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5 Dermatologist Approved Winter Skin Care Tips You Need To Save Your Skin

Dry air + strong winds + dreary rain = a disastrous combination for tight, rough, cracked and dry skin. ⁠Colder weather not only calls for sweaters, boots and pumpkin spice lattes but also an entirely new skincare routine fit to protect your skin from the harsh fall and winter weather. 

Here are 5 skin care tips you need to save your skin from tight, cracked and rough skin. 

1. Cleanse without stripping the skin 

During the colder months it’s good to switch to a gentle cleanser that cleanses and hydrates at the same time. Also avoid overusing a cleanser with harsh active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs especially if you already have dry and sensitive skin. 

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, try the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex made with white willow bark to exfoliate and break up pore-clogging oil to boost cell turnover and tighten the appearance of your pores. If you have dry or sensitive skin you need to use a potent cream cleanser like the Alastin Ultra Calm Cleansing Cream that removes dirt, oil and makeup without disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier.   

Shop More: Alastin Skincare Products

2. You still need to exfoliate 

You may think that exfoliating during the winter months could mean a disaster for your skin, but it can actually do the opposite — as long as you don’t overdo it. When the skin gets overly dry, cleansing and moisturizing just isn't enough to give you a smooth and clean canvas of skin to work with. That’s why regular exfoliation is encouraged even during the colder months to help remove dead skin cells and grime built up. 

If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliant, try the Augustinus Bader Essence which is essentially a toner that gently dissolves and removes impurities while enhancing the skin's ability to attract and retain moisture. It also reduces the appearance of pores and regulates sebum secretion making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin types as well.

When it’s a physical exfoliator you’re looking for, try the Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask that uses fruit derived enzymes and a fusion of volcanic ash and mineral-rich clay to gently draw out impurities. The end result is clear pores and a brightened, smooth, glowing complexion.

3. Switch your lightweight moisturizer for a thicker consistency

One of the most important yet easily neglected steps of a skincare routine is the moisturizer and this is especially important during the colder months. When our skin gets exposed to more harsh conditions and our moisture barrier is not properly protected by an emollient rich moisturizer, the skin’s integrity depletes leading to cracked, rough and tight skin, and in some cases even acne or redness. 

To prevent this, switch your lightweight moisturizer for one with a thicker formula containing ceramides or hyaluronic acid to aid in water retention and skin barrier protection and function. Our dermatologists recommend using the PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator infused with fruit extracts, including olive and almond for extra nourishment, as well as antioxidants for firmer and plumper skin.

4. Don’t neglect the rest of your body

If we have not emphasized it enough — don’t forget to moisturize! Not just your face but also your body especially the areas that are most commonly exposed to harsh climate like your hands, ankles, and neck. In the shower, we recommend using a nourishing and hydrating shower oil like this one from Bioderma. Its non-greasy formula provides 24-hour hydration, diminishing signs of dryness and dehydration. Post-shower, immediately slather on this rich body cream by Augustinus Bader. Made with shea butter, this cream leaves skin feeling soft and looking smooth while  bisabolol calms and hydrates stressed skin while promoting healthy barrier function. 

5. Don’t forget your SPF!

Even when there’s no harsh sun in sight and snow is piling up on the side of the road, you’re still at risk for sun damage, no matter your age or location. Unfortunately, ultraviolet rays are still present even when the sun doesn’t seem to be shining. Hence, all that you can really do is apply sunscreen regularly. For a moisturizing formula, our dermatologists recommend using the Skinkure Moisturizing Mineral with broad spectrum SPF 50. Made with hyaluronic acid, it aids to lock in moisture while caffeine soothes and calms the skin. 

If you’re looking for a tinted sunscreen, our dermatologists highly recommend using the Elta MD Tinted UV Glow. Rich in powerhouse antioxidants like high-purity niacinamide and ergothioneine, it brightens skin, protects against daily skin-aging aggressors, and promotes the appearance of healthy, glowing skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and coconut fruit extract to restore moisture, leaving skin feeling supple.

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