Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett talks about how to keep your skin healthy during the winter season.
Having skin treatments done in the winter is ideal. It is the best time for laser procedures since people aren’t exposed to the sun as often; therefore they don’t have sunburned and tanned skin, which is not conducive for laser treatments. Additionally, while some treatments offer immediate results after just one treatment, in many cases a full series of treatments (three or more treatments four to six weeks apart) is required for optimal results. Start in the winter and see amazing results by summer!
As well, most laser treatments require you to avoid the sun post-treatment since they can cause increased sensitivity to the sun’s UV rays and interfere with healing. Swimming is not recommended immediately after laser treatments.
Pigmented Lesions (brown spots, age spots and freckles) (cost starting at $200 and up)
These spots caused by a higher concentration of melanin. The basis of laser treatment for pigmented lesions is the destruction of abnormal amounts of melanin in the skin without damaging surrounding tissue. In pigmented lesions, melanin absorbs the intense laser energy causing the target to be destroyed. Melanin is present in the superficial layers of the skin, the dermis and the intraepidermal layer.
Non-invasive Skin Rejuvenation (cost starting at $300 and up)
Non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedures represent a growing trend in the cosmetic industry as they offer noticeable yet subtle improvement to the skin. These treatments are being done by today’s patient whose basic skin care and traditional spa-grade treatments may no longer be sufficient to treat the signs of aging. Problems like fine lines and wrinkles, skin tone and texture, and acne scars can all be treated.
Signs of aging are most noticeable around the eyes, mouth and neck and can start showing as early as your 20’s
1. Protect Your Skin Year Round
People assume they are safe from the sun during the winter, but the sun can be very harmful in the winter. Snow and ice can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays, amplifying their harsh effects. If you are walking, skiing, or even driving, the most important winter advice is to use sunscreen daily as UV damage not only causes skin cancer and photo damage, it also accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Clear spray sunscreens are ideal for people who tend to break out, and cream works for people with drier skin types. Always choose an SPF of 30 or higher.
2. Keep your Skin Moist
To prevent winter dryness, make sure you layer moisturizer over your sunscreen and pay particular attention to the vulnerable areas around the eyes and lips. Use a lip balm with SPF which can also be used around the eyes. Men should be diligent about applying ample moisturizer, especially after shaving to avoid flaking and redness.
3. Take a Shorter Shower
After a long day in the cold, you may be tempted to take a long, hot shower or bath. Yet, it can strip the skin of its natural lipid layer, which is where natural oils are produced. The oil is an essential part of your skin’s defense against environmental factors, such as extreme cold and freezing.
Try a short, tepid shower, which is much less harmful to the skin. Use very gentle cleansers if you have sensitive skin or if your skin reacts to the winter weather.
4. Switch up your Routine
Since the lipids in our skin need extra replenishment during the wintertime, adding more oil in the form of a richer, heavier moisturizer will help counteract winter’s drying effects. If you use a lotion (oil in a water emulsion), you may want to switch to a cream (water in an oil emulsion) during the frosty months for added moisture retention.
5. There’s Something in the Air
Forced-air furnaces in our homes and workplaces strip the skin of essential oils and nutrients that are more easily maintained in the warmer months. Using a humidifier in the winter can be helpful to soothe itchy skin.
6. Take Your Vitamins
Due to shorter sunlight hours, and less sun exposure, the body goes into a natural winter slowdown of vitamin D production. Taking daily supplements of vitamin D during the winter months is a powerful antioxidant and a major contributor in the skin’s growth process, and it has also shown effectiveness in taming itchy, flaky skin.
7. The Skin 1-2 Combination
To keep skin radiant and smooth in winter, exfoliation and hydration are essential. After cleansing and exfoliating, lightly towel off without completely drying your face and then apply your moisturizer. Doing this when your skin is still damp helps to lock in moisture.