The effects of cold on the skin

Written by: Hector Sentilhes



Time to read 4 min

During winter, your skin is exposed to wind and very low temperatures. This can impact your skin barrier. Discover the effects of cold on the skin.


“Due to dropping temperatures and lack of humidity, our skin may struggle to retain moisture, leading to itchy, dry skin and cracked lips.”

ROSEMONT, III - American Academy of Dermatology


When cold winds rage, the humidity in the air decreases. Keeping your skin hydrated becomes more difficult, especially for dry skin . As natural hydration decreases, this leads to itching. This can be explained by the lack of fat present in the epidermis, leaving the skin more vulnerable to external aggressions. You may then feel itchy due to bacteria and allergens in the air.

Indeed, the lipids present in the stratum corneum decrease significantly during the winter period, maintaining humidity in the hydrolipidic layer then becomes more complex. This lack of hydration can lead to dry skin.


Your skin has parts that are naturally less protected. Sensitive parts of the skin, such as the lips, hands, feet and elbows, are often more exposed and vulnerable to winter conditions due to several anatomical and environmental factors.

These areas of the body generally have thinner skin compared to other parts of the body. Thinner skin means fewer protective barriers against external elements, leaving these areas more susceptible to attacks from cold and wind. They have fewer sebaceous glands (glands that produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the skin).

Their constant exposure to wind and other environmental factors makes them more susceptible to adverse effects, such as drying out, cracking and cracking.



The skincare routine in winter is more important compared to other seasons, because the skin is more vulnerable. To fight against the cold, you need to select the best moisturizers. The skin barrier needs to be well maintained to protect the skin.

Whether it’s moisturizing cream, hydrating cleansing gel or vegetable oils. You must select cosmetic treatments that contain moisturizing active ingredients that help the epidermis play its role as a protective agent. The Neo by Nature hydrating cleansing gel with its triptych of moisturizing active ingredients ( Hyaluronic Acid , Aloe Vera , Inulin ) contains the ingredients necessary for good hydration.

Be careful what you apply to your skin. Makeup removers, for example, may contain ingredients that make your skin more vulnerable. The face, which is constantly exposed to the cold, can easily become dehydrated and certain makeup removers can damage the protective films. In winter, we will favor makeup removers rich in lipids.


The mistake that often comes up is the hot and prolonged shower. After a long day in the cold, we know how eager we are to take a nice hot bath. However, this is not recommended for keeping your skin hydrated. When you take a shower or bath that is too hot, it can strip away the oil naturally present in your skin. This can then cause it to dry out. Your skin becomes more sensitive to external attacks and is more susceptible to irritation.


In winter, opt for materials that allow air to circulate easily, such as organic cotton or linen. Friction with clothing that sticks too closely to your skin can dry it out further and prevents excess moisture from building up, which could contribute to skin problems like rashes or irritation.
As your hands are one of the most sensitive parts of the skin, you can protect them with gloves. Wearing gloves can help protect your skin and keep you comfortable.


Constantly on in winter, heating can have an impact on your skin. Ambient humidity drops due to the cold, dry climate and heating. To avoid skin dehydration, it is recommended not to set your radiators above 20°C. Excessive use of heating systems contributes to drying out of the skin, because if the ambient air is dry, it absorbs the moisture released by the skin, thus making it more fragile. Heating accentuates the differences in humidity between the outside and the inside, causing a feeling of tightness and dryness on the skin. By maintaining a moderate temperature, you can help preserve the skin's natural moisture and minimize the damaging effects of heating on it.


Since the cold is the main problem during winter, we tend to forget that UV rays from the sun remain present. Indeed, if the skin is not properly protected, prolonged exposure to these UV rays can cause the skin to age and dry out. Protecting the skin from these UV rays can also reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Remember that sunscreen isn't just for summer!


In winter, cold and dry conditions can alter the skin barrier, causing dry and itchy skin. Sensitive parts of the body, such as the lips and hands, are particularly vulnerable. To prevent these effects, it is essential to use moisturizers, choose breathable clothing, avoid hot showers, protect hands with gloves, maintain a moderate temperature indoors, and not forget about sun protection, because UV rays remain present in winter. These precautions ensure hydrated and protected skin.