Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, we are still experiencing the woes of winter skincare. The air is dry, and our skin is paying the price. With the dryness taking hold and cooler temperatures in our future, we are eager to update our skincare regimen. Top local skincare experts are here to share helpful advice as we adjust our routine for the months ahead!
Pro Tip #1: Use skin cleansers with a glycerin content and no sodium laurel sulfate foaming agents.
Laurie Hays, RN, at Facial Rejuvenation Center, sees this as the best recommendation for chapped, dry skin. “Safe options include pure glycerin bar soaps and naturally made bar soaps that retain their natural glycerin. Apply a high-quality skin moisturizer that’s rich in oil immediately after washing or bathing skin. This will add oil back and help to trap water,” she tells us. “Water enters your skin during water exposure, and oils prevent its evaporation by sealing it in. The oils will also seep into your skin to replace your lost natural oils. Most moisturizers have petrolatum or mineral oil as their therapeutic oil ingredients, and many scientific studies over the years have proven the effectiveness of these oils for repairing skin barrier impairment. Moisturizers that also contain humectants (water binders) are even more effective than those based solely on their oil content. These humectants boost skin’s water content by binding water in the skin, thus preventing its loss.”
Pro Tip #2: Find a multi-tasker.
Aquaphor can be a real lifesaver during winter months, and Jennifer Lee, Medical Director at REN Dermatology, agrees. “This oldie but goodie is a true multi-tasker for me. I use it to keep dry, chapped lips well moisturized, but also apply it to dry elbows, ragged cuticles and chafed noses. Sometimes if my eyes are irritated from windy, dry weather, I’ll even use a small amount of Aquaphor as an eye makeup remover in lieu of my regular one. I carry a little tube of Aquaphor in every handbag for easy access during the winter,” she tells us.
Pro Tip #3: Don’t forget your hands!
Winter can be harsh, and Robin Haney of Apropos Day Spa reminds us that gloves are not enough. “As you apply serums and moisturizers to your face at morning and night, apply the excess to the back of your hands and follow with hand cream (a good habit year-round!). Apply a hand cream throughout the day and before bedtime, and give the cuticles some extra attention,” she says.
Pro Tip #4: Exfoliate with a mild glycolic acid product.
“In the winter, even though our skin is much drier, it is really important to exfoliate,” Mary Kathryn Yeiser of The Cosmetic Market, Therapy Systems, Inc. and Private Edition reminds us. “Using a glycolic acid-based product is a great way to do this because it helps rid your skin of dryness and allows hydrating products to better penetrate the skin.” Some of Mary Kathryn’s favorite glycolic-based products include Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads, $84 for 30 pads at The Cosmetic Market and Private Edition and Therapy Systems (SB TIP: Cut them in half to make them last twice as long.); Skin Brightening Cleansing Foam (a blend of glycolic and lactic acid — great for morning use), $37 at The Cosmetic Market and Private Edition.
Pro Tip #5: Layer up.
“We wear layers during winter to protect us from the cold. This concept applies to more than clothes; it applies to your skincare wardrobe too. Don’t be afraid to layer your products! An extra layer of hydrating serum like RENU 28 Revitalizing Redox Gel under your morning and evening moisturizer will help protect your skin from harsh winter elements and speed healing of chapped skin,” Robin Haney of Apropos Day Spa says.
Pro Tip #6: Use a mask.
Masking is a great way to restore your skin’s glow. Jennifer Lee, Medical Director at REN Dermatology, recommends Bioelements Ultra-Rich CremeTherapy as it is a super emollient creme mask for normal to dry skins. The Gel Therapy mask rapidly remedies parched skin. “A gentle exfoliation before applying the hydrating mask will allow for deeper product penetration and whisk away dead cells,” she says.
Pro Tip #7: Prevent dehydration.
Don’t let dehydration set in. It is harder to act once your skin is devoid of moisture than it is to prevent dehydration. “Be sure to drink plenty of water and use a more emollient moisturizer, such as Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Repair, in the winter months to help skin hold its water content,” Woo Caroland of Woo Skincare + Cosmetics says of preventing dehydration.
