So what's a northern lovely to do? I picked three of your best winter skin questions, dear readers, and turned them over to my friend Holly Sherrard, Senior Instructor at The International Dermal Institute (www.dermalinstitute.ca).
Q. I'm 23 and live in Alberta where the winters do some serious damage to your skin, I have a major problem with getting extremely dry skin under my eyes, could you recommend a moisturizer that will help soften this area and prevent cracked skin from reappearing in the future?
A. "Being in Canada, we will always experience many skin issues with our every fluctuating temperature and humidity levels. When you think about wearing a hat, pulling a scarf up to your nose and tears possibly running down your face, we can all imagine the havoc that can wreck on the top of your cheeks and just below the eyes. The important thing to remember is using a barrier that can protect your skin from the cold and wind. Look for ingredients such as organic Silicones, Evening Primrose Oil and Shea Butter which will help to improve the barrier function of your skin. The sun's rays can also cause dryness and dehydration as well as aging, so always remember to wear and SPF of 15 in the summer AND winter."
Holly's product recommendations: Dermalogica Barrier Repair, Dermalogica Climate Control, Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Face Block SPF 25
Q. I get red rash light marks under my nose, even when I don't have a cold. Is there anything I can do to make them ease up? I use moisturizer and cleanser twice a day and I keep changing products, but none have worked? Any advice??
A. "Canada has just introduced a new policy stating that all cosmetic and skin care products must list all ingredients in their formulations which allows a person to figure out a possibly answer to mysterious rashes and irritations on the skin. Do the products contain artificial fragrance? Artificial fragrance is a very common culprit for skin irritations. To help the rash heal, try using products that contain red raspberry extract which soothes the skin, calendula and chamomile which reduce irritation and honey to help rehydrate the area. You may also need a gentle cleanser which is pH balanced to the skin to maintain the acid balance without over stripping the essential oils from the surface but still effectively cleansing. Look for ingredients such as Lavender, Echinacea, Panthenol and Raspberry which will help to heal and calm the skin. Try to maintain the skin regimen for at least a month. This will give the skin a chance to calm down from its current irritated state."
Holly's product recommendations: Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser, Dermalogica Gentle Soothing Booster, Dermalogica Barrier Repair
Q. Every winter its the same story for my facial skin -- as soon as the weather gets cold, my face turns into a flaky, dry mess. On top of dry skin, I have sensitive skin. I recently started a new career so I have been having little breakouts, is there anything I can do?
A. "With cold weather there is less moisture in the air and some indoor heating such as baseboard and hot water heaters contribute to lower humidity levels. With the constant fluctuations of humidity, the skin becomes more dehydrated leading to sensitization. It is also known that humidity and heat (summer) causes more oil production in the skin so people may experience less oil production in the winter. To help combat dehydration, make sure to exfoliate with a gentle rice-based exfoliant followed with a hydrating masque, hydrating moisturizer and SPF during the day. The exfoliation will rid the skin of flaky, dry cells and the hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and honey will plump the skin and help reduce further sensitization. Try to find ingredients such as nourishing Panthenol, anti-inflammatory Arnica, and protecting Shea Butter or Evening Primrose Oil.
With a new job there are more stresses. Even if someone loves their new career, a new position is always leads to stress on the body. Stress causes breakout activity and these spots must not be picked. Try treating the area with ingredients like antibacterial Salicylic Acid, healing Calendula, or spot treating the area with Benzoyl Peroxide.
Holly's product recommendations: Dermalogica Super Rich Repair, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, Dermalogica Medicated Clearing Gel, Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster.