7 steps to glowing winter skin
- Next1 of 8Michael Kors Fall 2012; Imaxtree
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Wintertime Skincare1 of 8
By Lisa Cohen Lee
Cold weather can be extremely drying, due to indoor heat and outdoor wind chills, so just as you swap swimsuits for sweaters come winter, you need to switch up your skincare routine to fit the season. Here are seven steps to keep skin hydrated and healthy all winter long.
Soft Soap2 of 8
It's inevitable: When the mercury plunges, skin becomes drier. "Your skin's moisture content is higher than what's in the air. The water in your skin evaporates, leading to dryness, redness and an uneven texture," says Neal Schultz, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Replace your oil-stripping foaming cleanser with a cream-based one that leaves hydration levels intact.
SHOP NOW: Avon Anew Ultimate 7S Cleanser, $12
Tone Up3 of 8
Sweeping toner on your face after you wash is smart. "A toner pulls in moisture and balances pH levels. When you apply moisturizer on top, it locks in the hydration," says Oni Chaves, a medical esthetician at Karen Factor Skin Rejuvenation in Beverly Hills. Avoid alcohol-based astringents and buy ones with ingredients like bamboo sap, hyaluronic acid or panthenol, which help to keep skin hydrated. To apply, splash on or douse a slim cotton pad (puffy ones just absorb the liquid) and lightly pat over your face.
SHOP NOW: Juara Toner, $29
Weighty Issue4 of 8
That light lotion that got you through the heat wave? It's likely not cutting it in the frosty weather. A thicker formula binds to skin, holds in water, and prevents irritation. "The temperature extremes—going from the cold to indoor heat—dry you out, causing redness, itching and flaking, especially in someone who has sensitive skin or is prone to eczema," says Chaves. Try a balm that lists water as its first ingredient; look for emollients (ingredients that soften skin and help it retain moisture) like glycerin or shea butter.
SHOP NOW: Garnier Moisture Rescue Cream, $9
Dream Cream5 of 8
"I tell my clients to add a night cream during the winter. It's essential because a richer formula improves the moisture level in your skin when you use it regularly," says Sejal Shal, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. It's also reparative; formulas that have retinol or glycolic acid help smooth your epidermis so your face feels softer by morning.
SHOP NOW: Clé de Peau Beauté La Crème, $525
Brush Off6 of 8
'Tis the season for flaky skin. "When the surface skin cells dry out, they stick up like hairs, creating a rough, dry texture," says Dr. Schultz. The result? Your moisturizer doesn't work as well, and your foundation doesn't go on as smoothly. To slough away dead skin, dab on a gentle micro-grain scrub or apply a light peel—one with 10 percent glycolic acid is a great place to start—once a week.
SHOP NOW: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion, $78
Lush Lips7 of 8
One of the season's biggest beauty woes? Chapped, cracked lips. However, you should resist the urge to scrape away the peeling bits, says Dr. Schultz. "Unlike skin, these flakes aren't dead cells. They're part of live, delicate membrane, so exfoliating will only make it worse," he says. Instead, prime your lips often with a petrolatum-based salve. The thick layer forms a protective barrier against wintry challenges and seals in emollients.
SHOP NOW: Murad Soothing Skin and Lip Care, $20
Cool Color8 of 8
If you've been wanting to test run the most buzzy international makeup to hit the shelves stateside—beauty balm or BB cream—now is the perfect time. The thick consistency makes it a winner in drying conditions. "I prefer a BB in winter because it's super-hydrating, has broad-spectrum SPF, contains antioxidants and will even out your skin tone," says Dr. Shah. The latest versions are buildable to control color, and have more complexion correctors, like vitamin C, to boost radiance and bring down dark spots.
SHOP NOW: Wei to Go Ideal Skin Perfect Finish, $30