In this article, we will discuss the problems of dry skin in the winter, and advise you on how to keep your sensitive facial skin soft and nourished this season.   As we enter the autumn months, cold air starts to dry out our skin; dry skin around the eyelids is especially common during this time. As skin under the eyes in much thinner than the rest of the body—it is less able to retain moisture, leaving it vulnerable to drying out. Nobody wants dry, flaky skin—particularly not when it becomes red and irritated. Luckily, dry skin around your eyes can be tackled with a number of treatments. Depending on the degree of your condition, you will either require simple solutions or stronger medical treatments. So, if you are concerned about dry skin under the eyes this season, read on for advice on how to alleviate it.   Closeup on Green Female Eyes in a white wool hat Source: AdinaVoicu  

How to identify dry skin and understand its causes

In order to combat dry skin under your eyes, it is important to identify it early, and recognise its causes and symptoms.  


According to Mayo Clinic, normal, hydrated skin has plump cells, but when the skin becomes dry, those cells shrivel creating fine lines and wrinkles. This skin can then flake and itch, and become red and irritated. Dry skin may feel rough and sore and, in some cases, show scales. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are more to prone to dry skin.  


Dry skin (xerosis) often has an external, environmental cause. Skin tends to be driest in the winter months, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. Hot water from showers or baths also contributes to dry skin, as water likes to move from high concentrations to low. Harsh soaps also contribute to dry skin. You’re better off using gentle moisturisers which are kind to your skin. Excessive rubbing of the delicate skin around your eyes can irritate it and trigger dry skin. High stress levels can also cause eczema flare-ups which can cause dry, scaly skin.  


Dryness, redness, flakiness, soreness, irritation and swelling can be common side effects of dry skin.   brown eye closeup Source: Giuliamar  

How to deal with dry skin around the eyes

You’ve identified it and understood its causes and symptoms, now you want to know how to improve dry skin under your eyes.


The best treatment is to eliminate the cause of dry skin by using a good-quality solution, specifically designed to meet the needs of dry and very dry skin, after cleansing with a gentle cleanser. Before applying moisturiser, perform a patch test to ensure you don't have sensitivity and end up developing a reaction. Older woman applying facial moisturiser Source: Bill Branson  

Aloe Vera

Acting as a gentle moisturiser, Aloe Vera can help repair the damage caused by dry skin around your eyes. Its antimicrobial properties can help speed up wound healing. Mayo Clinic advises that Aloe Vera can also help treat the underlying causes of dry skin around the eyelids such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.   Close up of Aloe Vera plant Source: Sudheesh S  

Other home remedies

Home remedies can help cure dry skin around the eyes with varying degrees of success. Use natural oils such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil and virgin coconut oil to treat dry skin. These substances provide a protective layer over your skin that can lock in moisture and prevent dry skin flare-ups. You only need to massage a few drops of the above oils to keep the skin in your eye area soft and elastic. top view of a bowl of greek yoghurt with a wooden spoon Source: Greek Food Ta Mystika

How to prevent dry skin around your eyes

As with most ailments, prevention is better than cure. So follow these tips to prevent yourself from getting dry skin around your eyes this winter.


Play it safe! Observe basic common-sense measures regarding use of makeup:
  • Don’t share cosmetics, especially eye makeup and mascara
  • Replace your products regularly
  • Use less eye makeup if your skin is sensitive

Don’t scratch!

Try not to scratch or rub your eyelids, even if the dry skin around your eyes becomes very itchy. Avoid triggers to itchy skin such as fragrances and pigments containing nickel which can irritate the skin.

Avoid harsh products with chemicals

Opt for natural products and exfoliators which contain no nasty chemicals or preservatives. You need to be kind to your skin, and this is especially true of the delicate skin around your eyes. Use unscented products and cleansers, and apply a serum for added protection and anti-ageing effects. Bioeffect EGF Serum Source: BIOEFFECT  

Dry skin around the eyes: when to see a doctor

If you find you can’t heal the dry skin around your eyes at home, you may need to see a doctor. The American Association of Dermatology explains dry skin that becomes itchy puts you at risk of infection. A lack of resolution may also point to another cause of dry skin, such as blepharitis. If you are still concerned about dry skin around your eyes or other issues related to eyelids, go to the NHS website for more information.