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7 Ways to Winterize your Skin

While you might love a winter wonderland, your skin certainly doesn’t. With those icy winds and subzero temperatures, you’ve got to prepare for some serious climate baggage. Otherwise, you might get stuck with the tell-tale signs of winter-struck skin: dryness, redness, fine lines, enlarged pores — the list goes on. Fortunately, we gathered advice from the top dermatologists in Beverly Hills for expert tips on weather proofing  your routine. Here are 7 ways to protect your skin in winter conditions.

1. Use a hydrating eye cream

Of all our beauty needs, our under eye area is the neediest! Some skeptics will say that eye creams are an unnecessary luxury, but the pros beg to differ.

“The eyes and lips are the only areas on our face that do not contain oil glands,” says celebrity dermatologist Sonya Dakar who treats stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore. Due to a lack of lubrication, the under eye area is first to show signs of dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. These skin problems in winter are even more worrisome when the air is much drier, causing stress and dehydration to the dermis. 

"Whether you are 20 or 65 you need an eye cream, as a preventative measure, and to help reduce the appearance of aging," says Sonya.

2. Don’t forget about toner

Moisture matters but so does the basic skin hack of all: a clean face. You’d be shocked about how much leftover residual dirt, oil and makeup lingers on your face — even after cleansing. That’s one of the many reasons we use a toner.

During winter weather, as your skin evaporates water more quickly, you might notice more patchiness and flaking. “Without proper toning, you’re leaving layers and layers of dead skin cells and buildup on the surface of the skin,” explains Beverly Hills-based Dermatologist Dr. Stuart Kaplan. Toner also works to soothe and soften the skin with calming botanicals — look for healing ingredients like Algae, Reishi Mushroom and Herbal Placental extract.

7 Ways to Winterize your Skin

These ingredients also balance your skin's natural pH, helping to tighten, brighten and purify your skin in winter conditions.

3. Use a gentle cleansing milk

Cleansers can be your skin’s saving Grace or worst enemy — it depends on the formula. Harsh chemical cleansers (especially ones formulated for acne) can make your skin even more stressed and reactive during winter.

You want to avoid  layering products that contain active ingredients, like Salicylic acid and Alpha-hydroxy acid, as these ingredients can suck moisture from your skin. Although these acids can help clear acne, people with sensitive skin can’t handle them. Instead, “Look for products that contain key moisturizing ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, and panthenol, all of which help maintain moisture,” suggests Dr. Harold Lancer — dermatologist to celebs like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. These ingredients help balance your skin’s moisture barrier to gently remove dirt and debris.

4. Upgrade your moisturizer

We all want that fresh, dewy glow. Two words: use moisturizer. But not just any moisturizer, you’ll want one with vitamin-rich botanicals and proteins to protect your skin in any weather — especially winter.

Dr. Lancer is a firm believer in treating skin with Bioplacenta, a nutrient-dense protein extracted from the Agave plant. It has extraordinary abilities to boost collagen, repair damage, improve hydration and elasticity — all while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. This rare extract is exclusive to EMK Cosmetics; it’s formulated in the Supra Face Cream,  used by L.A.’s most elite spas and skin clinics. Dr. Lancer recommends this treatment to help restore the skin’s renewal process. “Once this daily ritual is established, it really sets a pattern to maintain youthful-looking skin at any age,” he says.

This treatment also contains retinol, a type of vitamin A that tightens and brightens the skin. Better than a basic exfoliator, it works by accelerating the life cycle of your skin cells, forcing them to turn over faster. As Dr. Lancer explains, “Retinol offers anti-aging and anti-acne benefits, and is known to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while helping improve the look of skin tone, texture, and pores.”

So essentially, as long as you’re focusing on a combination of cellular renewer and moisture, you’ll have a solid routine to winterize your skin.

5. Use a moisturizing mask

Does your skin need a boost? A moisturizing mask injects your skin with a much-needed surge of moisture.

EMK Aurora Cleanser

“Look for one that has soothing ingredients like chamomile, and hydrating ones, like grape-seed or flaxseed oil,” says Dakar.

EMK Rescue Serum

The trick to getting a fresh and natural result is finding the right shade for your skin tone. As a general rule, avoid bronzers that are orangey or ashy, as these tones can make you look either too tanned or washed out.

Or if you need a more intense skin rehabilitation, choose a mask that contains  Seabuckthorn Berry and Herbal Placental Extract. “This will relieve irritated skin while also adding hydration to dry patches,” adds Dakar. By focusing on a strategic combo of calming and nourishing ingredients, you'll revitalize and protect your skin in winter conditions.

For best results, do a mask treatment two to three times a week to maintain your glow.

6. Start using a vitamin-rich serum

With less sunlight, our bodies experience a drop in vitamin D — a nutrient that’s vital to healthy glowing skin, reports National Geographic. To pick up the slack, you should use a vitamin C serum, which works in synergy with vitamin D to boost circulation and restore nutrients to lift dull, tired skin.

A vitamin C serum is non-negotiable for treating your skin problems in winter. Unlike a face cream or moisturizer, which is a superficial skin treatment, a serum delivers a concentrated dose of antioxidants to the epidermal stem cells  — the source of collagen growth. Beauty Instagrammer and Dermatologist Dr. Thiago Freire recommends finding a serum that uses the SYNERCELL® delivery system. As he explains, “This type of formula transfers nutrients to the correct part of the dermis where they can work best.” By raising healthier baby cells in the correct layers of your dermis, you can actually train your surface skin to become stronger, firmer and more hydrated.

7. Cheat with luminizing bronzer

Ever tried a luminizing bronzer?  You can fake a radiant, sun-kissed complexion even if you spend most of your time indoors.

Here’s how to choose the right one based on your skin tone:

Cool undertone: Avoid warm-toned contours as they'll look too obvious against your skin tone. Instead, go for shades that have a toasty mauve in them.

Warm undertone: Anything cool-toned will appear muddy or gray. Instead, look for shades in the peachy bronze category.  

Neutral Undertone: You need something in the middle (not too mauve and not too orange). A color in the tawny brown range will look best.

To achieve a natural flush of radiance, you’ll sweep the pigment over the points of your face where the sun would normally hit: the tops of your cheekbones, along your temples and down the bridge of your nose. Make sure not to dust it all over your face or you’ll look strange and overdone. Keep in mind, it’s winter so you shouldn’t be full-out shimmered and copper-toned  — less is definitely more.

Don’t let the cold weather dampen your glow.  By following these weather-proof beauty tips, you’ll be ready to winterize your skin.

About The Author: Rachel Esco is an educator and consultant in advanced cosmetics who empowers consumers to make informed choices about skin care. With a profound interest in beauty and biochemistry, her articles explore the latest breakthroughs in epigenetics and anti-aging technologies. Rachel is also a passionate advocate for the Beauty Conscious Movement, promoting the use of environmentally safe materials to create a zero waste culture.

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