Have you noticed that your skin is drier during the Toronto winter months? Lower temperatures outside, decreased humidity and indoor forced air heating all contribute to water loss in the skin. The result is dry, flaky, itchy, uncomfortable and unattractive skin. Dry skin also has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Several skincare products need to be switched during different seasons. The light-weight moisturizer that you use during the summer may not be rich enough for you in winter. As well, your face and body require different products for optimal results. Dermatologist Dr. Martie Gidon, Director of Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa, shares some tips to help you prevent dryness and maintain a clear, healthy complexion throughout the winter season.
1. Prevent Dry Skin
Pass up those long, hot showers and use warm water instead for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a mild, fragrance-free hydrating body cleanser and exfoliate your body at least once a week so moisturizers can penetrate more effectively. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
2. Upgrade Your Body Moisturizing Routine
Ensure you use the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type and use it frequently, especially right after your shower to lock in water. Apply moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients and even occlusive ingredients if you are very dry. What’s the difference amongst these ingredients? Humectants attract water into the skin and include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and alpha hydroxy acids. Emollients restore the skin barrier and smooth the skin, and include lipids, oils and shea butter. If your skin is very dry, you can also add a moisturizer containing occlusive ingredients such as silicone, lanolin and white petrolatum to seal in water.
3. Facial Skincare
Wash your face twice a day with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Gently pat skin dry and apply products lightest in texture first, such as antioxidant and hyaluronic acid serums. Moisturizer comes next and then sunscreen, yes, even in the winter. Use oil-free products if your skin is oily or acne-prone. At night, add your repair product such as a retinol or glycolic acid and top it with your moisturizer. Don’t forget to treat your neck as well. Remember to exfoliate gently twice a week to remove dead skin cells, improve product penetration and help skin glow. Add a lip balm to prevent chapped lips.
4. Try a Mild Hand Soap
Cold temperatures, frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers all contribute to dry, chapped hands. Use a gentle soap and after washing or using a hand sanitizer, apply moisturizer immediately afterwards. Wear gloves outside and protective gloves indoors for any housework or food preparation. Use a rich hand cream at night and if you are very dry, wear cotton gloves as well.
5. Foot Work
Dry heels are a common concern during the winter. Pumice feet after soaking or bathing, use an AHA moisturizing cream to help exfoliation and top it up with an emollient cream. Pull on some booties for an overnight treatment.
6. Turn on your Home Humidifier
It’s surprising how many patients say they have a humidifier but it isn’t turned on! Although indoor heating keeps you comfortable in your home, the hot, forced air causes dry skin. A humidifier will re-introduce moisture back into the air to help keep your skin hydrated.
7. Drink More Water
Are you drinking enough fluids? Your skin cells are made up of water and just like any other body organ, it won’t function at its best without it. Studies have not proven that drinking eight cups of fluids per day will prevent dry skin, but it does keep our bodies healthier.
8. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Avoid rough clothing next to your skin. Wear soft, cotton fabric and then heavier woollen clothing over it if necessary. Layering is a good idea since you can remove layers to prevent over-heating which is uncomfortable for skin.
Need more advice on your skincare routine? Talk to our team at Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa for more advice on calming your skin during the colder months. Give us a call at 416-483-4541 or fill out a contact form to learn more.Written by Dr. Martie Gidon
Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.