Winter is coming. For many of us it means cooler temperatures, new routines and changes in our skin care needs. To preserve your skin, it is vital to understand these changes and adjust accordingly. Here are some of the most common skin concerns for winter as well as tips for making sure you’re putting your best winter face forward.
Even if winter does not bring you extremely cold weather, it still can mean dry weather for even warm and sunny destinations, the reason for dry skin being such a common concern. This means moisturizing is your best line of defense. If you have oily skin and can avoid moisturizers in summer, still consider adding a light moisturizer and hydrating serum during winter months.
For those already experiencing dry skin, amp up moisture with a heavy cream and use a body lotion every time after you shower. Consider your needs both day and night. If your office temperature is mild but you have the heat on all night at home, this may require a different night regime. Hydrating mists can keep skin revived throughout the day and humidifiers can keep moisture in the air in the evening and nighttime hours.
This tip is simple. In winter you want to avoid foaming cleansers at all costs. They are harsh and strip the skin, often causing additional skin concerns. Look for milky, cream-based or oil cleansers that will gently cleanse your skin without sacrificing needed moisture.
Exfoliation is still an important skincare step for many reasons, like preventing blemishes, dullness and sagging. The best tip for exfoliating in the winter is using a product that is less abrasive rather than using an exfoliant less frequently. For the face, look for exfoliatants that will give your skin something back, like those containing oils from citrus and nuts. For the body, give yourself a good scrub down with a luffa (a.k.a. loofah) or body scrub. And definitely do not skip the body cream afterward.
Many people suffer from sensitive skin regardless of the season. Winter, however, can be particularly challenging because of the many geographic extremes. If you fall into this sensitive category, it is important to do your research and really test patches of your skin before it has its own version of a coup d’etat, revolting against your entire regime. It is also a good thing to avoid products with alcohol, sulfates and fragrances which can further irritate your skin.
Winter air can be brutal for those who suffer from mild redness to full-blown rosacea, a condition that causes redness and often small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face. The combination effect of extremely dry and cold air packs a powerful punch. Depending on the severity of redness you may need to consult a dermatologist for a topical prescription. You can also look for skin soothers containing calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients, like lavender, licorice and rose.
A glowing complexion can be the bright spot in your day. Maintaining that healthy glow is really the cherry on top of a flawless face. But it is easier said than done, especially if you are experiencing some of the harsher symptoms of winter skin, like dryness, sensitivity or redness. Exfoliation helps here, but we can go a step further. Buffing skin with a Clarisonic sensitive brush is very beneficial as can be sponges and fine facecloths. Just be cautious with any tugging or pulling of your skin. Also, look for brightening serums with vitamin C and skin plumpers containing hyaluronic acid.
SPF is not just your friend in the summertime. Find a lightweight facial SPF of at least 30 to layer with your favorite facial products to keep you protected throughout the winter.
By Bobby Ciletti, travel and lifestyle expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com. Twitter @BobbyCiletti