5 Ways to Prep Your Skin for Winter

Natasha Burton
Winter skin care

Photo: Getty Images

Dryness, flakiness, chapped cheeks — no wonder we’re not looking forward to winter. Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to feeling less gorgeous! Here, two top skin experts explain what you can do right now to prevent common beauty issues as temperatures start to drop.

Swap Your Cleanser

Wintertime cleansers (for the face and body) should be milder to combat the harsh elements, says Dr. Bruce Katz, Director of JUVA Skin & Laser Center in New York. By this, he means you should choose a milk, gel or oil cleanser. (Look for ingredients such as shea or cocoa butter or jojoba oil.)

Do a Power Wash

The outer layer of your skin needs regular polishing in order to glisten, Katz says. The more dead skin cells you have sitting on top of your skin, the less luminous you’ll look. Get glowing by using glycol acid face pads rather than a gritty scrub, he suggests. It will improve texture and tone while minimizing fine lines and active breakouts. He recommends JUVA Glycolic 5% Cleansing Pads ($25, juvaskin.com) to refresh tone and soften skin or a Clarisonic for those with more sensitive skin.)

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marta Rendon, who practices out of Boca Raton, FL., suggests facials, peels, and microdermabrasion at least every month or bi-monthly to keep skin looking its best year round.

Take Your Vitamins

During the winter, your skin tends to get less vitamin C, so Katz recommends using a serum in its place. He suggests SkinCeuticals Serum 20 AOX ($100, skinceuticals.com), which is formulated at the precise concentration proven to deliver maximum amounts of vitamin C to the skin. It’s designed to restore and protect your skin, he says, while also neutralizing free radicals, defending against environmental damage, and helping to prevent accelerated aging.

Fight Flakes

Dry skin, especially those flaky patches that tend to go hand-in-hand with a drop in temperature, will really dull your complexion. Whatever you do, don’t peel it, advises Katz, and use a heavier moisturizer instead. (Yes, this will require a lot of patience and self-control!)

Rendon also suggests using warm water — not hot! — when showering, as well as plugging in a humidifier during the winter months while you’re sleeping to stay as moisturized as possible. She advises applying face and body moisturizer at night as well. (Her favorite is Obagi Hydrate Luxe facial cream.)

Protect Your Lips

Using sunscreen daily, along with a lip moisturizer, can keep your pucker from getting chapped, Rendon says, especially if you’re a lipstick-wearer (which can make your lips even drier). Using Vaseline at night can also soothe your lips while you sleep.

Read more: 10 Beauty Habits You Should Be Doing Every Night—And Aren’t

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