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Cold weather & wind, running the heat constantly at home and in the car can be a recipe for disaster (or at least discomfort!) for delicate facial skin. What to do?
You may need to re-think your basic regimen for winter
Unless your skin is naturally ULTRA dry (think- absolutely NO oil whatsoever), it may not be appropriate to cleanse twice per day during the winter season. I recommend using a swipe of toner in the morning (typically a gentle rose water will do! I love Little Barn Apothecary’s Aloe and Rosewater Mist) and then follow with a moisturizer that is slightly heavier than one you would use in the summer months. An oil or an oil based cream (also known as an oil-in-water solution) is best because it is thicker and more hydrating. Apply to slightly damp skin after toning. Some great options are Phytomer’s Citadine, which contains Sunflower Seed Oil as well as the symbiosis of 3 marine sugars along with a blue microalgae and a red algae to fight against the effects of pollution, dehydration, signs of fatigue, dark spots and a dull complexion.
If you’re heading into the Great Outdoors, consider applying a barrier cream to your cheeks
This is particularly helpful for my clients who love outdoor sports such as skiing-nothing hurts like windburn! Apply a very thin layer of a balm to your cheeks and other exposed areas of the skin before you go out (hands too!) I really love Decleor’s Rose D’Orient Balm. Don’t forget your sunscreen on top!
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate… but NOT with a scrub!
This may seem counter-intuitive, but exfoliating can actually help to combat skin dryness. Sloughing off dead skin cells (also known as desquamation) on a regular basis can allow your products to penetrate more deeply, and therefore hydrate the skin more effectively. Without this, you are applying products to a layer of dead skin! But don’t be quick to scrub- most of the time I feel that mechanical exfoliants are not appropriate for most skin types, as it creates micro-tears in the skin which can compromise the barrier function as well as allow bacteria to enter, causing breakouts. Try to aim for using an enzyme exfoliant (typically labelled as an exfoliating “mask”) 2-3 times per week. My absolute favorite, go-to staple is Pure Enzymes by Cosmedix.
Winter is a great time for more “hard-hitting” facial treatments
Particularly if you live in regions that get winter weather and you know you won’t be outside exposed to the sun, the winter is a GREAT time to see your Aesthetician for more vigorous treatment. Thinking about a series of Microneedling treatments or perhaps laser? Winter is the perfect time for downtime! (“Downtime” refers to the time it takes for the skin to heal after a more aggressive treatment- during this time skin can peel, blister, look red or chapped or even be slightly burned-make sure you are clear with your Aesthetician or Dermatologist about the realities of downtime for each type of treatment!) During downtime, it is best to keep the skin away from the sun as it is more sensitive post treatment- this is why winter is so perfect for this!