Save face with my four favorite straightforward steps for healthier skin.
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We’ve all heard the warning; winter is coming. Well, winter is here, and it’s gone from kinda cold to harsh winds and mega temperature changes. What suffers first? Your skin! If you’re cuddled up inside under a bunch of blankets wondering how to combat this climate, our friends at Milk Makeup have all the tips to prep for your skin for a polar vortex!
Growing up in Ireland, our mothers and grandmothers would often declare, “Ah, sure ‘tis great drying weather out there.” This was seen to be a good thing – the crisp, chilly temperatures were optimal for airing out freshly washed clothes and bed linens. However, living on the East Coast of America, I’ve come to fear “drying weather” as a different beast altogether.
While the cooler season brings with it many delights—lookin’ @ u, faux fur coats and spiked hot cider— the shift can also wreak havoc on our skin. Skin tends to be driest in the winter as temperatures plummet, and the reliance on central heating, roaring fireplaces, and hot, steamy showers can further reduce humidity in your skin as natural oils dry up.
The same grandmother who preached the importance of drying weather when I was a kid had no shortage of golden nuggets of advice up her sleeve. You know, sensible stuff like rubbing a gold wedding ring on sore eyes to calm them and using flat soda as a drinkable cure-all for any illness. One of her other pearls of wisdom was that I should never stay in the bath long enough to turn into a “wrinkly prune.”
While some of her questionable tips I still adhere to, I turned to Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist and co-founder of Dr. Loretta skincare, to get a pro’s advice on how to handle winter skin woes from AM to PM.
When it comes to luxurious winter baths, Dr. Loretta says to avoid the urge to soak in scalding water, even if it’s cold AF outside. “Only bathe in tepid water. Warm and hot water dries you out much more.” Once clean, she recommends patting instead of rubbing yourself dry with a towel to avoid irritation and applying a moisturizing product while your skin surface still feels damp. You know that phrase “trap in the moisture?” This is how it’s done, folks.
“For your face, be sure to use a sulfate-free cleanser, and preferably one with hydrating essential oils and peptides,” she continues. “Then apply a water-trapping serum with a lipid-rich base to lock in moisture for at least six hours after a single application.”
Irritants and drying agents are also a no-no, according to Dr. Loretta. Instead, she recommends singling out “formulas that use hydrating essential oils, marine ingredients that have proven hydration boosting benefits, and bioidentical skin lipids which are the main moisture-trapping element in skin.”
Just like après soak, moisturizing is an essential part of your routine before you catch some Zzzs. According to Katie Sobelman, also known by her online alias The Organic Esthetician, skin is more permeable while we sleep, particularly around midnight.
“Your skin is also more dehydrated during the night due to elevated body temperature and moisture loss through perspiration,” she notes. “Using a richer moisturizer in the evenings ensures your skin is reaping all the benefits of this added moisture.”
Not all moisturizers are created equally, though, so she offered some tips on what ingredients to look for. First up, hyaluronic acid.
“Hyaluronic acid is great for skin that is dehydrated from heaters and cold, dry climates. This humectant holds up to one thousand times its weight in water; pulling moisture from your environment and locking it into your skin,” she says. “Look for low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, also known as hydrolyzed hyaluronate, as this offers a deeper, longer lasting hydration.”
Milk Makeup’s new glow-boosting Watermelon Brightening Face Mask, a solid-clay mask in a stick, contains this *wunderkind* ingredient, alongside watermelon fruit extract, Vitamins C and E, and Matrixyl, a biomimetic peptide, to help simultaneously hydrate and smooth while evening skin tone.
Sobelman also preaches the importance of regular, gentle exfoliation. This is something we should be doing “at least” twice a week.
“Dead skin tends to accumulate in the dryer, colder months – sloughing off dead skin allows for products to penetrate deeper and be more effective,” she says. “For those with more sensitive skin, opt for an acid rather than a scrub. The physical abrasion of a scrub, even a gentle one, can cause irritation and lead to broken capillaries.”
She recommends looking for products containing lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid which penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production and increase hydration. “It’s fantastic for dissolving dead surface skin while also leaving it plump and dewy,” she adds.
When it comes to ~ scrubbing up your act ~ Milk Makeup’s new Matcha Detoxifying Face Mask should whet your appetite for a wellness moment without facing the ten-minute wait for a matcha latte.
In half that time, this mask delivers a fReSh complexion thanks to matcha green tea, organic cactus elixir, witch hazel, salicylic acid, and kombucha — because, hey, we did say it’s as much a ‘moment’ as it is a mask.
Finish off with a slick of Milk Makeup’s new Kush Lip Balm, infused with conditioning, hemp-derived cannabis oil. This soothing and softening daily hydrating balm contains shea butter as well as jojoba and olive oils. In short, you can kiss your winter skincare woes goodbye.
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.