Avoid flaky skin all season with these expert tips
Winter is just around the corner — and with the temperatures beginning to drop, digging your down coat out from the back of your closet isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Because with cold temps comes dry, flaky skin — if you don’t take the right precautions, that is. So before the thermometer drops below 40, we’ve enlisted pros to explain exactly what your skin needs in order to keep your face in check all winter long.
First things first, “only use lukewarm water when washing your face instead of steaming hot water which will pull the essential oil out of your skin,” says N.Y.C. dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, adding that a humidifier in your room will replenish your skin’s moisture while you sleep. And New York-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tells her patients, “when you start to layer your clothing, that’s a good time to layer your skin care. Meaning, layer on a serum under a richer night cream. That combination is amazingly effective at trapping moisture in the skin.”
So what lotions and potions should you be looking for? Let the experts break it down for you according to your skin type, below.
If you have oily skin:
“As the temperatures drop, I recommend using creamy, hydrating cleansers that won’t strip the skin of any excess oil,” says New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, who says to switch to a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. As a rule of thumb, “If it foams too much, it’s likely stripping the skin of moisture.”
If you were using lightweight lotions in the summer, “you can choose something richer and creamier during cooler months – especially something with hyaluronic acid or glycerin so that it keeps skin hydrated,” says Bowe. She recommends a rich cream like Avon ANEW Ultimate Supreme Advanced Performance Crème, — it contains Tahitian black pearl, which is known to help retain moisture.
Try using a hydrating mask in the fall and winter, Bowe says. Her current favorite? The Dr. Brandt Magnetight Mask — “it lifts away impurities and pollution that would dull the skin, while leaving behind firming peptides and antioxidants that help tighten and firm the skin.”
If you have normal skin
“It’s time to switch to a cleanser that not only cleans, but nourishes and moisturizes,” says Dr. Gohara. “This is especially important as the heat gets pumped up in the house and pulls moisture out of the air.” Try an oil-based formula, like Epicuren’s 3-in-1 cleansing oil, which will remove dirt while amping up moisture.
Up your moisture game a little bit by looking for products with petrolatum, dimethicone or glycerin,” Gohara says, adding that Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair is a good choice.
If you were using an antioxidant serum, keep using it,” Gohara recommends. “It’s the best way to ward off that free radical damage form unprotected UV light. Just add on a retinol cream, this helps to increase collagen production and decrease collagen breakdown–protective and anti-aging at the same time!”
If you have dry skin:
“If you’ve been using toners and other products that absorb summer oils to avoid breakouts, it’s time to make a switch to something richer,” recommends Connecticut dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara. ”The Dove White Beauty Bar has a mixture of moisturizing cream and gentle cleansers that replace essential lipids and proteins that can be lost in the cleansing process.”
“If you were using a cream over the summer because you battle dry skin, add a little extra power by looking for product with lipids that fortify the barrier,” Gohara says, recommending Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore Cream.
Try switching to a serum that contains a hyaluronic acid at night, Gohara says. “This absorbs water and plumps the skin. Serums are cosmetically elegant, light, and highly concentrated — and super easy to layer.”
If you have aging skin:
Go for a mild, non-abrasive formula, according to Dr. Jaliman. “Look for ingredients like glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid,” which will work to hydrate the skin. Sea Radiance Gentle Cleanser is a perfect option, she says.
If an anti-aging serum was a part of your summer routine, replace it with an anti-aging lotion or cream, which is thicker and will provide the extra moisture your skin needs, says Jaliman. For extra moisture, she says to go for hyaluronic acid or shea butter — or even Look for peptides in your anti-aging cream. You can use a night cream with peptides as your day cream.
Swear by retinol? “You may want to use it every other night instead of every night, so it will be less drying,” explains Jaliman. Moisten a cotton ball before using your toner so you can dilute it.
For more skincare tips, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now!