Expert Advice: Soothing Winter Savaged Skin

It’s been a frigid, windy winter so far. And The Canadian edition of the Farmer’s Almanac has predicted that the rest of it will continue to be be colder than normal. Grrrr and Brrrr.

On a happier note, the city does look pretty with the snow.

Last night, whilst tidying, I came across these notes from Dr. Lydia Evans, Consulting Dermatologist to L’Oréal Paris, on how protect your skin against the wintry elements. Its from a press release that’s a couple years old, but the advice is still solid.

Moisturize! In the winter, you can never get enough moisture. “Select a a day and a night moisturizer that is age appropriate and boasts long-lasting hydrating properties designed to lock in moisture,” says Dr. Evans. And choose products that are rich in both humectants and emollients.

The best time to hydrate? After cleansing, when the skin is still damp.

Eat! “Balance your diet with lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you are getting the vitamins and nutrients that you skin needs to optimize the immune system and its ability to repair itself.”

Be Gentle! While hot showers are tempting in cold weather, they can irritate the skin, causing dryness. Says Dr. Evans, “Opt for lukewarm water and use a facial cleanser or cleansing cloths.”

Can you use the same cleanser that you use in the summer? “It depends,” says Dr. Evans. If your summer cleanser is designed to elimate excess oil, you should swap it for a moisture-boosting product.

Exfoliate! “The help skin renew itself, its important to remove dry, flaky dead skin cells through exfoliation. Just be careful not to overdo it. “how frequently you exfoliate depends on your skin type,” says Dr. Evans. “For example, if your skin tends to be sensitive, then exfoliating once a week is sufficient. If you have oily or combination skin, exfoliate twice a week.”

The best time to exfoliate? “Before you go to bed as it is not ideal to expose newly exfoliated skin to intense dry and/or cold air.” And don’t forget to follow up with a hydrating night moisturizer.

Wear Sunscreen! “The snow has reflective properties that can actually magnify the strength of the sun’s harmful rays. Select sun protection with an SPF of 30 or higher.”

Image from the Riche/Kines collection: Untitled folk art oil painting signed C.I. Lewis.