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Happy Monday loves! About two years ago, I posted all about caring for your skin in the winter. Here is an updated version of the posts. Today is all about caring for your face during the colder winter months!
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 Buly’s Eau Superfine Rose Water– (OBSESSED!) 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 SkinMedica’s Dermal Repair Cream. It’s a soufflé texture that contains humectants as well as Vitamin C and lipids- it is my go-to for winter!
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 Elta MD’s Barrier Renewal Complex. 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” or also exfoliating pads) 2-3 times per week. At my workplace, we carry a formulation of Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic Acid pads through our private label brand. If you can’t get to Raleigh to see me in clinic, please email me and I can recommend an exfoliant for your skin type!
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 such as Forever Brite BBL? 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!