She has literally written the textbook on cosmetic lasers, and counts Washington, D.C.’s most famous faces among her clients: Tina Alster, M.D. And while she has access to cutting-edge technology and products as a dermatologist, she still deals with the same skin conditions like the rest of us in the winter. Namely, dry skin.
There are two big reasons why we all see an uptick in dry skin during the winter time, Alster says. “The onset of winter weather brings dry skin on, due to cold windy weather conditions and hot forced air from heating systems,” she says. That makes it extra important to properly moisturize and treat your skin. “Not only will this keep skin supple, but it’ll help erase the look of wrinkles and aging!”
We asked Alster to share her go-to winter skincare regimen that keeps her hydrated and comfortable when the going gets icy this winter. Here are her five essential pieces of advice:
“The minute you step outside on a blustery day, you’re going to battle skin dehydration and windburn,” Alster says. “The best way to avoid the pain and look of chapped skin is to physically cover up. Always protect your face and neck with a scarf. I also love those faux-fur collars on jackets and coats—they’re not just fashionable, they’re functional and keep the wind out!”
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“Skip the use of scrubs and harsh toners in the winter,” Alster says. “Exfoliation is definitely a no-no—it will cause excessive dryness and irritation on already dry skin. Exfoliation removes too many skin oils on dry skin, producing micro-cuts where irritants can easily enter, she says. “If you want to gently exfoliate dry skin, a sonic cleansing brush is safe to use without irritating dry skin. Switch to a gentle, creamy, non-foaming cleanser that doesn’t contain astringents when you wash.” She recommends Lancôme Galatée Confort ($30, macys.com).
It’s essential to up your moisturizer game in the winter to better care for dry skin, Alster says. “Protect your skin with a heavier-than-normal moisturizer that contains moisturizing lipids, ceramides, or hyaluronic acid, which help to bind water and retain moisture.” she says. “I prefer to use a lighter hyaluronic acid cream during the day and a richer cream with ceramides and lipids at night.” She recommends the Epionce Medical Barrier Cream, ($46, dermstore.com), which she uses day and night, because “it’s loaded with ceramides and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.”
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Winter weather can cause damage to your skin, which can get worse if not treated ASAP. “If you’re out in the cold and your skin does get windburn (which is redness, dryness, and sore skin caused by prolonged exposure to wind and icy temperatures), apply a soothing balm overnight, and you should show improvement by morning,” Alster says. “Look for a balm that contains a small amount of hydrocortisone, is free of parabens and fragrance, and which has an emollient base.” She likes her W Recover Soothing Balm ($60, skinlaser.com) which she says is helpful for treating irritated, dry skin. “Whatever you use, treating irritated skin as soon as possible is important to get it under control.”
Yes, you need to be wearing SPF all year round—even on cloudy, snowy days. But dry skin might react to your normal SPF, so change your routine accordingly. “I prefer mineral sunscreens (which only contain natural sunscreen ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide), because they’re generally less irritating to skin,” Alster says. “Dry skin is much more sensitive to topical creams, so it’s safest to stick with non-chemical sunscreen as your final morning step. Don’t forget that mineral SPF will help with your hydration routine and help keep your skin looking supple and young.” Alster recommends La Roche Posay Mineral Anthelios SPF 50 ($33, amazon.com).
Source: Women’s Health Mag