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How to Get Your Skin Ready for Winter

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Brandith Irwin, MD - Blogs
By Brandith Irwin, MDBoard-certified dermatologistNovember 11, 2016
From the WebMD Archives

A famous skin doctor in Estee Lauder’s generation, Erno Laszlo, used to say that “you want your skin to be just this side of dry.” So, not oily, but not dry – just that *perfect* level of moisture that’s so hard to attain.

Winter weather can make getting to that perfect moisture level especially challenging – and not just in cold, dry climates. Even in rainy Seattle where I live, skin is generally drier in the winter because most of us are indoors more with central heating on.

As we head into the season, here are some things you can do to keep dryness down:

  • Change to a super gentle cleanser, if you haven’t already.
  • Use a humidifier to keep central heating from drying out your skin.
  • Add an extra layer of moisturizer, or two, under your daily sunscreen.
  • When using two layers of moisturizers, pick products with different, but complementary, approaches to hydrating your skin. For example, layer a hydrating non-alcohol gel, like the SkinCeuticals Vitamin B5 hyaluronic, under your traditional moisturizer.
  • Look for moisturizers with a higher oil content, which will help to hold water in your skin and keep it better hydrated.
  • Facial oils may work well for very dry skin, but avoid them if you have acne. And if you do decide to try them, be aware: you usually won’t see the effect of a facial oil on your acne for 4-8 weeks after you start using it, so watch carefully for changes.
  • Exfoliate less frequently – it reduces the barrier layer of skin, and losing this layer allows more evaporation from your skin.
  • Rinse the salt off your skin after you work out and apply moisturizer or sunscreen.
  • Put an extra layer of moisturizer on your face midday at work. It’s quite amazing how much this helps!
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About the Author
Brandith Irwin, MD

Brandith Irwin, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and founder of Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington. She is also Co-Founder of SkinTour.com a website focused on accurate consumer education on nonsurgical, aesthetic procedures and products. Through her books and website, Dr. Irwin is dedicated to educating people about skin care in the context of a global conversation about beauty, self-esteem and inclusiveness.

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