Winter wreaks havoc on skin - drying it out, chapping it, turning it red and flakey and leaving you not just looking dull but sometimes actually hurting! Today in DC we’re getting hit with a lot of snow and the temperatures are dropping fast so now seems like the perfect time to share some professional tips on how to stay on top of your winter skin care routine.
Don’t Shock Your Skin: While winter temperatures are brutal, we do a lot of the damage on our own in the shower. Nothing feels better than a super hot shower when it’s cold outside but going from the wet hot shower to the cold dry air of your house shocks the skin and causes the follicles to break. Have no fear, however. I am not suggesting that you stop taking those amazing hot showers, just rinse off with luke-warm water at the very end. It won’t be the most pleasant 10 seconds of your day but it will act as a temperature bridge and your skin won’t panic when it hit’s the cold. This will save you a lot of pain, discomfort and ashy skin for the next few months.
Know the difference between healing and protecting ingredients: This one applies to a lot of products but especially with lip treatments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client tell me “I put vaseline on my lips every day but they never feel hydrated!” That’s because vaseline, or any petroleum based ointment, can’t actually penetrate your skin to heal it, it only sits on top to protect it. This is great news if you’re going to be outside all day and don’t want to give those harsh winds access to your skin but if your skin is already chapped and angry it can’t do anything to help. For healing purposes you want to look for ingredients such as Vitamin E, shea butter and avocado oil.
Know your acids: Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA’s can be a great way to repair dry, damaged skin. My two favorites are hyaluronic and lactic acid. Both of these work to dissolve dead, dry skin cells while encouraging your skin to hold onto moisture - but be careful because these can be a little aggressive depending on the strength of the acid. For a gentler approach look for moisturizers with fruit enzymes which will help to exfoliate that itchy dry skin in a similar manner.
Now get out there and face the cold!