At SB, we have tested many products and heard lots and lots of advice over the years. Our best tips and products, specifically meant for winter skincare, are highlighted here today:
From Liza Graves, SB Cofounder
Two tips that I’ve picked up writing StyleBlueprint for the past 5 years have changed the way I approach winter skin. The first is to apply your products when your skin is still damp. I used to dry my skin with a towel and then wait for it to be completely dry and then apply my vitamin c and moisturizer. Now, I keep my door closed to my bathroom and make sure I have the most humid environment possible. Next, I dry my skin with a towel, but only by blotting. Then, I apply my products to lock in that the moisture that is sitting on my skin. I even keep moisture sprays on hand in case I get interrupted and my skin gets too dry before I am able to apply products. The difference is amazing. Your products work SO much better this way.
The second tip I’ve picked up for winter skin is specifically for feet. I use my glycolic product on my heels at night to keep my heels far less dry than they’ve previously been. Apply, if you can, after you shower to damp feet. (But, even applied to dry feet you will see results.) Then, apply Aquaphor and put on some comfy thick socks and your feet will be amazingly soft!
Okay, products that I’ve loved? Well, every now and then I indulge in expensive skincare and usually kick myself as I find I don’t finish the product and go back to Oil of Olay. BUT, two splurges in the past year have truly been ones that I’m grateful I purchased. The first is Natura Bisse Ceutical Tolerance Enzyme Peel bought at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics. I bought it and immediately regretted it as I was feeling mildly broke at the time and the last thing I needed to be doing was shelling out the bucks for a pricey skincare product. But, I have loved it, and the $150 1.7 ounce jar will last me just about a year, as I’m 10 months in right now with plenty left. I have a hard time with peels because my skin basically keeps peeling for weeks. This product is gentle, even for “delicate” skin, and my skin feels sooooo soft afterwards. I try to remember and use it every 2-3 weeks and I continue to be impressed. And this is not only for wintertime skin; it’s simply a product that works well year-round. I may have been kicking myself for this purchase initially, but in the end, it’s one of my two favorite products I discovered last year. The other is the thermal cleansing balm from Omorovicza, also pricey at $105, that we featured in Luxe Loves. In Nashville, it’s found at Private Edition. I feel like this product heals and nourishes my skin as I take my makeup off each night.
From Catherine Romero, SB Birmingham City Manager
My skin tends to get extra flaky in the wintertime, so I gravitate more towards exfoliation in addition to a heavier moisturizer. Upon the advice of my friends at Village Dermatology, I am using Skin Medica’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. This facial cleanser removes environmental pollutants, excess oils and makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean without over drying. The alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids help hydrate the skin at a deeper level while botanical extracts reduce hyper pigmentation, leaving skin brighter with a more even tone and texture. And after washing, I always apply my moisturizer to still-damp skin, as this allows the product to penetrate deeper.
From Christian Owen, SB Memphis City Manager
To combat winter dryness, I have been using two skincare products from Atzen: BALANCE™ Night Recovery Cream and BALANCE™ Cleansing Milk, both from their Age Reverse Safely™ collection. My simple trick for particularly dry skin is to use the “night” cream both day and night! The night cream is a rich and creamy therapy for sensitive skin. Its purpose is to rebuild healthy, hydrated, wrinkle-free skin, while preventing premature aging, reducing expression wrinkles and deep lines. I also use the Cleansing Milk by Atzen. The experts at Esthetiques Skin Spa, where I discovered these products, use this cleansing milk on all of their clients to calm, cleanse and prep the skin for each facial service. This product is also a good option for sensitive skin and safe for removing eye makeup.
From Heidi Potter, SB Louisville City Manager
I am an anomaly. My skin is still super oily and breaks out, even in the winter months. When I hear of ladies slathering on the night creams and serums, I only envision massive acne attacks on my skin. I use this downtime from sun exposure during the winter months to get monthly peels. It is recommended to not get peels during the summer because you cannot be in the sun. I feel like after summer months in the sun that my skin is like a raisin: tough, ugly and spotty.
Last year I did the Obagi Blue Peel Radiance at SKYN Lounge, which I loved. You can read about this experience here: styleblueprint.com/louisville/everyday/ima-peelin. This year, I’m getting a Sensi TCA Peel over at Radiant Skin Treatments. Here’s the description: This gentle treatment will brighten and strengthen skin, while helping to treat sun damage and other forms of hyperpigmentation. The multifaceted treatment provides anti-inflammation, anti-acne, anti-bacterial action and is excellent for rosacea.
I’ve been doing these peels since the fall and have noticed a definite difference. My skin was riddled with broken capillaries and other sun damage. These peels have evened out my skin tone (now it’s not so red and blotchy). These peels have also improved the texture and feel of my skin. Here are the logistics about getting a peel: You need to schedule the peel after you have exercised for the day and showered. You cannot wash your face or sweat for about 24 hours because you really need all that good stuff to sink in. For the first day (until you wash your face) your face will be shiny and mine has a definite orange glaze to it, so you are not really camera-ready to see people, unless it’s dark outside. You won’t start peeling until a couple days afterwards, but when you do, you will be really flaky for about two days. So schedule your peels carefully. A week after your peel your skin will be as soft as a baby’s bottom, and that’s no lie.
Katherine Michalak, SB Atlanta Contributing Editor
Yikes, this winter’s schizophrenic weather is wreaking havoc on my skin. Some days arctic winds blow furiously and I have to crank up the heat inside at home; other days, I’m turning off the furnace and opening all the doors. My usual routine is no match for Mother Nature’s current rampage, so I called our friends at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics (Charlotte, Nashville and Atlanta locations) for advice on some restorative treatments. Immediately, they recommended a facial called “The Cure” as the perfect boost for my confused countenance. Natura Bissé’s The Cure detoxifying facial combines enzymatic and glycolic steps with carboxitherapy, a technique using CO² to stimulate cell renewal. Seriously one of the coolest sensations I’ve ever felt on my skin, the carboxi step literally bubbles all over, fizzing like Alka-Seltzer tablets. The gentle tingle gives cells a wake-up call to come out of winter hibernation and get back to work.
My aesthetician, Julie Benecke, reminded me that the skin’s the largest organ in the body, and those cells get sluggish in the wintertime, too. She commented that a good skincare regime with quality products helps, but we all need to take better care of the whole body as well. Every one of our systems wants to curl up and snuggle, and it’s crucial to think of skincare from the inside out. Moisturize and use sunscreen on the outside, but reinvigorate the inside by increasing the intake of fruits and veggies, healthy oils & fats, and choosing water over those hot beverages so often laden with caffeine and sugar.
Amy Norton, SB Managing Editor
During the winter months, to combat dry air indoors, I run a humidifier in my bedroom at night. You can spend as little as $30 or up to several hundred depending on how fancy you want it to be. I bought mine at Target for about $30 a few years ago and it serves its purpose just fine without a lot of bells and whistles. (Added bonus: if you happen have a spouse who snores, the humidifier doubles as a sleep machine with the soft white noise of the motor running. Just sayin’.)
Also, at this time of the year I can’t live without Vaniply Ointment. Vaniply is similar to Aquaphor (which I also like), meaning it’s a heavy-duty, fragrance-free, dry skin treatment. Its chief ingredient is dimethicone instead of petrolatum, however, and it’s good for sensitive skin. My hands are uncomfortably dry in the winter, and this product is great at night or in the morning. If you try it, do give yourself a moment for the ointment to sink in—it is a tad bit on the greasy side, but boy does it help!
Hydrate, moisturize and stay warm, friends. Soon enough, we’ll be back to sweating in the heat and worrying about avoiding sunburn!