10 winter skin-care secrets

By: Jessica Padykula Author: Canadian Living Credits:


10 winter skin-care secrets

By: Jessica Padykula

The days are cold, and we've just started to see snow. Unfortunately for some of us, we'll be experiencing a completely different kind of flake -- flaky, lacklustre skin that has replaced that dewy glow of summer.

Kristen Ma, aesthetician and co-owner of Pure + Simple spa in Toronto, offers 10 insider tips for maintaining healthy, flake-free, supple skin -- all winter long.

1. Get a facial
Ma explains that getting a facial is a great way to clear out your skin and start a new season with a clean slate. As the climate changes, so does our skin, and an aesthetician can help ease the transition. Starting with healthier, cleaner skin allows your cold weather skin-care routine to be more effective, Ma says.

2. Drink water
Remembering to stay hydrated in the summer is a no-brainer, but as it gets colder, getting your daily dose of water isn't always a top priority -- but it should be, Ma says. “We all get more dehydrated in the winter, so it's important to drink more water,” she explains. “This is a very simple, but beneficial tip for people wanting to maintain healthy skin.”

3. Protect your face from the elements
We wrap ourselves in heavy jackets and clothing during the winter, and it shouldn't be any different with our skin, Ma says. She suggests using a heavier cream versus a lighter moisturizer to keep skin hydrated. “Skin gets more sensitive in the winter so think of a heavier cream as an extra layer of protection -- like a warm sweater,” she says.

4. Avoid petroleum
Don't neglect your lips, which have a tendency to dry out in the winter. Keep balm with you and apply often as the temperature drops. Ma suggests avoiding products that contain petroleum as it can clog the pores in your lips, making it hard for the moisture to get where it needs to be. “You can't properly moisturize skin that is congested,” she explains.

5. Don't put away the sunscreen
Just because you're shivering doesn't mean the sun's rays go on vacation. Sunscreen is still important, Ma says. Remember to put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you leave the house so your skin is protected.

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6. Take care of your body, too
“Skin is the largest organ in your body, so you must moisturize all of it, not just from the shoulders up,” Ma says. The same goes for exfoliation, she explains. Whatever you do for your face, you should also be doing for your body, especially in frosty.

7. Try a hydrating serum
Ma suggests adding a hydrating serum to your skin-care routine, to be applied under your regular moisturizer. There is so much humidity in the summer, you don't need one, she says. But winter's dry air means we need an extra layer of moisture, which a serum can provide. Like layering a favourite fitted T-shirt under your cardigan, a hydrating serum seals in the comfort -- not to mention helps provide dewy-looking skin despite dry air and frigid temperatures.

8. Use a cream cleanser
Switch from a gel to a cream cleanser for the winter. Because skin is more sensitive in cold weather, gel cleansers, which are often astringent, can further dry out and irritate winter skin, Ma explains. A quality cream cleanser will remove makeup and debris without depleting skin's precious moisture.

9. Exfoliate regularly
Dull, lacklustre skin is an unfortunate winter trademark. This is caused by a buildup of dead skin, Ma explains. To give those dry, flaky cheeks a boost, exfoliate regularly. You need to do this more often in winter than you do in summer, she says. “Three times a week is a great way to ensure you're always showcasing your freshest, healthiest skin."

10. Try oils
A great -- and comforting -- way to provide your whole body with much-needed hydration during the winter is with bath oils. Your skin absorbs the moisture from the oils, leaving your skin silky soft every time you step out of the tub.

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10 winter skin-care secrets