Jemma Hurst, nurse injector at Woods Aesthetics tells us, “I love the powerful antioxidant CE Ferulic by SkinCeuticals. Vitamin E is a lipid that pulls in the vitamin C as well as protects the skin from the dry winter months. HA 5 by SkinMedica is another must have in the winter. Hyaluronic acid is a water-loving substance that is like a drink of water for your skin. It is perfect for keeping your skin hydrated this time of year.”
“Hydrate, both internally and externally!” urges Mel Morales, escape day spa + salon’s lead aesthetician. “Cold weather and indoor heat can be very dehydrating. Make sure you are drinking enough water (most of us don’t) and that you are using a good moisturizer like SkinCeuticals’ new Triple Lipid Restore. Triple Lipid Restore is a great anti-aging moisturizer that refills cellular lipids, supports the skin’s natural self-repair, nourishes and is great for any skin type.”
Robin Haney of Apropos Day Spa also advises hydration. “In hot, summer months it’s easy to remember to hydrate. During winter, people often reach for hot beverages and forget to drink plenty of pure water. The cold and wind dehydrate skin faster than warm weather. For perfect hydration, get at least eight glasses of water and hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon is warming and alkalizes the body,” she tells us.
Pro Tip #8: Switch to a thicker moisturizer and more gentle cleanser.
Switching to a thicker moisturizer helps protect the skin’s barrier. Valerie Derrick, medical aesthetician at Woods Aesthetics, recommends making this switch during winter months. Two of her favorites are SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore and Renew Overnight Dry.
Jennifer Lee, Medical Director at REN Dermatology recommends switching from your usual facial cleansers to more gentle ones or creamier versions. “Some of my drugstore favorites include Cetaphil gentle cleanser (I’ve been using it since college!), CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and Aveeno Ultra-Calming Cleanser. The gentle cleanser from Neocutis is one of the best-selling in my office during the winter,” she tells us.
Pro Tip #9: Hydrate with a multi-purpose oil.
In case you haven’t already guessed, hydration is key in winter skincare. Mary Kathryn Yeiser of The Cosmetic Market, Therapy Systems, Inc. and Private Edition suggests we take hydration up a notch by using a multi-purpose oil. “Using a hydrating facial oil is also important, because oil is able to deeply and quickly penetrate the skin, leaving skin soft, glowing and more hydrated than a traditional moisturizer does,” she says. After using a glycolic-based product, Mary Kathryn lightly presses products into her face, neck and décolleté, following with a day or night cream when needed. She also assures us that these can all be used in the morning and evening, even if they specify nighttime use.
Mary Kathryn’s recommendations: Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil, $52 at The Cosmetic Market; Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for Dehydrated Skin, $57 at The Cosmetic Market; and Therapy Systems’ Multi-Use Nourishing Oil $68 at The Cosmetic Market and Private Edition.
Pro Tip #10: Correct sun damage.
“Winter is the absolute best time for working on hyperpigmentation! Because most of us aren’t as exposed to the sun this time of year, now is the best time to focus on correcting sun damage,” escape day spa + salon’s lead aesthetician Mel Morales says. “Winter is ideal for starting a retinol routine or trying more advanced brightening treatments, like chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Consult your skincare professional before starting any new routine.”
Pro Tip #11: Maintain your glow.
Mallory Hamilton, an aesthetician at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics, urges us to avoid letting the harsh winter take the glow from our skin. “Add a step to your regimen with a hydrating serum, such as Revision Hydrating Serum,” she recommends. “Apply under your moisturizer for a luscious winter glow.” Mallory also suggests dermaplaning to get the upper layer of dead dry skin off. The dead skin prevents moisturizers from absorbing into the skin, and by removing the dead skin, new cells can form more rapidly.
Pro Tip #12: Use sunscreen.
During the winter months, protection from the sun is still necessary. Jennifer Lee, Medical Director at REN Dermatology, uses a tinted moisturizer that has SPF 30 or higher every morning. “I prefer the tinted versions to help provide a light color, and I skip using foundation. This way I’m still protected from sun damage if I’m running errands during the day or driving with bright sun shining through my car windows,” she tells us.
Valerie Derrick, medical aesthetician at Woods Aesthetics, protects against UVA rays that penetrate through windows and clouds by using Skin Medica’s Total Defense and Repair.
Love the skin you’re in, and by understanding its different needs based on the season, you can take care of it all year long. Cheers to beating dry winter skin!
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