Winter Skin Tips

Winter can wreak havoc on your skin – making it dry, flakey, itchy, and irritated. Not only does the cold and dry air outside leave your skin feeling raw, but the indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and from your skin. There are a lot of products out there that claim to help with dry skin when in fact they could be aiding it. Knowing your skin type is important and what products work for and against it! This article has some other tips to keep in mind when it comes to effective winter skincare, so that you can feel your best all winter long. But these are my favorites:

1. Turn the humidifier up and the thermostat down

Using a humidifier in your home will add moisture back into dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom. You can even have a central humidifier hardwired into your home’s heating unit. Not only does this help with skin, but you should notice a difference in the air quality of your home as well.

When it’s chilly outside, what’s the first thing we want to do? Crank up the heat! Central heat can make the air in your house even drier. Try setting the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable setting around 68°F to 72°F to maintain healthy skin and keep it from getting too dried out.

2. Keep your daily cleanser gentle

The wrong cleanser will worsen itchy, dry skin. Avoid any regular bar soaps or cleansers that contain irritating ingredients and fragrances. The best thing to do during winter, especially if you are using any exfoliating acids in your plan (retinol, kojic acid, TCA) is keep your daily cleanser gentle. I recommend our RFA Gentle Foaming Cleanser or Hydrating Mineral Cleanser.

These two products are not only cleansers, but they also double as a soothing face mask! These gentle cleansers will help calm the redness in your skin without stripping the natural oils away that help protect your skin from irritation and dryness. They help with reducing redness, promoting an even skin tone and have anti-inflammatory properties!

It is OK (and in fact.. it is good!) to mix in a scrub like our RFA Exfoliating Scrub in about 2-3x per week for exfoliation, but again the daily cleanser should be gentle.

3. Apply SPF 24/7 – 365

Yes…you can still get sun damage on a dreary, cloudy winter day! Applying sunscreen 365 days a year, rain, snow, or shine, is essential for everyone. Just because it is winter does not mean you do not wear sunscreen anymore! The skin is the largest organ of the body, so prioritize your health and wear a sunscreen everyday that will not irritate your face. Prime & Protect is a lightweight, fast-absorbing, and easy-to-blend mineral sunscreen and provides protection from UVA, UVB, and HEV blue light rays. It is super luxurious and has a buttery, mousse feel. It is a universal tint that looks good on both the lightest and darkest of skin colors. I like to combine my foundation and sunscreen in one simple step – it gives the perfect amount of coverage and glow to throw on and go!

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!

As we come into the drier, colder months lots of hydration is so important! Hydrated skin is happy skin. Think of your moisturizer as giving your skin a big drink of water (our skin is almost always thirsty!). I recommend moisturizer every AM & at least some PM nights for your winter skin routine. For more oily skin types choose a hyaluronic acid serum moisturizer such as HA Peptide Serum.  This lightweight moisturizer really absorbs into the skin to improve hydration, glow, and fine lines and wrinkles. For more dry skin types I love to use HydraLipid Moisturizer. For very dry skin the best trick is to layer both! Apply HA Peptide Serum first and then layer the HydraLipid Moisturizer on top!  

Bottom line is, during winter you should consider adding some more hydration is never a bad thing. Here are some of my favorite winter moisturizers:

HA Peptide Serum (Hyaluronic Acid + Peptides)
This hydrating, soothing, oil-free moisturizer is a great choice for acne prone skin, post-treatment, or anyone looking for potent hydration. Formulated with Sodium Hyaluronate, which pulls moisture into the dermis to lock in hydration, added Peptides to stimulate collagen production, soothing Green Tea and Niacinamide, plus anti-inflammatory Vitamin B5. This HA Peptide Serum can be layered under makeup, SPF or other moisturizers for added hydration. Recommended for use with Daily Balancing pads, Lux pads and Koji-C pads, as well as with retinol use and post-treatment (microneedling, laser and peels). Apply 2-3 drops, the product will last 4-5 months. I love to use this as my moisturizer either solo or layered with HydraLipid Moisturizer.

HydraLipid Moisturizer
This moisturizer is going to be hydrating as well and geared towards anti-aging. It has a 2:4:2 ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids so it’s great for restoring the lipid barrier to the skin-amazing for hydration. HydraLipid Moisturizer is a heavier/thicker moisturizer and pairs very nicely with our HA Peptide Serum!

Rescue Cream
This is an amazing tool to keep in your skin “toolbox.” This Rescue cream is great for burns, itching, sensitivity, irritated skin, and inflammation! You can apply it to the skin 2x a day. It contains 1% hydrocortisone and aloe vera for a soothing/cooling effect! This would be great to apply on top of your pads as your skin acclimates to the new product. Also to use during the morning after exfoliating pads, or use before applying a face mask to prevent skin breakdown and maskne. It is soothing and also hydrating all in one.

Organic Healing Mask
The Organic Healing Mask is moisturizing and healing with benefits of olive oil and cold pressed organic hemp.  This helps to retain essential fatty acids, reduce itchiness and preserve vitamin content. The silky butter texture melts into the skin without a greasy feel. It can also be used for stretch marks, as a barrier cream for babies, rough heels, knees or elbows and as an excellent hand cream for workers, who cleanse hands often, to prevent cracking.

Refreshing Toner
A moisturizing toner that is a good choice for dry skin or skin that is dehydrated from using active products or dealing with harsh weather. This toner has ingredients to increase the water content in the top layers of the skin and is a wonderful skin conditioner. Aloe vera makes it much more moisturizing than many other toners. It also has a soothing cucumber and herbal aroma that smells so fresh! Apply 2 pumps of this spray after cleansing. This toner is great for all skin types and is one that can benefit pretty much everyone!

