Southern ladies are accustomed to the skin-loving humidity below the Mason-Dixon line that gives our beauteous faces that certain glow … not sweating. We prefer to call it “glistening.” Then when the wintry chill rolls in, usually around Halloween, we crank up the heat, which strips our homes of the nourishing moisture our skin craves. Our sun-kissed skin, now a ghostly pallor, starts to feel the burn with dryness, chapped lips, and sometimes even itchiness, flaking or cracked skin. While the “Walking Dead” look is acceptable—and even admirable—on All Hallow’s Eve, we refuse to contend with zombie-like skin this winter! So we asked local skin care experts Tonya Jones SalonSpa, Smart Skin Med Spa and Botaniko for the best winter skin care tips, and they are giving us the inside scoop on how to winterize your skin. Say goodbye to crusty patches of red, chapped skin, and say hello to your soft, youthful skin that will glow in the twinkly lights this entire holiday season!
Laura Williams, spa therapist at Tonya Jones SalonSpa
The key to revamping your skin care routine for winter is seeking the advice of a skin care specialist. Booking an appointment for a facial not only allows your aesthetician to recommend products, but also allows for a careful evaluation of your skin. Then, after discovering your specific skin care needs, you’ll have an opportunity to experience the benefits of the recommended products.
One of the main concerns with the change in seasons is moisturizing, but while moisturizing is extremely important, proper exfoliation is key to reaping the benefits from your moisturizer. Exfoliation eliminates layers of dead cells, allowing for better penetration and absorption of your moisturizer. Aveda has an amazing service designed for exfoliation called the Perfecting Plant Peel. The Perfecting Plant Peel actively smooths and retexturizes the skin with the instant exfoliation and radiance benefits of a 30 percent glycolic peel without the associated redness and irritation.
Once proper exfoliation has occurred, then it’s time to moisturize. This year Aveda added two great new moisturizers to their Botanical Kinetics line: Intense Hydrating Soft Crème is designed for normal to oily skin types, and Intense Hydrating Rich Crème is designed for dryer skin types. These crèmes are designed to deeply hydrate with cupuaçu butter, while still being nonacnegenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores.
One last thing that often gets overlooked is proper care of your hands. Hands are one of the first places to show signs of aging. Aveda’s hand relief is the go-to product for that. Andiroba oil hydrates and protects skin’s moisture barrier, even after hand washing.
For those looking for a quick, at-home treatment, Aveda’s Intensive Hydrating Masque is absolutely perfect. This is a product you can use weekly, or as needed, to hydrate and soothe dry, overexposed skin in as little as five to 10 minutes. Adjusting your skin care routine can be frustrating, but with the guidance of a trained skin care professional, achieving radiant, moisturized skin is possible, even in the dull winter months.
Carmen Meherg, owner of Smart Skin Med Spa
Lacey Edwards, manager of Smart Skin Med Spa
Sunscreen is important year-round! Sometimes people forget that during the colder months. Clients love our Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer. This SPF 20 moisturizer is lightweight and dries like a powder without a heavy makeup look.
During the colder weather, you may need extra moisture, as well. Look for products that moisturize and have other preventative or protective qualities, so your skin can benefit from both. For example, Smart Skin’s Post Treatment Rescue Cream both hydrates and soothes, and the Smart Skin Eye Nourisher provides moisture and will also brighten that sensitive area around the eyes.
Depending on your skin type, you may need to be careful with retinol products that can cause flaking. You can still fight aging with Smart Skin’s Collagen Complex, which contains peptides and proteins that restore collagen and reduce wrinkles, but won’t cause dryness.
If you want to get a facial during the colder months, make sure it’s one that adds moisture, if needed. We recommend our Ultrasound Elite facial, which uses microdermabrasion, ultrasound with LED lights, a custom masque and, finally, an oxygen jet treatment to rehydrate. Your skin will be moist and protected.
Deborah Stone, Botainko Cosmetic Formulator and aesthetician
Alexandra Stone, Botaniko professional makeup artist
Life in the South is pretty amazing. Our Southern climate with its high humidity is a natural recipe for moist, healthy-looking skin. But then every person has their own, unique skin conditions, sometimes several going on simultaneously. Our skin’s behavior typically turns us into product junkies. We struggle with creams, gels and exfoliants, all in the name of trying to achieve perfect homeostasis for our skin. And just when we think we have it figured out, the weather changes and a new breakout or red patch crops up, reminding us that our skin interacts with myriad factors.
Weather has a huge effect on our skin. I find that our Alabama climate makes skin easier to manage in the long run. The increased humidity of spring and summer gives all skin types a supple, soft appearance. However, the change in seasons does create some confusion about how to care for your skin. With each season’s end, we must adjust our skin care program. Note: If you are under the care of a physician or aesthetician, consult your skin care professional prior to making any changes.
Be proactive as fall transitions to winter. Bouts of cold days and drier air strip our skin of its natural moisture. This dryness can lead to red patches and excess dead skin cells that clog pores, increasing chances for acne.
- Oily skin: Change your moisturizer from a serum or a gel to a lotion.
- Acne skin: Lower the strength of your cleanser.
- Dry Skin: Add a serum to your program, applying it prior to a moisturizer, and consider possibly changing to a strong barrier moisturizer.
- Combination skin: Now might be a good time for changing to a more gentle cleanser and adjusting your moisturizer.
Low humidity can be stressful to our skin. A hot bath might seem like a nice idea in the dead of winter, but every time you bathe, you remove natural oils from your skin, which allows the water in your skin to evaporate into the atmosphere. The drier the atmosphere, the faster the water in your skin cells evaporates, and the drier your skin gets. To help skin keep its moisture, gently pat skin with a towel after bathing or showering then apply a thin coating of moisturizer. Another tip to combat the dry winter air is to invest in a humidifier. Humidifiers put moisture back into the air, which can create many benefits for you and your family.
Experiencing extreme cold weather changes or moving to a higher altitude also results in transepidermal water loss—when the lipids and protein cells that make up the protective barrier of the skin become less effective at retaining moisture. Before you travel to higher altitudes or extreme cold climates make sure you pack the necessary products to nourish your skin, such as heavier moisturizers, skin protectant creams and more. And seeking the advice of a skin professional is always a good way to plan ahead.
So take note, and make sure that your winter skin care regimen incorporates these terrific tips and keeps your supple skin glowing all season long!