Winter is a season of many outdoor activities. Whether that involves extreme winter sports, or simply spending a part of the day in the cool temperatures, it is important to take precautions and protect your skin from the harsh environment.
With the extreme temperatures that come along with winter, choosing the right cleanser for your skin type is very important. The winter air tends to cause skin dryness in most individuals. Avoiding cleansers that strip the skin of its lipid barrier and natural oils is key, especially in the winter time. Soap-based, harsh cleansers should not be used, even if your skin is oily or acne prone. Soap strips the natural oils from your skin, causing your skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil. Finding the correct oil and water balance is crucial to achieve healthy skin. If you experience severe dryness in the winter, using a cleanser that is more oil based will suit your skin type and prevent that “squeaky clean” feeling after washing. Oily and acne prone skin types benefit from a cleanser that is more water based versus oil based. Water based cleansers prevent the pores from becoming clogged and also help control breakouts. When cleansing, avoid using hot water as it tends to dry skin out. Lukewarm or cool water is preferred to prevent dryness.
After cleansing, it is essential to use a toner. Toners play a big part in your skin care regimen. Not only do toners help remove any remaining dirt and impurities left on your skin after cleansing, but they also reset your skin back to its natural PH level. When you cleanse your skin, the PH level becomes off balance. This could result in either too dry or too oily of skin. That is why it’s important to tone your skin after the cleansing process. Avoid alcohol based toners as they tend to dry skin out and opt for toners that contain natural ingredients instead.
Another crucial step needed for overall healthy skin is exfoliation. Removing the top layer of dead skin cells is essential. Not only will it improve skin texture, it will also aid in deeper product penetration. Treatment products, such as serums, and moisturizers will soak deeper into your skin because there is less dead skin for the products to penetrate through. All skin types benefit from exfoliation. Great exfoliation options are exfoliating scrubs, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, chemical peels and also microdermabrasion. Exfoliating the skin aids in cellular turnover, therefore preventing a dull, sallow appearance. Your skin will be left with a healthy glow.
Moisturizing is extremely important not only in the winter time, but all year round. You should be moisturizing two times a day; once in the morning after cleansing and once in the evening after cleansing before bed. All skin types need moisture. The lipids contained in moisturizers are key to skin quality as they keep the skin’s barrier healthy. Medical-grade moisturizers also contain important ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, growth factors, sodium hyaluronate and ceramides. Not only do these ingredients help with moisture, but they also help slow down the aging process. Light moisturizers are mainly used in the summer time when the climate tends to be more hot and humid. Oily and acne prone skin types benefit from a lighter moisturizer. Thicker moisturizers are used in the winter time to combat the severe dryness and cold conditions. More normal to dry skin types prefer a thicker moisturizer during the winter months. No matter what skin type you have, moisturizing should be a part of your daily skin care regimen.
Protecting your skin daily with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is something everyone needs to be doing. Year round, wearing a sunscreen every single day is crucial. The winter time brings as much of a threat to your skin as the summer does. The sun seems less intense when temperatures are bitter cold, but the ultraviolet rays can still damage your skin. It is recommended to wear an SPF 30 or higher daily. While you’re driving your car or even just walking into the grocery store, the sun’s rays still have potential to damage your skin. The sun is the number one factor for aging of the skin. Take the most basic, necessary step in caring for your skin and protect yourself daily with a sunscreen.
When it comes to skin care, every individual has their own specific needs. If you are interested in learning more about your skin and the proper steps needed for overall skin health, meet with an Artisan. Free, personalized consultations are offered at Artisan Skin and Laser Center. The consultation includes a Visia Exam to measure multiple skin factors as well as skin damage. At Artisan Skin and Laser Center, we love educating individuals on proper skin care and treatments to achieve healthy, beautiful skin.