Do you ever wonder what skin care experts like dermatologists and aestheticians do to keep their skin plump and glowing all fall and winter long? Here, they share their top tricks.
The fact that you’re here, perusing The Klog, probably means you’re already familiar with the woe of dry winter skin. As such, we’d wager you’ve heard a lot of the same advice over the years. Because there are only so many times we can tell you to apply a moisturizer, we’ve asked pros to help us take cold weather skin advice to the next level.
Signs that your skin is dry include flaking, tightness, tenderness, itchiness, and a dull or sallow complexion. In extreme cases, it can become raw, cracked, and painful. Correct and prevent dry skin by adopting the expert-approved habits below.
Watch the Booze
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but warming yourself with a nightly pour is a habit that’s worth curbing if you’re dealing with uncomfortably dry skin. Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified NYC dermatologist and the assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains, “Too much alcohol dehydrates the skin and it also dilates the blood vessels in the skin, causing it to be red.”
One of the biggest mistakes we make during the winter is cutting back too much on SPF. “UVB rays are weaker in the winter, but the UVA rays that cause fine lines, premature aging and damage are just as strong throughout the year,” says Patricia Diamant, the lead aesthetician at Scottdale’s Andaz Resort Spa. Further, sun exposure can exacerbate dryness.
While it’s true we’re spending less time outdoors and are generally more covered, applying sunscreen to exposed skin is still a very important step in your skin care regimen.
Plug in a Humidifier
The lack of humidity in the air combined with indoor heating that runs all winter long is the biggest culprit for dry skin.
“If your house is very dry in the winter, a humidifier may be the appliance for you,” says Dr. Robb Akridge, a microbiologist, skin care expert, and founder of the Clarisonic. “It will not only keep your skin moist, but it will also prevent you from breathing in dry air while you sleep since it can also wreak havoc on your sinuses and throat.”
He stressed the importance of keeping humidifiers super clean since mold and bacteria may grow in them if they’re not properly maintained.
If you’re looking for a quick alternative, Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC, says that even just setting out pots of water near heating vents or radiators can help.
Exfoliate Like a Boss
Using a physical scrub on your body and either a chemical or gentle physical exfoliant on your face is key in keeping skin radiant and hydrated throughout winter. You should do this about twice a week.
“Exfoliation is vitally important in facilitating absorption and penetration of serums, creams and other hydrating treatments,” explains Diamant. She says that if scheduling a mid-winter professional treatment is possible, go for it.
“Professional treatments include microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, and laser peels,” she says. “Other popular treatments offered at spas include the Hydrafacial and OxyGeneo, which perform multiple functions including exfoliation, oxygen, and penetration of serums.”
Use More Hydrating Products Than Just a Good Moisturizer
Just as you switch out your tank tops for sweaters, you should reassess your entire summer skin care regimen and incorporate a fleet of winter-approved products, says Diamant. She recommends using a creamy cleanser, a hydrating toner, an emollient cream, and a rich eye cream. Try Etude House’s SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser ($18.50), Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence ($39), Dewytree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Cream ($43), and I’m From Ginseng Eye Cream ($32).