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  • Writer's pictureHollywood Institute

Winter Skin Care Guide

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It's also the most exposed, meaning it's the most likely to feel the effects of the changing seasons. As winter brings with it cooler temperatures and drier air, you're likely to see some changes in your skin. Maybe it gets drier or flakier or you find yourself dealing with increased redness or more pimples.

Your skincare routine should be a bit different in the winter than it is in the summer. As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, here's what you can do to help your skin look and feel its best.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Your skin needs moisture year-round, but its moisture needs amp up in the winter when the humidity levels drop. Now's the time to slather on the heavy lotions and moisturizing products, to banish any flakes and dryness.

How can you tell if a moisturizer is heavy enough to help your skin in the winter? Pay close attention to the ingredients list. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which is ultra-hydrating (it can retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water), as well as ceramides, which are lipids that help the skin barrier lock in moisture.

Also, pay attention to when you moisturize. Morning and night are ideal, and it can't help to slather on some lotion in between, any time your skin feels parched.

Remember to focus on more than just your face, too. Other areas of the body, like the hands, feet, legs and neck, need plenty of moisture throughout the winter, too.

Keep Exfoliating (But Ease up a Bit)

Dull skin is another common winter woe. Dullness can develop when dead skin cells build up on the top of the skin. Exfoliation, either by using a chemical exfoliant, such as an acid, or a mechanical exfoliant, such as a brush, removes the dead cells, making your skin look brighter and fresher.

While it's a good idea to keep on exfoliating throughout the winter, you may find that you need to take a few steps back with it. If you use a scrub every day in the summer, you might try switching to every other day or two or three times a week in the winter. Easing up on exfoliating is particularly important if you've noticed redness or irritation in your skin.

Go Easy on the Cleanser

Just as you should keep exfoliating in the winter, you should also keep on cleansing your skin, but you might want to switch up your cleanser. If you've noticed that your regular cleanser is leaving your skin dry or irritated, make the switch to one that promises to increase hydration. A cleanser with a moisturizing balm or oil in it can be ideal for the winter months.

Don't Skip the Sun Protection

The sun might set around four in the afternoon during the winter and you might spend more time indoors because of cooler weather, but that doesn't mean it's time to put the SPF away.

The sun's UV rays can still harm your skin, even when it's overcast or there isn't much sun to speak of. Keep up the habit of wearing an SPF of at least 30 every day, or get in the habit of using sunscreen, if you aren't already.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

It's not only what you put on your skin in the winter that affects its health. What's around your skin can also influence it. If your home is very dry, your skin is going to be dry, too. Increase the moisture in the air and give your skin a break by using a humidifier in the rooms you use the most.

Also, pay attention to the temperature of your shower or bath. Hot water can feel soothing but it can also strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it red and dry. Try to lower the temperature of your shower or bath or limit the time you spend in the water to keep your skin from drying out.

If you like to look and feel your best and want to help others do the same, a career as an esthetician might be right for you. To learn more about becoming a dermalogica-certified, licensed esthetician, get in touch with the Hollywood Institute today.

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