Winter can be rough on your complexion. One, the heat is running in your car, house and workplace and it dries out your skin. This happens because cold, dry air evaporates the water in your skin and your indoor heating system is drawing out the moisture in the air as well.
This can leave your skin feeling dry, itchy, tight and even flaky. This in turn leaves your skin looking dull. How can you combat the effects of winter on your skin?
You should moisturize your skin year round, but it’s even more important during the winter months. Moisturizing your face and body helps lock in moisture. Keeping your skin hydrated will keep it smooth and supple. You’ll want to choose a moisturizer based upon your skin type. A thicker night cream can help re-establish your skin’s moisture over night. When selecting a moisturizer look for one with antioxidants (examples: green tea extract, resveratrol, vitamin C and E), hyaluronic acid, shea and cocoa butter.
Your face is important, but don’t forget to moisturizer your body too. Drinking lots of water will help to keep your skin moist as well. Remember your skin is the body’s largest organ. Dry skin can lead to unnecessary fine lines and wrinkles, so keep yourself moisturized from the inside out. Top picks on moisturizers: iS Clinical-Reparative Moisture Emulsion, Cosmedix-Emulsion or Revision Skincare-Intellishade tinted moisturizer with SPF 45.
Believe it or not, winter sun can still damage skin, but we tend to stop applying sunscreen when the temperature begins to drop. The fact is, you absolutely need sunscreen during the winter months. The sun’s rays are just as damaging when it’s cold outside as they are in the summer. In fact UVA rays, which are the most damaging, are more intense than UVB rays in the winter. If you enjoy snow skiing or other winter sports you should know that the reflective glare of ice and snow is 80% versus sand that is only 20%.
It’s very important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed areas before heading out. That means even if you sit in an office near a window you need sunscreen. Make sunscreen a part of your skincare routine, it will help prevent fine lines/wrinkles, pigmentation issues and lower your risk of skin cancer. Top sunscreen picks: Elta MD- UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 sunscreen and Jan Marini-Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 45.
Because our skin tends to be drier in winter it’s important to exfoliate your skin. There are many ways you can exfoliate your skin. Some cleansers exfoliate without the use of grit. Exfoliating cleansers can use ingredients like glycolic acid, L-lactic acid, salicylic acid and AHA. You can also use a cleanser or treatment product with polishing beads to help slough off dry dead skin.
If you want awesome exfoliation try a HydraFacial, microdermabrasion or chemical peel. Keeping the dead, dry skin off of your face will keep your skin looking smooth, vibrant and luminous. Top exfoliating product picks: Cosmedix-Purity Clean (cleanser), Jan Marini-Glycolic Cleanser, Cosmedix-Purity Detox Scrub, and iS Clinical-Active Serum.
The winter is a great time to repair the damage of the summer. If the summer left you with darkened pigmentation the winter is the best time to treat it. Products with kojic acid and hydroquinone are great for getting rid of hyperpigmentation. IPL and chemical peels are also great options to treat pigment. When you’re treating pigment it’s best to stay out of the sun, that’s why winter is perfect, it’s too cold to be outside! Top product pick to repair sun damage: Obagi-Nu Derm System.
If it’s cold outside, you’ll want to do this anyway. The skin on your hands and face is thinner than other areas of your body, so they are much more vulnerable to the elements. It also makes it harder to keep the moisture in these areas too. So cover up those areas with gloves or scarves as much as you can, and make sure they aren’t wet, since wet clothing can irritate skin. Avoid getting wool up next to your skin, since it can be rough and irritating.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier allows you to adjust the moisture level in your environment, and can be particularly effective for making sure your skin stays supple and hydrated. On top of all that, humidifiers can relieve sinus symptoms and help you heal from colds and allergies faster – which can beautify you as well!
The main thing you need to worry about in winter is dryness. Your skin, your lips, and the overall hydration levels in your body are affected by the lack of moisture in the air. However, with help from carefully-chosen beauty products, your skin can still look amazing all winter long!