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3 tips for dry winter skin

Winter is just around the corner and we are now heading towards increasingly colder times, at least if you live in the Nordics. This usually means that many of us start to have drier and perhaps even more sensitive skin. The skin is our largest organ and has an important role in protecting us from the outside world, but in order for the skin to function and give us good protection, we have to treat it right. How we best care for our skin varies depending on the season and here we share Skinome's founder, Dr. Johanna Gillbros, 3 best tips for winter dry skin. If you want to give your skin a chance to be at its best this winter, keep reading!

Human skin is divided into three layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer), the dermis (the layer directly below the epidermis) and the hypodermis (the innermost layer).

Skin cells work together with trillions of good microorganisms found in the skin, what we call the microbiome, and these friendly microbes have been shown to play an important role in our skin health.

We often talk about different skin types and skin care products are usually developed specifically according to skin type. Some people have oily skin, others dry or more "normal". But this can change and an important factor is actually the season.

By treating your skin correctly, you can strengthen the skin's important barrier function that retains moisture in the skin, reduce water loss (TEWL) and make your microbiome thrive and come into balance. Combined, this will give you stronger, smoother and healthier skin. Here are Johanna's 3 simple tips to help you take care of your skin and avoid becoming dry in the coming months:

1. Cleanse the skin – but only in the evening!

The basic idea behind cleaning the skin is that it has accumulated particles from the city air, dirt, grease and other unhealthy substances, which need to be removed from the skin. And this is of course true. However, many people today overcleanse the skin (messing with the skin too much) and scientific studies show that there is a link between too much cleaning and some of the most widespread skin problems such as dry and sensitive skin or even rosacea.

During the night, the skin forms unique moisture-binding substances that are part of the skin barrier and that contribute to soft and healthy skin. Surfactants that you find in many cleaning products tend to negatively affect the skin barrier because they can also dissolve the skin-specific lipids that form in the skin. It must be remembered that it is the dream of every skin care company to find the exact composition of fats and moisture binders that healthy skin produces on its own. Therefore, an important piece of advice to avoid dry and sensitive skin this winter is to only cleanse in the evening. Don't wash off all the amazing substances that have formed overnight - they contribute to better skin health!

Skinome has two facial cleansers, Mineral Cleanser and Sensitive Cleanser, both of which clean gently but effectively and which have a moisturizing effect. They contain very mild surfactants, skin-friendly lipids as well as pre- and postbiotics and they are completely preservative-free. If you have waterproof makeup, you can use our oil-based body cleanser Five Point Cleanser before using Mineral or Sensitive Cleanser. But remember, only clean in the evening.

2. Moisture, moisture, moisture!

You can help prevent dry skin or help your already dry skin by using the right skin care products. Humectants and emollients are undoubtedly the most important ingredients to look out for this season.

Emollient: Retains moisture in the skin and prevents it from becoming dry and flaky. They also have an occlusive effect, meaning they cover the top layer of skin (epidermis) to stop evaporation and are therefore important in preventing transdermal water loss (TEWL). In combination, this leads to a more effective barrier function in dry skin.

The levels of natural emollients in the skin change with the seasons. They are at their lowest in winter, which may be a reason why many people experience drier skin during this period. But by using skin care that contains these emollients, you are helping your skin along the way. A good tip is to first of all look for emollients that the skin itself produces, as they are natural for the skin. We call these ingredients skin-specific or skin-like. Examples of these are ceramides, squalane, lecithin and cholesterol. These are all found in the skin's own beneficial mixture of oils and water which, together with moisture-binding substances, are so important for healthy and strong skin.

Look for skin-specific emollients such as ceramides, squalane, lecithin and cholesterol.

Moisture binders: In order for the skin to retain moisture, we can help by adding ingredients that bind water in the skin. That's where moisture-binding substances come in. Examples of these substances are glycerin, urea, hyaluronic acid, amino acids and various types of salts. Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is found naturally in the skin where it binds water in the top layer and moisturizes the skin. Another substance that occurs naturally in our skin is hyaluronic acid, which has an amazing ability to bind water. However, applying hyaluronic acid has very little effect because this molecule is too large to penetrate even the top layer of your skin. Therefore, it is better to use one of the building blocks that make up this acid.

The building block we use is N-acetylglucosamine which can penetrate the skin's surface and once in the skin it helps produce hyaluronic acid which can then bind water and moisturize the skin. Our moisturizers also contain postbiotics, which also have an important function of moisturizing the skin in a biomimetic way (imitating the natural function).

Good moisture binders contribute to hydrated skin and these include glycerin, N-acetylglucosamine, postbiotics and amino acids.

When we develop Skinome's products, we put a lot of focus on using skin-specific or skin-like ingredients such as the softening and moisture-binding substances recommended above.

3. Give your skin a little winter rest - invest in a minimalist routine!

To achieve healthy skin this winter season, you may need to review your skin care routine – and shorten it. Healthy skin does not mean several hours in the bathroom every day with lots of different creams, serums and cleansers. On the contrary, using too many skin care products can have the opposite effect. Johanna strongly believes in "less is more" when it comes to skin care. Certain ingredients can irritate the skin, such as perfumes and preservatives, and the more skin care products you use, the more of these less-than-good substances you apply to your skin. Long skin care routines can simply have the opposite effect on your skin, it can irritate instead of care. With a long routine of around 10 products, it is not unusual for the skin to come into contact with 500 substances per day, many of which are not there for the sake of the skin, but to give the product a long shelf life and good fragrance.

So go through your skin care routine and think about which products you really need and which ingredients you want in your skin care products.

The Skinome routine is simple: Apply your choice of moisturizer (Rich Emulsion, Rich Intense or Light Emulsion) in the morning. Feel free to clean your face, but only in the evening, with one of our cleansers (Mineral Cleanser or Sensitive Cleanser). Then you can combine and mix your moisturizer with your choice of active concentrate for extra effect (Probiotic Concentrate, Night Active Retinol or Night Active Control).

A little extra information about how the skin works

In addition to the above tips and if you are really interested in learning more about your skin, there are some terms that are good to know to understand how the skin works and what will affect it during the winter months:


The outermost layer of the skin is covered by a film, a membrane, which retains moisture - the hydrolipidic film. The film consists of sebum, water and moisture-binding substances, which are substances that retain moisture. This combination of substances acts as a barrier to the outside world and a healthy barrier is the key to healthy skin.


The evaporation of moisture from the skin is known as transepidermal water loss - TEWL. Moisture evaporates more slowly from young, healthy skin and more quickly from older or dry skin. Applying skin cream prevents evaporation in two ways: humectants in the cream help to retain moisture, and the oil in the cream ensures that the skin retains moisture by occlusion, i.e. it locks it into the skin.


The skin's microbiome also helps moisturize the skin in addition to having an anti-inflammatory function. An imbalance in the microbiome has been linked to skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea, but also to dry and sensitive skin. So a balanced microbiome is of great importance for healthy skin.