Along with religiously wearing sunscreen, proper winter skin care is among any beauty professional or enthusiast’s top recommendations. Winter air leaves your skin dehydrated and cracked, leaving you with a rough texture and making even fine lines look like deep-set wrinkles. Combatting this with the right routine of moisturizers and gentle exfoliators can help you keep a healthy, youthful glow year-round. What’s more, preparing your skin early can help it absorb all the moisture and nutrients it needs from your cold-weather creams and serums. If you are dreading the dry winter air, there are ways you can stay a few steps ahead with your skin care this year.

Refresh with a Chemical Peel or Laser Treatment

Giving your skin a fresh start before winter sets in allows you to begin your winter skin care with a clean slate. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing treatments deeply exfoliate your skin and get rid of damaged skin cells causing wrinkles, dullness and discoloration. These procedures also slough away dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your skin, allowing the new cells underneath to surface and reap the full benefits of topical treatments. Your new, healthy skin cells will soak up moisturizers, and a less powerful, less drying winter exfoliator will be able to keep up with cell turnover since you will have fewer dead cells to remove.

While these treatments can work wonders on your skin, they also require a week or two of healing afterward — it can take some time for your skin to recover from the intensive resurfacing. It is best to stay out of the sun and keep your skin hydrated while you recover. You can get a peel or a laser treatment at any time of year, but mid to late fall is ideal: outdoor activities and sunshine are limited, and it is easier to protect your skin before the air gets too cold and dry.

Ready Your Routine

There are three important steps to winter skin care: exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize. Exfoliation removes dead and damaged cells from the surface of your skin, keeping flaky skin at bay and preventing the dry air from making your skin look dull and wrinkled. Hydrating your body and skin keeps your skin cells plump and happy — you should drink plenty of water or tea, and avoid long, hot showers that strip away your skin’s naturally-hydrating oils. Finally, investing in a rich, creamy moisturizer with occlusive properties will not only provide your skin with the moisture it needs but also creates a thin, protective layer over your skin to lock in hydration. Find a skin care routine that meets these three needs, and your skin will barely notice changes in the weather.

Take a Test Drive

Responsible skin care always involves testing your products before you slather them on. It’s a good idea to make sure your winter routine won’t cause a breakout or other irritation sooner rather than later — you don’t want to find out that your new hydrating serum gives you hives while you are in the middle of your holiday vacation. You should even double-check products you have used before: skin care companies frequently change small parts of their formulas, and skin sensitivities can change over time. Something that worked for you last year may have a different result this time around. And, if you have year-old winter products in your medicine cabinet, make sure you check for expiration dates. Using old or expired skin care products can be harmful to your skin.

At The Maas ClinicTM, we are dedicated to keeping your skin healthy no matter the season. Our services include peels and laser treatments, facials and personalized skin care advising to help you create a year-round skin care routine that keeps your skin looking young and refreshed. To learn more about what we can do for your skin this winter, call us today at 415-567-7000 and schedule a consultation.

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