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It's winter—the season of hot cocoa, morning snuggles, beanies, and, OH NO, extremely dry skin.
There are several reasons why dry skin around the eyes happens in cold weather, but luckily, there are ways to combat them all.
From your skincare routine and diet to your nighttime accessories, there are plenty of easy steps you can take to prevent dry skin flare-ups. You'll keep the skin around your eyes happy and radiant all winter!
What Causes Dry Skin Under Eyes?
Let's start with why dry skin around the eyes is such a problem during wintertime. Knowing the causes can help you prevent dry skin and better your skin health.
Fragile skin around your eyes
The skin around your eyes is very delicate skin to begin with. The skin on your face is thinner and more fine than other areas of the body. And the skin around your eyes is even more sensitive, leaving the area prone to irritation.
On top of the skin around the eyes being thinner, it's also a very vascular area, making it potentially quicker to develop irritation and red skin.
For these reasons, dry skin under the eyes is a common problem, even when the weather isn't cold!
The cold weather
One of the biggest issues that Jack Frost brings in winter is a major drop in humidity. The cold, dry air aggravates the skin barrier—more so if you're enjoying the outdoors on a windy day.
This makes it difficult, even for those with perfectly healthy skin, to retain moisture. This can lead to skin dryness, irritated skin, and itchy skin. This is where the vicious cycle begins—the more you itch, the more you scratch and rub, leading to red skin, flaky skin, and further woes.
Pro Tip: The first steps in preventing weather-induced dry skin are to up your skincare routine and remember to wear sunscreen!
Other causes of dry skin under eyes include higher indoor temperatures that stave off winter's chill. Being cozy comes at a price because the more you heat your home, the dryer your skin and hair will be. If you don't have central heating, sleeping close to heat sources can make dry skin around the eyes even worse.
How to get around this? Use a humidifier in your home!
Upping the humidity in your home will help ward off dry skin under your eyes. You can even buy a humidifier that allows you to diffuse essential oils with it. Add relaxing and rejuvenating scents like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint to freshen up your space!
Unfortunately, certain skin types are more susceptible to dry skin under the eyes. Those who have fair skin, black skin, or brown skin are more prone to dryness.
If you have a medium complexion, you're in luck, as skin dryness is less common.
An underlying skin condition
If you're suspicious that you may have a chronic condition, it's important to speak with a dermatologist. If you have an underlying skin condition, they may be able to prescribe medicated creams to help manage dry skin.
There are many skin conditions that can cause dry skin under the eyes. Some may share common symptoms like itchy eyes and scaly skin, cracked skin underneath the eyes, dry skin around your eyes, and red skin.
Common skin conditions that may cause dry skin under eyes. Some of these may include an allergic reaction or immune system response, like atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, eyelid eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis.
Pro Tip: Scaly skin and flaky skin around the eyes could be typical symptoms of a medical issue.
Talking to a medical professional may help you treat dry skin. You can also find over-the-counter lotions and creams approved by the National Eczema Society here.
How To Avoid Dry Skin Around the Eyes
Ok! So, now that you know what can cause dry skin around your eyes, here are some more tips and tricks on how to prevent it.
Your daily skin care routine
If you aren't already, make sure to use plenty of products that help the skin around your eyes retain moisture. Lotions and eye creams that contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are excellent for helping prevent and treat dry skin.
- Hyaluronic acid helps better your skin's health by moisturizing and boosting its elasticity. At the same time, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It helps skin stay hydrated while improving skin tone
Pro Tip: Make sure to pat gently when applying lotions on the skin around the eyes. Rubbing will aggravate delicate skin.
Another application tip is to gently dab small amounts of skincare products on the orbital bone and eye socket. This is less damaging than applying directly onto the delicate undereye. You can put several tiny dollops of cream and pat it in with your ring finger.
Be careful to avoid putting any skincare products directly on or near your eyelashes.
Washing your face
Make sure to use facial cleansers formulated without any harsh chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, or dyes. (This goes for other skincare products, too). A gentle cleanser will not aggravate sensitive skin around the eyes.
This is especially important if you have skin conditions like eyelid eczema or contact dermatitis, for example.
Here's another important tip to avoid dry skin under the eyes, especially during cold weather:
Do not wash your face too frequently or with hot water!
Cool or lukewarm water is much less drying to delicate skin than hot water. Plus, frequent overwashing will strip your skin of its natural oils. These oils help keep your skin soft, supple, moisturized, and healthy.
Those rays of sunshine might feel especially amazing during the cold winter months, but they're not so friendly. UV rays are damaging to your skin and can cause premature aging. Unfortunately, aging skin is more prone to chronic dry skin and other skin conditions.
If you're more of a homebody during the winter, you won't have to worry as much about this. But you can still catch UV rays from inside when you draw your curtains back to let in some sun. Or, when you take a quick trip to the grocery store. Any amount of UV rays can be damaging over time, even if only exposed for a short duration.
Protect the skin around your eyes by always applying broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen (of preferably SPF 50). Also wear protective sunglasses before you go outside to play in the snow—and every other day!
Try some home remedies
Sometimes, simple home remedies can help manage and prevent dry skin under your eyes.
Here are a few common remedies to try at home:
- A green tea bag compress can help under eyes. Green tea contains caffeine, which helps fight puffiness. It's also packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols, which promote healing, lessen inflammation, and ward off specific bacteria.
- A warm compress can help relieve itchy skin and burning from dry skin around the eyes,
- Whole milk compresses contain natural emollients, occurring from the milk's high-fat content. Try a cold compress soaked in whole milk to help soothe dry skin under the eyes.
- Other natural salves, like aloe vera and shea butter, can be helpful in comforting and rehydrating dry skin under the eyes
How silk can help retain moisture
Silk is an amazing natural fabric with numerous beauty and wellness benefits. If you aren't already sleeping on a silk pillowcase or wearing a silk sleep mask at night, then it's time to!
It can make a drastic difference in how hydrated your skin is and can help prevent dry skin under eyes.
Silk is naturally:
- Hydrating, it will not absorb skincare products or your skin's natural oils
- Hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and noncomedogenic, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin
- Anti-aging, preventing the appearance of new wrinkles and fine lines
- Ultra-soft, making it not only super comfortable but nearly friction-free, which helps soothe dry skin and frizzy hair
Wearing a Blissy Silk Sleep Mask to bed
Say goodbye to dry skin under eyes by wearing a Blissy Silk Sleep Mask at night! It'll not only help your skin stay moisturized and help stop new wrinkles from forming, but it can also help lessen dark circles and undereye bags. Their ultra-soft, luxurious, 22-momme sleep masks are soothing and cooling to delicate skin while they block light, allowing you to get a better night's rest.
Blissy Silk Sleep Masks are also OEKO-TEX Certified and safe to wear, allowing you to sleep comfortably and confidently knowing the delicate skin around your eyes will be pampered.
Take a peek at Blissy's stylish Ombre Collection of mulberry silk sleep masks, pillowcases, and hair accessories. They'll add the perfect pop of color to your space while helping prevent dry skin under your eyes!
Up your hydration and diet
Nutrition and lifestyle habits can greatly affect your skin, especially if you're dehydrated or have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Make sure to drink lots of water and eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods.
Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates, which can increase inflammation.
Keep Dry Skin at Bay
Hopefully, these tips will help keep you looking fabulous all season while relieving dry skin around the eyes!
Is your hair also feeling a bit bummed this winter? Discover how to rehydrate moisture-deprived tresses here!