Diary / Beauty / Nov 14, 2023
What Causes Dry Skin on the Face & What to Do About It
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
What Causes Dry Skin?
Several factors, such as aging, genetics, or medical conditions, can cause dry skin. However, in the winter, especially in areas where there is lower humidity and cold air, more people experience skin that is dry and dehydrated.
Nothing feels better than a hot shower or bath after a cold day outside, but spending too much time in hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to even more dryness and discomfort. While you might think bathing would give your skin a nice drink of water, it is actually the oils in the skin that keep it hydrated.
And even when it’s winter, that doesn’t mean your skin doesn’t need protection from the sun’s rays; never skip your daily sunscreen. A good SPF will not only protect you from irreversible skin damage but too much exposure to the sun can chap already-sensitive skin. So, what else can you do to support your winter skin? We’ll go over how to find the best moisturizer for dry skin in the winter.
What’s the Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin in Winter?
You’ll definitely want to incorporate a facial moisturizer into your skincare routine during the winter if you aren’t already doing so. When it comes to picking one out, there are several factors you want to consider: your skin type, if you already have skin concerns (like acne or eczema), and the severity of your dryness.
While those with already oily skin may want a thinner lotion as a moisturizer, if you are experiencing dry skin, a thicker texture will be a gamechanger. This will help to seal in moisture and prevent water loss from the skin.
Avoid skincare products that contain alcohol or fragrances, as these can further dry out the skin. Quick science lesson: You may see some instances of “alcohol” listed among our product ingredients: for example, behenyl alcohol in Miracle Cream and cetearyl alcohol in our Eye Cream. Although these are labeled as alcohols, they are fatty alcohols that help effectively smooth and soften the skin. (Their chemical structure is different from typical drying alcohol, even though they are still called alcohol.)
When it comes to ingredients, look for oils and even butters that offer deep hydration. They are incredibly effective moisturizers.
Plant Oils and Butters for Moisturizing
Oils are excellent at maintaining moisture and hydrating your skin so it stays soft. Plus, they are non-toxic and well-tolerated by all skin types.
Fatty acids are vital for cells, as they help provide the actual structure to the cell. They also aid brain development and function, support healthy hormone production, and maintain skin health. When it comes to our skin, fatty acids can help improve skin health by soothing inflammation and combating dryness.
Apricot oil contains a significant amount of fatty acids, which can provide nourishment and protect the skin when scrapes, cuts, or blemishes occur. The antioxidants in apricot oil may help to minimize the visible signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles.
Even if you have oily skin, this lightweight, nourishing oil provides the moisture your skin needs to stay balanced, but without feeling drenched; it’s easily absorbed into the skin, leaving a non-greasy feel. We’ll get to this more in a bit but our Oil Stick features apricot oil.
Another oil rich in fatty acids, rosehip oil (you may see it written in some places as “rosa canina fruit oil”), is a natural oil that’s rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. (It’s also found in our Oil Stick.) Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage skin cells, and this can lead to more rapid aging. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals, keeping the skin youthful and healthy.
Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower oils are perfect for dry skin caused by winter weather. Another fatty acid, sunflower seed oil helps to maintain the skin barrier and prevent water loss.
Sunflower seed oil is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores or contribute to breakouts. This means it’s an especially great ingredient for sensitive skin types who experience blemishes. Our Hippie Stick is a balm packed with sunflower seed oil that provides a buttery but non-greasy barrier against harsh weather that contributes to dryness.
Jojoba oil is a great addition to your skincare routine when your skin feels excessively dry. This oil is an absolute powerhouse and is already known to be effective in pharmaceuticals.
For one, it is effective at keeping evaporation at bay; keeping that moisture in means that your skin remains supple. Its emollient properties provide conditioning in skincare and haircare, and the oil is used in a vast amount of cosmetics. (We’ve already explored benefits of jojoba oil, if you’d like a deeper dive.)
It also restores the skin’s natural shine without feeling greasy, which is why it’s a staple in not only the industry but also in our own products, like in What The Foundation. WTF is a tinted moisture balm, perfect for those suffering from dry skin who want coverage that can help add hydration back in. If your skin is on the drier side, layer WTF on top of your daily moisturizer and sunscreen, but many people find they can simply apply sunscreen and WTF—it’s that moisturizing.
Macadamia Seed Oil
Macadamia seed oil is non-comedogenic (meaning: no clogged pores here) and filled with fatty acids. Featuring vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, it's also excellent for dry skin thanks to high oleic, linoleic and palmitoleic acids that restore the appearance of softer, smoother, firmer skin. Macadamia seed oil also absorbs quickly, which makes it a great addition to our Eye Cream and Light Moisture Cream.
Shea butter is the fat extracted from the shea tree's nut and has, with good reason, found popularity in moisturizers and cosmetics. It is a versatile ingredient that helps to lock in moisture and prevent the skin from drying out; fantastic for those with sensitive skin. Also containing antioxidants, shea butter can help to protect the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have facial scarring, its high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins can support the healing process.
Shea butter is found across Jones Road, for example, in our Face Pencil, which corrects signs of discoloration and covers redness. (We recommend using your preferred shades alongside WTF once you’ve sufficiently hydrated with your moisturizer of choice, which we’ll get to in just a moment.) It’s also in quite a few of our most beloved products, like Cool Gloss, Miracle Cream, and The Brow Pencil.
Jones Road Moisturizers for Your Skin
Finding the right moisturizer will help restore your skin and make it soft and supple again. But you must consistently apply it to enjoy the benefits of sticking to a routine. (And by consistently, we mean everyday.) There are a few options at Jones Road that you’ll want to incorporate into your regimen.
Light Moisture Cream
Even if you don’t deal with dry skin in the winter (or ever), you should still moisturize. Our Light Moisture Cream is fast-absorbing and buildable, which will gently replenish any lost hydration in the morning—always an important step when it comes to prepping your skin before applying makeup.
If you have dry skin, use a heavier product at night (like Miracle Cream) for ultimate hydration, and then use the Light Moisture Cream during the day.
If the cold winter air has your skin feeling dull and dry, Miracle Cream is thicker than Light Moisture Cream, and offers intense moisture for skin types that would benefit from more nourishment. Shea butter and sunflower seed oil will plump your skin and even help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This rich cream is ideal for those with super dry skin during the day or as a hydrating night cream.
The Oil Stick
The Oil Stick offers buildable moisture that can be used as a spot treatment for particularly dry spots or as an all-over dose of extra hydration. (It’s portable so keep it with you to easily glide on and reapply.) In addition to apricot oil, The Oil Stick features other plant oils like sunflower, jojoba, and rosehip, which will have your skin feeling smooth and soft in no time. It’s also perfect for rubbing into dry cuticles, another consequence of the winter months.
Get Dryness Under Control
Dehydrated, irritated skin can be a nuisance, and can quickly worsen in the winter if you’re also prone to dryness. It’s important to have a routine in place so your skin can consistently receive the hydration that applying moisturizer—and the right one for your skin concerns—will offer. Start by looking for ingredients that promise to nourish your skin, and your complexion will be happier for it.