The Winter Skin Survival Guide

by Kristin Scord, PA-C


It’s Winter Skin Season!  


It’s that time of year when preventing dry, itchy skin becomes much more challenging as the air gets colder.  Here are our best tips for helping manage your skin through the holidays!

  1. Use a moisturizing or hydrating face and body wash.  During this time of year, the air outside is cold and inside is hot and dry which can rob our skin of moisture.  It may be time to move to washes aimed more towards moisturizing and hydrating and less stripping.  Avoid bar soaps as they can be extra drying!


SHOP NBDPS: Epicutis Cleansing Essentials Set, AlumierMD Hydraboost Cleanser, Priori Gentle Cleanser, Avene Xeracalm Cleansing Oil for face and body


2. Limit shower and bath time as well as temperature.  Long, hot showers can further dry out your skin, so stick to warm showers and limit to under 15 minutes.


3. Moisturize often, thickly, and immediately after bathing.  Pat skin dry and apply your moisturizer while skin is still damp to lock in extra hydration!  Pick a thicker cream over a lightweight lotion and apply within the first few minutes of getting out.  We are more prone to skin irritation during this time of year, so ideally find formulas that are Fragrance Free and look for those with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.


SHOP NBDPS: MDMcNeill Intensive Repair Night Cream, MDMcNeill Smooth Skin HA Serum, AlumierMD Ultimate Boost Serum, AlumierMD HydraRich Moisturizer, SkinMedica HA5, Avene Xeracalm Baume, Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream, Epicutis Luxury Skincare Set


4. Exfoliate, but gently and less often.  Gently sloughing off dry skin is essential to help moisturizer penetrate better. While one might normally use physical exfoliation 2-3 times a week during the rest of the year, in winter, you may want to do this only 1-2 times a week. You can also opt for moisturizers with lactic or glycolic acid that can gently exfoliate and hydrate at once.


SHOP NBDPS: MDMcNeill Glycolic 15% Body Lotion, MDMcNeill Polisher, Priori Peel and Scrub


5. Use a humidifier.  When running the heat in our homes, the inside air can also become very dry and worsen dry skin. Using a humidifier can add moisture and humidity back into the air and be helpful!


6. Dilute or ease back on any drying anti-aging treatments.  Prescription treatments like tretinoin can have a drying side effect any time of year, but especially in winter.  Consider adding a little lotion to your prescription before application, or doing a “sandwich” technique of moisturizer before-and-after your tretinoin.  If needed, you may try switching to an every-other-day application as well.


7. Remember your sunscreen!  The sun is still out and still strong even when it’s cold outside or cloudy!  Continue to use your sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or more.  Consider a more hydrating formulation this time of year.


SHOP NBDPS: EltaMD Daily SPF40, EltaMD Replenish SPF 44, EltaMD Restore SPF 40, AlumierMD Sheer Hydration SPF 40


8. Don’t forget your lips and hands!  You can’t moisturize dead skin, so you may need to gently exfoliate, but don’t pull or pick.  Dampen the area with water and apply a moisturizer like vanicream–it can even be used on the lips!  Let that dry and apply a thick barrier layer like Vaseline or Aquaphor.  For rashes or severely chapped lips or hands, a steroid cream or balm may be recommended.


SHOP NBDPS: FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Lip Balm, Avene Lip Balm, EltaMD So Silky Hand Creme, Vanicream Ointment

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