This time of the year all skin tones experience dullness from dryness or chapped skin but for deeper complexions, “ashiness” can be a major concern. Heyday Rittenhouse Skin Therapist, Lynn Gallagher says as the seasons change so should our skincare. She put together some tips based on the questions she gets asked most often.
Adapt your routine. Switch to richer, more nourishing, hydrating products. To get the most hydrated look: a general skin regimen would include oil cleanser, cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer with SPF and a nourishing oil serum. Avoid products with alcohol and look for products with fatty acids, hyaluronic acid and squalane to name a few.
Match your cleanser with your needs. You always want to ensure you are using the appropriate cleanser for your skin type. The general rule of thumb is as follows gel-based for oily or combo skin, creme for dry skin, milky for sensitized skin. Balm or oils can be used for all skin types. When choosing oils, use higher-grade oils to make sure they are non-comedogenic or non-pore-clogging.
Keep as much moisture in your skin as possible. Double cleanse. First with an oil or balm and then with the appropriate cleanser for your skin. Depending on your needs, you may not need to cleanse twice per day. If you do not wear makeup during the day, you may be okay to rinse, tone and moisturize at night. Moisture starts from the inside. Drink plenty of water. Sleep with a humidifier. Avoid scalding hot baths or showers.
Exfoliate but with caution. To help skin keep its summer glow all winter long, you will have to adjust with a little more care overall. With exfoliation, it is important to only exfoliate as much as your individual skin needs. I do not recommend more than 3x per week, especially in colder months as this can strip the protective layers of the skin that we need to keep us properly hydrated and to avoid ashiness, cold burn, or dryness. If you’re new to exfoliation, keep it gentle. Look more into physical versus chemical exfoliants and the benefits of both. Overall, it is key to make sure the lipid barrier of your skin is not compromised — meaning that you haven’t stripped the skin of its natural oil from improper usage of products, over-exfoliation, or sensitization to name a few. Exfoliation is certainly key to replenish the skin which we need during the winter when our skin is prone to flakiness and dehydration.
Protect yourself. If you’re wondering if you still need sunblock even in the winter months, the answer is...yes! The sun doesn’t stop shining. You may not be burned but the rays of the sun can still cause damage and aging to exposed areas. Look for broad-spectrum SPFs with a minimum of 30, meaning it provides protection against UVA/UVB rays. For this time of year with harsher winds and cool air, look for a richer, more hydrating or anti-oxidant based SPF that gives you suppleness and further environmental protection. Mineral-based sunscreens are great for most skin types and include zinc oxide which is what is known to protect the skin by reflecting light away. For deeper complexions, this may leave a “sickly” look so massage or press in thoroughly or mix with a serum. Some chemical sunscreens can irritate sensitive skin so be sure to read labels.
Winter is filled with family gatherings, holiday parties and other occasions that may get you in the mood for makeup. Gallagher says if we adjust what clothes we wear in winter months then why not our beauty routine.
Switch up your makeup like you switch your wardrobe. For colder months, look for oil-based products but use caution: some oils are comedogenic for some skin types, especially the type of oils some brands use. Look for cleaner, natural brands that use transparency in their products. Keep the flake away by building upon your skincare prep before applying makeup. Using serums, moisturizers, oils, and hyaluronic acid (or a primer that includes some of those key ingredients) will be a game-changer!
Gallagher says oftentimes, people are so concerned about the skin on their faces that they tend to ignore the most exposed skin we have, our hands.
Your hands need a little extra attention. Our hands are exposed to the elements “unprotected” more than the rest of our body. So it can be quite tricky to ensure you’re keeping enough moisture/hydration on your extremities. A few tips include keeping crème-based products handy (no pun intended). Make sure to immediately moisturize after washing your hands. Depending on how serious you are — you can use lotion or oil (like coconut or almond) on your hands and wrap steamed towels around them as you would for a manicure To lock moisture in.
Your skin is important and one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s important to take care of it.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help whether it’s from a knowledgeable friend, your local beauty counter or a spa like HeyDay,” said Gallagher.