean, dry lips and leave on to soak in indefinitely. The treatment can be used any time of day, but particularly right before bed is ideal.

Overnight Face Treatment

If you want to ramp up and enhance your beauty sleep and give your skin a super hydration boost overnight, apply a mask to your face, eye area, and neck as the last step in your nighttime ritual. You’ll awake to unbelievably glowing, smooth skin. Try the new Indigo Overnight Repair treatment, which visibly calms irritation, strengthens skin’s barrier, and balances the microbiome. Even after a single night, Indigo Overnight Repair-treated skin is more radiant and supple, softer, and less red and irritated.