With winter arriving our thoughts turn to the holiday festivities, being with family, sledding, and that oh so dry and extremely itchy winter skin. However, now you don’t have to get caught in that vicious and irritating itch-scratch cycle because there are so many options out there to keep the calm before a storm can even appear.
Your skin sheds thousands of dead cells on a daily basis, which can slow down as we age and cause a build up of dry, itchy skin. Exfoliating helps to remove these dead cells, smooth wrinkles and allows you to say goodbye to that uncomfortable dry skin. AHA Exfoliants adds moisture to the surface aiding in the repairing of sun damage and dryness. BHA Exfoliants Have anti-inflammatory agents beneficial to skin that is oily, acne, and blackhead prone.
Exfoliate a few times weekly and if using a retinoid, use it at night only. Once the exfoliating product has absorbed into the skin, continue with the rest of your skin care regime. A great non-chemical exfoliation process is with the Clarsonic. Only use that 5X/WK as to not overdo the tissue.
2. Hydrate (Humectants)
Humectants work as a sort of moisture magnet, pulling moisture from the air to your skin. Humectants also pull moisture from the dermis into the epidermis. If there isn’t more than 70% humidity, especially when a furnace is running, then there isn’t enough moisture for the body to do it’s job properly. One major and beneficial thing you can do for your dry, itchy skin is to invest in a humidifier.
Humectants to look for when purchasing a skincare product are hyaluronic acid, propylene glycerol, urea, panthenol, lactic acid, seaweed, glycerin, PCA, and glycosaminoglycans which all promote the retention of water in the skin. Humectants are also beneficial in reducing irritation from preventing the skin from cracking by holding the skin cells together, and helping the skin retain the proper moisture it needs. Holly CaSaroll, Skin Guru of FACE, recommends products containing hyaluronic acid because it’s “water binding and holds 1000X’s it’s weight in water which is so beneficial and vital for skin moisture.” Most dry winter skin lacks moisture more than oils, which is why humectants and moisturizers are desperately needed.
3. Anti-Irritants / Soothing Agents
You can get these ingredients in any type of product, whether a toner, serum, or moisturizer. Look for soothing ingredients such as aloe, oat bran, chamomile, cucumber, rose hip oil, allantoin, burdock root, licorice root, and glycyrrhetinic acid.
One easy way to get these is in a well-formulated toner. This step is often underrated, misunderstood and forgotten. Yet, using a toner, can immediately restore the PH balance of the skin, remove metals and other toxic ingredients from water residue on the face, give you a thorough cleansing, and can be so beneficial in combatting that dry facial skin.
These protect the skin from harmful free radicals. They also help protect from exposure to the sun, skin damage, signs of aging and pigment change. Antioxidants can already be found in some moisturizers due to their hydrating effect, and can protect the skin’s cell membranes, so they are an essential element to look for in your skin care products.
Look for products that contain vitamins A, CoQ10, green tea, grape seed extract, plant oils, alpha lipoic acid, beta-glucan, soybean sterols, superoxide dismutase, vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl palmitate), and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol, tocotrienols). These have free radical-fighting super powers that are necessary in skin health as well as help combating that winter dry flaky skin.
Emollients provide some occlusivity and improve the appearance of the skin by smoothing flaky skin cells. Products containing Lactic acid, shea butter, fatty acids, plant or mineral oils or olive oil are what you should look for when purchasing an emollient. Shea butter, in particular, gets right down into the deeper layer of skin. It improves moisture levels as well as minimizing lines and wrinkles.
6. Occlusive agents / Barrier Repair
These products increase moisture levels by providing an actual physical barrier, which prevents the loss of water from the epidermis. Products that contain pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil, ceramides, beeswax, silicone, cholesterol, fatty acids, vegetable oils such as avocado or olive are some of the ingredients to look for when choosing a barrier repair product. Most of these ingredients should be avoided for oily, and acne-prone skin.
When there are many types of products and ingredients you can buy, it is better to follow the advice of your skincare professional, who can guide you there quickly, and without the hassle of figuring it out on your own, nor wasting your money. If you live by the words exfoliate, hydrate, moisturize, the only thing you’ll have to worry about during the winter is where to go on vacation to show off your silky smooth skin.
Holly CaSaroll is the founder and CEO of FACE Skincare~Medical~Wellness. After suffering from cystic acne herself as a teen, she has rebuilt her own skin, and dedicated the last 15 years to successfully providing innovative solutions to skin conditions not helped elsewhere. She has been featured on FOX, and her Celebrity treatments have been featured on E News, The Doctors, and Oprah, as well as her proprietary combinations have made her a force to be reckoned with in the field of beauty. Her company’s Wellness division, headed by Doug Cutler ND, allows clients to balance their health and beauty from within. She is a Paramedical Esthetician, Laser Technician, and is on the advisory board for Photomedex, a national dermatology solutions company. Holly is also the creator of 3D Face Therapies™, and The Skin Management Model™ which models her progressive, multi-modality approach toward healing skin. Holly has a loyal word-of mouth following, and a flourishing business located in Michigan.