In addition to pulling out the hats and gloves when the winter weather strikes, you may also need to revamp your winter skincare routine. Here are a few tips on how to keep your skin hydrated and dewy in the coldest winter months.
The temperatures have started dropping here in New York, and it doesn’t look like cold weather will be going away anytime soon. Along with the cold temperatures comes the dry, dull, flaky skin. But with a few changes to your winter skincare routine, you can have hydrated and radiant skin all year round. Just follow these steps below!
- Avoid harsh cleansers. Cleansers that strip your skin with harsh chemicals can make your dry skin more irritated, so sticking with a gentle cleanser is crucial. We carry several great cleanser options at JSpa Medical Spa, including the SkinMedica Facial Cleanser, which contains Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin b5) that helps to bind moisture to the surface of the skin, and Skinceuticals Replenishing Cleanser, which features a ceramide complex to lock in hydration.
- Use gentle chemical exfoliators. A harsh, grainy scrub can wreak havoc on dry skin, but it’s important to keep those flakes at bay if you want a dewy glow. Using a product that helps your skin eliminate dead skin cell build up on the surface of your face will help to reveal radiant skin underneath. Swapping your gentle face wash for one containing a gentle chemical exfoliator a few times a week or adding an exfoliating serum into your regimen will ensure that you keep the flakes away without irritating or drying out your skin even more. At JSpa Medical Spa, we carry several options, including Skin Medica AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, which incorporates a combination of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), as well as skin calming ingredients Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin b5) and Bisabolol (chamomile). We also carry Skinceuticals Retexturizing Activator, which is a leave on serum containing a combination of both chemical exfoliators as well as hydrating ingredients that won’t dry out the skin!
- Add hyaluronic acid (HA) to your regimen. HA is a hydrophilic molecule, which means that it attracts water to it. In fact, HA holds 1000% times it’s weight in water! HA works by penetrating the skin layers and then attracting water, which immediately gives the skin and underlying tissues a plumped and hydrated effect (Barret-Hill, F. 2009). HA levels decline with age, so adding a product with HA into your routine will not only help add hydration back into your skin, but also help skin appear more youthful. At JSpa Medical Spa, we carry Skinceuticals HA Intensifier, which contains a high concentration of pure hyaluronic acid, as well as Skin Medica HA5, which is a proprietary blend of 5 kinds of time released HA, including Sodium Hyaluronate, uncross-linked HA, nano HA, and cross-linked HA which together offer long lasting skin smoothing and hydrating effects.
- Incorporate antioxidants. Antioxidants are another product that should be part of your year-round skincare routine but because people tend to focus on products that hydrate the skin in the winter, this is a product that often gets left on the shelf. But antioxidants are powerful ingredients that should be a staple in your winter skincare routine. Antioxidants work by repairing and preventing free radical damage. Free radicals are “free” (unpaired) electrons that can cause damage to your cells’ DNA. Free radicals usually come from some sort of environmental insult, like the sun, pollution, toxins, tobacco, and cortisol from stress. Antioxidants work by neutralizing those free electrons so that they can’t cause damage, and they also help repair the existing damage that has already occurred. Vitamin C is the most well researched antioxidant in skin care and has been shown to help prevent sunburn, help prevent and reverse sun damage, improve fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots, and stimulate collagen production. At JSpa Medical Spa, we carry multiple antioxidant serums, including Skinceutical CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF. Both of these products contain a large percentage of Vitamin C to neutralize the free radicals on your skin, and both products leave your skin with an immediate glow! If you prefer a gel-like consistency over a liquid, we also off Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel and Bella Medical Products The Perfect C, which is a formulation with added peptides!
