Just as the seasons change, so should your skin care routine. The frigid weather during the winter months can be harsh on the skin and often different products must be used to keep our skin healthy, says Dr. Kate Holcomb. Moisturizers, such as serum or gel, used in summer may not be adequate to combat the decreased humidity in the ambient air and in heated homes. Changing to a thicker moisturizer or adding on a moisturizer to your current regimen may be necessary. To eliminate dull skin, continue exfoliating and always hydrate immediately after.
It is essential to use sun protection during the winter months because harmful UVA rays are still present even in cold weather, says Dr. Lupo. Full-spectrum sun protection, at least SPF 15, is always needed. It is also important to maintain your anti-aging regimen with retinoids and antioxidants or growth factors.
While hot baths may seem soothing during the frigid months, taking a short, tepid shower will help prevent the skin’s essential oils from dissolving. Also, moisturizing immediately after a shower will keep the skin from getting dry and itchy. If your skin becomes more irritated, red or chapped during winter, our board certified dermatologists can address your specific skin needs and help make changes to your regimen to maintain your overall skin health.
Eating healthy all year around is always a way to give your skin an extra boost, but there are some foods that may be more beneficial during the winter months and others that should be avoided. Deep water fish like swordfish is high in omega oils to hydrate the skin from the inside, says Dr. Lupo. Herbal teas, such as green tea, contain antioxidants that help fight off skin-damaging free radicals. Dr. Holcomb also advises patients to avoid caffeine during the winter months as too much can be dehydrating, and eating lots of salty foods and drinking excess alcohol during the holidays can also take a toll on the skin.
Even a good at-home skin regimen may not eliminate dull, dry skin caused by wintry weather. Low-level non-ablative resurfacing, SilkPeel, light peels and facials are great to brighten dull skin, says Dr. Holcomb. Pigmentation and redness, which often contributes to the appearance of dull skin, can be treated with Fraxel and IPL.