Taking care of our skin, especially on our face, is an important hygienic practice all year. However, in the wintertime, our skin needs a little extra TLC. Going from freezing cold wind-chilled temperatures outside to sudden forced heat inside takes a toll on sensitive skin. As one Hoboken esthetician — Lauren Ben-Meir, owner and founder of Attain Medspa —describes, east coast winters are one of the worst environments you can imagine for our skin. It’s not uncommon to experience red, dry, flaky, irritating skin during the colder months. Luckily, Lauren along with several other local estheticians gave us the scoop on how to keep our skin happy and healthy during the winter. Read on for wintertime skincare tips and tricks, straight from the experts.
What’s Up With Winter Breakouts?
It seems natural that breakouts may occur in the summertime when sweat is more prevalent and clogging up pores. So why do some people still experience breakouts in the wintertime? It’s not just because you’re breaking a sweat trying to get the PATH on time while wearing five layers of clothing. According to Lauren Ben-Meir, our skin is actually trying to counterbalance itself. When the skin is dried out from harsh winter winds and forced heat indoors, the body tries to counteract that dryness by producing more oil to protect the epidermis. The downside of this is that it can result in clogged pores. So how do we fix this?
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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Yes, it’s true, water is one of the best things for our bodies, and that includes our skin. Alla Shapiro, owner of Woodhouse Day Spa, says to “hydrate from the inside out.” We tend to be more dehydrated in the winter, so making sure to drink a sufficient amount of water is key, and our skin will thank us. Add that to the list of reasons to get a cute new reusable water bottle.
Build Up Your Skin’s Natural Barrier
Lauren Ben-Meir’s first line of defense against wintertime skin irritation is using serums that build up the skin’s natural barrier. Our skin is equipped with what it needs to survive and thrive, and sometimes just boosting that natural ability works wonders. Lauren suggests looking for products that speak to the benefit of building up the barrier of the skin. This will make your skin less red, dry, and itchy — which leads to breakouts — in harsher environments. You can find great options of creams and lotions that do this in drug stores, or more expensive options in department stores.
Use a Good Gentle Wash
It’s important to make sure face wash is not too harsh, as it may not have the desired effect. Some face washes even have oils in them that will help counteract dryness. Alla Shapiro recommends using oil-based or creamy cleansers instead of foamy or gel-based ones. Her favorite products for this include Barbor Hy Ol Cleansing System or Skinceuticals gentle cleanser.
Gently Exfoliate Once a Week
All the estheticians we spoke to warned against over-exfoliating, which can have undesired effects on the skin.
Moisturize Twice a Day
Proactively keeping skin moisturized will prevent your body from producing those extra oils that it needs to stay hydrated. Lauren recommends moisturizing no less than twice a day. Alla loves to use high-quality moisturizers like Skinceuticals Triple Lipid or Babor EGF Collagen Moisturizer. Alla suggests using a humidifier in your house or apartment to combat dry air due to heating.
Vitamin C + SPF Are Still Important
Alla shares that Vitamin C and SPF are important all year round, not just in the summertime. She loves Dr. Babor Pro Vitamin C or Skinceuticals Phloretin CF. SPF from Babor or Skinceuticals as well. They have many different varieties for different skin types.
Get Your Bloodwork Done
“The skin is a mirror of what is happening inside the body,” says Lauren Ben-Meir. Sometimes our skin gives us clues that there may be an issue such as hormone imbalances, poor gut health, or other issues that can be worked on with the help of a medical professional. Attain Medspa offers bloodwork at their office, and Lauren suggests getting bloodwork done twice a year.
See More: A Guide to Skincare Studios in Montclair + Beyond for Ultimate Self-Care
See A Professional
Giovanna, of Esthetics by Giovanna, believes that professional-grade skincare is the key to success. The three wintertime skincare practices that she recommends are available at her salon. Since our skin is getting less exposure to the sun, says Giovanna, it’s a great time to try out Micro Needle Facials and body treatments. This will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce new collagen for a smoother facial texture, improve hyperpigmentation and acne scars, tightens skin, and is a great anti-aging treatment. Carbon Laser Peels reduce large open pores, reduce dull complexion, removes blackheads and acne, dark spots, and more. Her third recommendation is to get a chemical peel. “A chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. Facial skin is mostly treated, and scarring can be improved. Chemical peels are intended to remove the outermost layers of the skin. To accomplish this task, the chosen peel solution induces a controlled injury to the skin.”