- Swap your face lotion for a more protective moisturizer. During the winter months, the dry air causes the water within your skin to evaporate, which is known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Finding products that reduce TEWL results in a higher percentage of water remaining in the skin, which leads to hydrated and healthy skin (Barret-Hill, F. 2009). That’s why it is important to use products in the winter months that support skin’s natural barrier function to reduce as much water loss as possible. At JSpa Medical Spa, there are several options to help protect your skin and maintain moisture. Skinceuticals offers two exceptional creams, including Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, which is a cream formulated with 2% ceramides, 4% cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids which all help restore skin’s external barrier, as well as Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair, which is a cream formulated to protect and soothe skin, and thereby support the skin’s natural barrier function.
- Consider lasers treatments. Most laser treatments are done in the winter months as it is crucial to stay out of the sun after laser therapy. At JSpa Medical Spa, we offer several different laser treatments to addresses a variety of concerns, including wrinkles, loss of collagen, texture issues, and discoloration. The laser treatments offered at JSpa Medical Spa include Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing, Fraxel® Fractionated Laser, Clear + Brililant, IPL Photo rejuvenation, Laser Genesis, Laser Hair Removal, Laser Vein Treatment, and Micro Laser Peels. Give us a call to find out more about the laser treatments we offer, and which one is right for you!
- Don’t skip the sunscreen. Sunscreen seems to be a product that people use more during the summer months, but it’s is absolutely crucial to protect skin from the sun all year round! UV exposure from the sun is unquestionably the single major factor responsible for skin aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (2017), “the sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays start to cause genetic mutations in skin cells in as little as 10 minutes, which can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancers. While UVB rays are the most intense between from April to October, they can also cause significant damage in the winter months in areas where ice and snow are common.” Ever wonder why you get so sunburned on cold, snowy days in the winter? It’s because reflective surfaces such as snow or ice bounce back up to 80 percent of UVB rays, so essentially those harmful rays hit the skin twice. Yikes! At JSpa Medical Spa, we carry several different sunscreens to ensure you find the right product for you, including Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, as well as our own formulation of sunscreen, the Andrew A. Jacono MD Sheer Physical Sunscreen, which also has added antioxidants to offer further protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Buy a humidifier. Not only is the air outside dry, but the heater you run inside is also incredibly drying. The combination or dry winter air, and dry heated air will evaporate all of the moisture on your skin, leaving you with that dry and dull skin. You can help to alleviate all of the dry air by running a humidifier that adds moisturize back into the air so that it won’t suck as much out of your skin. Keeping one in your bedroom and running it while you sleep will help maintain your skins natural moisture levels, so you’ll wake up without the dry, flaky skin!
- Take short, warm showers. The idea of taking a long, hot shower after coming in from the cold is definitely enticing, but this is actually more drying for your skin. Shorter and cooler showers will keep your skin’s natural moisture barrier intact, and your skin will thank you!
- Put on lotion immediately after you shower. Putting lotion on your face and body after you shower but before you dry off is a trick that will help trap the moisture in your skin. Closing the bathroom door while you shower will also help trap the moist air in the bathroom and ensure even more hydration!
- Stay hydrated. This is really a rule to live by all year long, but people tend to be more conscious of the need to drink water in the summer months. But it’s just as important in the winter months if you want to ward off dry skin! Keep a water bottle in your bag, and make sure not to overindulge in caffeine or alcohol, as these are dehydrating if consumed in excess.
- Get your healthy fats. Dietary fats play a crucial role in the overall health and appearance of skin. Scientists have found that diets deficient in fatty acids lead to multiple skin abnormalities, including scaling, dryness and increased TEWL (Hansen et al, 1958). Scientists have also discovered that a diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids not only lessens photo-damage and signs of skin aging from UV exposure, but also alleviates skin sensitivity and inflammatory skin conditions (De Spirt S. Et al, 2009; Muggli R., 2005; Neukam K. et al, 2011). Food sources such as fresh fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flax oil, olive oil, avocados, and hemp oil are all excellent sources of healthy fats that will keep your skin plump and glowing. If your diet is lacking in these foods, you can also consider a fish oil supplement.
Give us a call at 516-773-2424 or stop by JSpa Medical Spa to talk to our staff about winter skincare essentials and how to optimize your winter skincare routine!
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