Winter weather can take a serious toll on our bodies. The sudden drop in temperature along with the influx of dry air and fierce, bitter winds can cause a number of issues for our skin, especially our face. Without adequate protection and care, you can experience a slew of painful and embarrassing symptoms, such as redness, bumps, and burning. To find out what you can do improve the health of your skin during the colder months, check out the most common causes of facial redness during winter and what you can do to help yourself below.

Cold Wind

Those cold blasts of wind could be what’s causing your red face. When it’s very windy outside, your skin’s natural oils get stripped away from the cold, dry air, giving you windburn if you’re not careful. The symptoms are similar to that of a sunburn (red and tender to the touch) but you might also experience a slight burning sensation. Not fun.


Yes, it’s true — you can still get a sunburn in the winter. Even when there are clouds above, the sun can still reflect intensely off the white snow, similar to how it reflects off water in a swimming pool. The direct and reflected rays will hit your skin and cause a burn just like in the summer, turning your skin bright red.


That dry winter air might also be causing your skin to turn red and flaky. Our skin is much drier this time of year, which also makes it much more sensitive. Even when you moisturize, you can still get dry, itchy, red skin.


Winter weather can also trigger rosacea flare-ups. Dry, cold air can set off redness in the cheeks, nose, and forehead, similar to facial flushing. If not addressed quickly, the symptoms can get progressively worse, causing small yet painful papules and pustules on the face.

Since staying cooped up inside all winter long isn’t a feasible option, you’ll need to figure out how to tone the redness down and treat it. Covering up the face when outdoors and replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier is a good first step to reduce any pain and swelling, but you may need a deeper treatment to help your skin recover properly. At The Ottawa Skin Clinic, we offer a number of treatments and products that can help. Contact us today to talk to a skin care specialist about your current situation and find a treatment that will work best for you.