Skin care routines can be quite variable by season, especially here in Colorado where we can have extreme changes of weather within a few days.
Having good daily habits can help keep your skin healthy and prevent damage down the road.
This article will give some skin-care tips you can do on your own as well as prescription medications and procedures.
As always, these are just suggestions and we always recommend talking to your medical provider before starting any new products.
Winter Skincare in CO, DIY
Use coconut oil under your moisturizer
This can be done just at night or day and night. The air is more dry in the Winter and people are prone to dry skin that can cause break-outs as well as an increase in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adding another layer of moisture, especially an oil that is similar to the oil we produce naturally can help prevent these problems.
You can substitute coconut oil for any favorite skin oil. Olive oil, grape seed oil, and hemp are also great products.
Using an oil may also feel better after exfoliation that your regular skincare products.
Use Glycolic Acid
Many low dose glycolic acid products are available over the counter and online but I would still recommend talking to your aesthetic provider and asking what dosage they recommend.
Glycolic acid is great for removing the very outer layer of skin that is usually composed of dead skin cells. By removing this layer consistently it encourages a faster turn-over of cells and can decrease the appearance of sun damage, fine lines and reduce breakouts.
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant so this would substitute a manual exfoliant like dry brushing or micro-dermabrasion for a few days. A good place to start is using glycolic acid 1x/week.
Drink Plenty of Water
Specifically drink 1/2 your body weight in water (in ounces). So for easy math if you weigh 140lbs you should drink roughly 70 ounces of water daily. That’s about 9 cups.
Staying hydrated keeps all of your organs working properly and increases blood flow and hydration to your skin, which ensures that it continues to appear plump and healthy versus wrinkled, dry and dull.
It’s much harder to drink water during the Winter months when it is cold so you can also get this water intake by drinking herbal tea or other non-caffeinated hot beverages. Caffeine drinks are dehydrating and do not count towards this total.
In fact, consider drinking an extra 8 ounces of water for every serving of caffeine.
Daily exercise can increase blood flow and nutrients to the skin as well as reduce stress and stress damage to the skin. Talk to your healthcare provider about what kinds of exercise might be suitable for you.
In the Winter in CO most people are not as active but you can still do exercises at home or at the gym.
Even yoga and stretching are beneficial if you are unable to perform moderately intense exercise. Any exercising at all is better than no exercise.
Exfoliating the skin is the same concept as using the glycolic acid above, just takes a little more work.
Essentially removing the old dead skin can help healthy new skin grow and keep your face appearing healthy and fresh. The manual exfoliation may also increase blood flow to the surface of the skin.
Depending on how you like to exfoliate it can be done weekly, every other day or even daily.
A weekly routine may consist of a harsher form of exfoliation such as a microdermabrasion powder. Every other day may consist of a manual exfoliating pad or an exfoliating mask. Daily exfoliating may be done with a wet or dry brush or even just the rough part of a towel after you wash your face. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
Manual exfoliation can also be done mid-week after using glycolic acid or retinol products, once the skin starts to appear dry or flake. Just do not perform daily when using chemicals.
It’s really hard to remember to wear sunscreen when it’s below freezing out but equally as important. Especially when there is snow because the snow can reflect even more light onto our faces.
Especially if you do any mountain sports, like skiing or snowboarding, make sure to wear at least SPF 50 or higher.
DIY Winter Skincare Conclusion:
Exfoliate regularly either manually, with glycolic acid, or a combination of both
Consider using coconut oil under your moisturizer at night to prevent dry skin
Drink plenty of water, especially if you drink a lot of caffeine
Get regular exercise and live a healthy life-style
Wear sunscreen daily
Winter Skincare in CO, Prescription
Use Retinol Products
Many Retinols can be bought over the counter but you will get better results with a prescription strength product. It’s also good to have an evaluation to ensure you’re a candidate to use this medication and that it will address your concerns.
Retinols are great for fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and break outs.
Retinol is especially good during the Winter because we are out of the sun more and it will tend to increase sensitivity to the sun and the ability to burn. Make sure to wear a hat and/or use sunscreen daily when using this product.
Often your primary care provider (PCP) will prescribe retinol so if you do not have a go do Aesthetics Practice or Medical Spa consider asking your PCP what they think.
Microneedling is a great procedure to do year round because it can be done on tanned skin. However there is a level of sun-sensitivity and you have to stay out of the sun post-procedure. Many people choose to do an intense series in the Winter months and then just do routine maintenance in the Summer.
Microneedling is beneficial for acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, pore size, general complexion and skin elasticity.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a great procedure that removes sun damage such as freckles and age spots. It cannot be done on sun-exposed skin so is great to do during the Winter months.
IPL can be done monthly over the Winter until desired results are reached. Other forms of IPL that work better during the Winter include: hair removal and vein reduction procedures.
Neurotoxin injections such as Botox or Xeomin can be done year round but there is an added benefit to continuing these procedures over the Winter months when combined with other procedures.
When the muscles are less active, or inactive, from the neurotoxins this is a great time to do other procedures such as micro-needling, facial peels, retinols and fillers. These products and procedures can work better if the muscle is not repeatedly contracting to cause more wrinkles. So the new skin that forms is more smooth.
Fillers can also be done year round but Winter is a great time because we are not as active outside and can take the down-time if needed. Some procedures, such as full face rejuvenation and lip filler can require 2-7 days of down-time and it feels a little better to hibernate at home over the weekend during Winter as opposed to missing out on all the fun in the Summer.
Skin tightening injections
Skin tightening injections, especially for body are great to do in the Winter when we tend to be covered up most of the time anyway. These injections help build our own collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face as well as stretch marks, cellulite and loose skin on the body.
Prescription Winter Skincare Conclusion:
Use Retinol products consistently while you’re out of the sun
Microneedling and IPL, which can be done together by the way, are great to do while you’re not exposed to the sun as much
Neurotoxin injections, fillers, and skin tightening are great procedures to do year round but especially during the Winter when you can cozy up at home for a few days
There are many other procedures that can be done and each plan is individualized depending on the person.
Consider doing a consultation at your local Medical Spa for an individualized treatment plan.