Skin Care Tips for Winter Outdoor Activities

winter outdoor activity skin care tips from dermatologist

Winter outdoor activity skin care is something you really need to intentionally think about before stepping outdoors in the harsh and brisk weather. Winter weather will chap skin fast. You need to take steps to fortify your skin for the exposure and help it heal after the exposure. This is tricky and I'm going to give you the key tips to create winter skin care that saves your skin.

Winter Skin Care to Fight Dry, Chapped Skin this Season.

Outdoor activities in cold and windy weather will take a toll on your skin – skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, hot-tubbing just to name a few – these are hard on your skin. Your skin is in and out of conditions guaranteed to create chapping.

winter outdoor activity skin care tips from dermatologist Dr. Cynthia BaileyiesHow do you fully immerse yourself in the joy of winter’s wonders without ending up with stinging, tender and wind-burned skin? There are 5 key elements to put into place before you step out to enjoy the brisk and beautiful season. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey

Dermatologist's 5 Top Skin Care Tips to Protect your Skin this Winter:

1. Cover as much of your skin as possible with mufflers, gloves, goggles, scarves, and ski masks.

This trick will envelope your skin in warmth and humidity which are sure ways to protect from chapping. Be creative and try to cover as much skin as you can. Splurge and buy what you need or be inventive with scarfs, beanies and mufflers. Use functional gloves so you’re not tempted to remove them when you need a good grip.

2. Moisturize with deeply-hydrating skin creams.

This is not a time of year to be fussy about the feel of moisturizer on your skin. You need a rich and occlusive product that traps moisture in your skin. Look for ingredients like botanical oils, shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and even lanolin if you are not allergic to wool.

Apply moisturizer after every washing or showering of your skin – hands, face, arms and legs all need moisturizer after every cleansing and even in between if your skin is starting to chap. Moisturizers work best when applied within 3 minutes after toweling dry.

3. Avoid the use of harsh soaps and steamy hot water when you bathe and wash your skin.

winter skin care tips

It’s tempting to take really hot showers after being out in the cold. But think about how much more effective hot water is at getting greasy pots and pans clean than cold water! The same is true for your natural skin oils. They are lost more easily when you shower and bathe in hot water. Enjoy your hot tub, but shower in warm water. Apply your moisturizer right after toweling dry.

4. Use only mild cleansers for bathing and skin cleansing during the winter.

Avoid harsh soaps. Chose naturally-made soaps created from botanical oils that have retained natural glycerin, a byproduct produced during soap-making. Glycerin soaps are another option. You can also choose a SYNDET which stands for synthetic detergent. These are the sensitive skin products that are pH balanced. Avoid sodium laurel sulfate SYNDETS, however. Cleanse only the parts that really need it including the face, chest, and upper back which are oily. Also cleanse skin folds including arm pits and groin. Cleanse your feet too. The rest of your skin is often sufficiently cleansed with the rinsing of lather from washing these areas.

5. Use hydrocortisone ointment at the first signs of chapping.

This is non-prescription. You can apply it twice daily to speed healing. If skin fails to improve, see your dermatologist. Don’t scratch if skin chapping becomes itchy because that can lead to worsening of the rash and even infection. Know that there are side effects to the use of topical hydrocortisone which include skin thinning. It also may not be safe to use on the face near the eyes – which makes physician supervision even more important. 

Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey's favorite products for winter skin care include

best natural body, hand and face lotion for winter skin care Natural Body and Face Lotion: Richly hydrating botanical ingredients including aloe, glycerin and botanical oils help skin resist dryness. Use from head to toe as your winter moisturizer.  Fragrance free, ideal for sensitive skin and the entire family. 

Omega Enriched Face Booster Oil: A healing oil fortified with sea buckthorn in a base of argan, kakui, pomegranate and other botanical oils that are deeply hydrating without being greasy. Use alone or mix with your moisturizer to boost healing and skin barrier repair.  
best face oil for winter skin care


Survival Kit for Busy Hands contains a non-drying easy rinse natural and fragrance-free hand soap and the best ever hand cream. Use this to wash your hands and avoid chapped hands this winter. Don't be tempted to use harsh soaps or dish soap to wash your hands, keep these products by the sink where you most often wash your hands and see the difference.


best hand cream and soap for winter


Natural Lip Balm applied numerous times a day is a winter lip survival essential. Keep a tube in your backpack, purse, desk, bathroom, coat pocket etc. It will make a huge difference in preventing winter chapped lips!

best lip balm for winter skin care to prevent chapping


VaniCream Cleansing Bar and Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser are pH balanced SYNDETS that don't strip skin oils and are also ideal winter skin cleansers.