Can you briefly explain how the skin requires a different type of care during the winter months to stay healthy and supple?
Our skin faces different challenges throughout the year depending on where you live. Summer adds humidity, added UV exposure, and heat that cause us to flush much easier. Spring and fall can add allergens to the air that can irritate our skin just as much as our airways. Winter leaves the air dry, cold and missing the added UV of the summer. With the excess cold in the winter and dry air, our skin will need added moisture since it is simply not getting it from the environment.
It's important to switch up your skin care routine in the winter, right? Can you explain why/how?
If you already use a daily moisturizer and are still feeling dry, adding a hydrating serum to your routine before your moisturizer can help seal in added hydration. It also is important to look at the products you use and consider eliminating some that can add to the dryness. Chemical and mechanical exfoliants, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and other anti aging products can work by drying the skin out further and make it even harder to regain needed moisture!
Please share 6-8 things you do to keep your skin healthy and supple all winter long that you'd recommend to your patients
To keep my skin healthy and supple during the winter months I gradually make several changes as the fall moves toward the colder days of winter…
- Cleanser change. During the warmer and more humid months, I find my skin is a bit on the oily side. I often use a cleanser with some salicylic acid or other alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acid to combat this. In the winter, I change to a simple cleanser- one without these added ingredients to avoid the excess dryness. A simple cleanser such as Cerave or Purpose Cleanser work well to cleanse without added drying.
- Reduce how often an exfoliant is used. I love sugar or apricot scrubs. In the winter I try to reduce how often I use these to once a week to avoid irritation.
- Adding a hyaluronic acid serum into my routine before my moisturizer can help seal in hydration. Cerave Hyaluronic acid serum or Neutrogena’s Hydroboost serum are great options for this.
- Use a hydrating mask once a week. Overnight masks are like a moisturizer with extra effects. Kiehls ultra facial overnight hydrating masque is one of my favorite products on days that my skin is so dry it feels irritated.
- Switch to Azaleic acid for anti-acne and anti discoloration ingredients. Many products focused on preventing acne or discoloration can be really drying as they work by chemically exfoliating the skin. Azaleic acid is milder but very effective to prevent acne and even out skin tone. The Ordinary’s Azaleic Acid has become one of my most recommended products.
- During winter months with a little added congestion many people become mouth breathers at night. Along with this comes painful cracked and dry lips in the day time. Applying Vaseline or Aquaphor to your lips before bedtime can prevent this.