Silk Serum
Silk Serum
is the luxurious hydrating staple that you need during these harsh winter months. This product infuses the skin with rich, pure oil extracts that produce a healthy, intense and hydrated glow. The lightweight, silky texture absorbs fast into the skin and will keep your skin looking healthy and youthful! Silk Serum is a great addition to add to your skincare routine if you have chronically dry or mature skin. Use this product alone or layer it with any of your moisturizers on nights you are feeling super dry and need an extra boost of moisturization. 

Right now, especially with the weather getting colder and drier, it’s really important to focus on hydration. Making sure you have a ton of hydration in the plan in the morning and on the “off” nights from exfoliation is key.

Right now, especially with the weather getting colder and drier, it’s really important to focus on hydration. Making sure you have a ton of hydration in the plan in the morning and on the “off” nights from exfoliation, is key.

4. Decrease the Use of Your Exfoliating Acids

For some, especially those with more sensitive skin, decreasing the frequency of retinoids, salicylic acids, and other exfoliating pads is needed during winter time. When your skin is more dry it may not be able to tolerate these products as well as it does during other seasons.

A few tips to help you troubleshoot dry skin and exfoliating products:

-If you get a little dry and irritated take a break from the exfoliant (retinol, Koji-C, Lux, etc)  for 2-3 days and focus on hydrating with your moisturizer.  Then pick it back up more slowly with the pads.

-Try using retinol or Koji-C pads every 3rd night to begin, and then make sure to take a break (I call these “off” nights) the night after Lux pads and moisturize before jumping back into koji/ret or other exfoliants.

-Try wearing Lux pads for just 15-30 mins or so and then rinsing off, and then slowly and gradually work your way up to wearing overnight as tolerated

-During winter, you may want to apply a little moisturizer on top of the pads, that will slightly neutralize the acid making them a little less strong which is not a bad thing until you build more of a tolerance and can wear without moisturizer.

-Try using hydrocortisone on top of the pads to help soothe and calm irritated skin. I love our Rescue Cream (page 2 of my “Shop Skincare” section). This cream will also temporarily relieve itching caused by rashes and minor skin irritation (another alternative would be Aveeno Hydrocortisone from the drug store).

5. Eat Right and Stay Hydrated

Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil. It is important to take care of our skin from the inside out. An optimally healthy diet includes minerals, vitamins, nutrients, acids, other useful compounds that our skin and body needs on a daily basis. These are all found in the whole foods we enjoy like fruits and vegetables, meats and whole grains. 

What I have learned most about fish oil is this…not all fish oils are created equal and the saying that you get what you pay for is never more true than it is with this product. EPA and DHA are what make the difference in a fish oil and if you want to see the benefits of heart health, joint health, brain health and all the other benefits you receive from taking a high quality fish oil it must have a high concentration of EPA and DHA. If you want to compare your fish oil to 1st Phorm Full Mega Fish Oil just simply compare the EPA and DHA number on the back of the label. I have yet to see one that is higher so I stick to this particular product to ensure the best results.

Drink water to hydrate your body, as well as your skin. A well-hydrated body keeps skin looking dewy, and leaves you feeling energized, too. It is generally recommended to drink a minimum of 8 cups (8 oz) of water per day for adults. This is a minimum and does not consider sweating, working out etc. So you likely need more! When I’m drinking 12+ cups a day I feel more energized, my skin is brighter and my digestion is better. Water is so powerful! Some ways to get your water in:

  • Commit to 3 cups before your morning coffee
  • Drink another 3 cups during your workout 
  • 3 cups post workout 
  • 1 cup with every meal 
  • Carry around a reusable water bottle at all times! Look for 24oz minimum (3 cups) 

6. Keep Your Lips Kissable!

Let’s not forget your lips! Applying a moisturizing balm like a petroleum jelly or another ointment can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from getting chapped. My secret lip weapon is The RFA Lip Balm. + SPF. It is formulated with high quality ingredients including beeswax and vitamin E, leaving your lips feeling naturally soft and protected. This Lip Balm features a unique Vanilla + Oatmeal scent. Made with natural milk proteins and oatmeal extract, this fragrance is a soft and soothing scent with hints of sweet milk, therapeutic oatmeal and grounding chamomile.Little pro tip – I use my Hydrating Eye Serum on my lips at night before bed. It’s a great anti-aging trick!

Little pro tip – I always use my Hydrating Eye Serum on my lips at night before bed. It’s a great anti-aging trick 😉

7. Save Money and Time by Getting a Professional Opinion

There’s no sense in throwing money at products and never finishing them (hello to all those half used bottles in your bathroom drawers and cupboards), or buying things that aren’t right for your skin because someone at CVS recommended it. Sorry CVS, one size does not fit all! 

If you’re not sure which winter staple is for you, reach out to your RFA provider via email or request a complimentary consultation by clicking here: https://racquelaesthetics.com/pages/request-a-skin-consultation

XO

Racquel

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Racquel Frisella

Board Certified Nurse Practitioner & Aesthetic Specialist based in Saint Louis, Missouri

I work as a cosmetic injector and skincare specialist with 12 years of experience in the Aesthetic Industry. I see patients both in-office at Racquel Aesthetics for treatments as well as online for customized, complimentary skincare plans. I focus heavily on preventative and corrective injections, treatments, and skincare.  My career is my passion and I love to help people feel like the very best version of themselves. I am a wife and a mother of 3 beautiful children under the age of 3. I love all things beauty, fashion, and fitness. I am creating this site as a place to share my expertise on beauty, anti-aging, and skin while also giving a glimpse into my lifestyle as a mom, wife and lover of fitness!  

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