The winter is a challenging time for your skin. Cold, wind, temperature changes, and central heating all cause damage. But with the right routine and the best tools you can prevent the dreaded flaky skin and chapped lips that characterize most people’s winter faces. Here are some tips on how to improve your skin this winter:
Amp up your regimen!
If you are not already using a prescription skincare line, wintertime is the best time to start. At Plush, our Licensed Estheticians have training in all areas of skincare, including extended training in the Obagi Medical Skin Systems. Along with Dr Bell they can customize a medical-grade routine for you whether your focus is anti-aging (dark/age spots and wrinkles), acne, rosacea or anything in between. Make an appointment for a free skin care consultation at Plush, and we can answer all of your questions.
Winter is the right time to renew your skin, because we tend to get much less sun exposure in the winter months. This is the ideal time increase your usage of Retin-A (tretinoin) or up the concentration of your current tretinoin cream or gel. Dr Bell dispenses Retin-A micro at Plush. We offer a price that the chain drugstores can't beat and save you the trip to the pharmacy.
The 1st 1-3 months on any retinoid is a challenge for most, with new skin production causing flaking of dead skin, and overuse in sensitive areas potentially causing tender redness. If irritation occurs, stop using it for a few days, then start back more conservatively, perhaps mixing your Retin-A with moisturizer. For those with sensitive skin, use Retin-A every other night, at the 0.04% concentration. Use it very sparingly around the eyes and mouth to avoid irritation. After this transition period is over, you will most likely be able to use Retin-A every day without difficulty. Retin-A can make the biggest anti-aging difference in your skin, more than any other product or regimen.
Exfoliate & Renew
Flaky, dry skin is dead skin that should be removed to achieve a smooth appearance. Medical microdermabrasion and chemical peels are the best way to remove the outer epidermal layers, and winter is, once again, the best time to have these procedures. Removing excess epidermis is important for evening skin texture and tone as well as shrinking those pores! Sun protection (SPF) is very important after chemical peels and while using Retin-A because new skin is very vulnerable to developing hyperpigmentation (dark spots). You can't skip the SPF, even in the winter, if you want to maintain youthful skin.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Moisturizing in the winter months is one of the best things you can do for your skin. It’s really important that you moisturize when the weather is cold to help keep your skin soft and chap-free. Applying body lotion after a bath will protect from loss of natural oils and keep your skin protected. Leave your moisturizer on your face longer than usual to keep the skin as soft and hydrated as possible.
Protect your lips
The skin on your lips is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, so it's particularly susceptible to damage in the cold. Dry, chapped lips can be sore and look unsightly, so it’s important that you protect your lips whenever you go out. We recommend Jane Iredale Lip Drink to protect lips in the winter. Or even better, exfoliate (with brown suger!) then plump while moisturizing with Jane Iredale's double-ended Sugar & Butter pictured here! Awesome!
Switch from bath to shower
Long hot baths may feel fantastic, but they aren’t good for your skin. Hot baths strip your skin of their natural oils leaving your skin extremely dry. Ideally the water should be luke-warm every time you bathe, though if you do prefer to have a hot bath, try and cut them down to two to three times a week rather than every day. If you just can’t give up your hot baths, try a bath cream that contains a deep moisturizer.