Jan 14, 2014

Skin care: The lazy girl’s guide to winter skin

By: Sarah Thompson Author: Elle Canada Credits:

Jan 14, 2014

Skin care: The lazy girl’s guide to winter skin

By: Sarah Thompson
If you’re the type who doesn’t like to remove her makeup, apply a base coat or use a heat spray—you’re a lazy girl. And lazy girls and winter skin don’t mix … normally. With the mercury dropping well below zero, your skin bears the burden of every winter blizzard if you fail to protect it. Learn how to prevent dry, itchy patches with five quick and easy skin care tips from Dr. Joanna Day—a Vancouver-based medical and cosmetic dermatologist—for glowing skin that works seamlessly with your schedule.

Your new WINTER SKIN CARE routine

1. Give your skin a little moisture

Moisturizer is one of your skin’s most wanted needs and can be added to your skin care regime with minimal effort. One step is involved—pick up a facial moisturizer with vitamin C at your local drugstore and your skin will feel smooth in no time. “During winter it is important to moisturize skin to preserve its barrier function and prevent flaking, dryness, irritation and itch,” says Dr. Day. “Consider a humidifier to add moisture to dry home air as central heating depletes the atmosphere of its usual moisture.” And all you have to do it turn on your humidifier. How easy is that?

MAKEOVER YOUR SKIN in just 5 days

2. Transform your skin care habits
The change in season calls for a switch in how you maintain winter skin. Ditch your normal skin care routine and do the bare minimum for glowing skin. (Yes, you read that right). “Take warm—not hot—baths or showers (maximum 10 minutes), pat skin dry and generously moisturize body and face. Consider colloidal oatmeal in your bath to enhance winter skin’s moisture,” says Dr. Day. Simply reducing your skin’s exposure to water and using an organic moisturizer can save time and money on your skin care budget.

Find out how to be winter skin's BFF on the next page...
lazy-winter-skin-guide-002.jpg3. Protect your skin from the elements

Bundling up in the morning before heading out can improve the look of skin with little effort. “Winter clothing will buffer your skin from the elements. Gloves, hats, scarves and roll-up neckwear to shield the face are winners,” says Dr. Day. If you need just a little more protection, create a divide between your skin and the cold with a multi-purpose product. “Use petrolatum or heavier creams on thicker-skinned areas (elbows, heels, etc.). Lip balms and barrier creams are also helpful for extreme outdoor weather for the face or exposed skin.”

Skin care 101: DRY SKIN FIXES

4. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen

If you’re going to do just one thing to erase dry winter skin, sunscreen is an essential skin care agent 365 days a year. ”Even in winter—especially during activities on reflective surfaces such as snow and ice—a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) of SPF 30 or more is recommended,” says Dr. Day.  “SPF 60 is best for the slopes. Consider use of a creamier product in winter to add a moisture barrier.” Opt for a moisturizing sunscreen to do two steps in one.


5. Just be your skin’s BFF

Lastly, don’t be a skin bully! Throughout the winter months when skin is most vulnerable to redness and flaking, ease up on harsh products and skin care techniques. Dodge severe gels, scrubs and oils from November to March, and do not pick, scratch or scour your face. “Wash gently using fingertips instead of a cloth and avoid rough exfoliating,” says Dr. Day. “Use a gentle creamy cleanser for the face and mild soaps or milks for the body.” Remember, you don’t have to bombard your skin with abrasive products to keep it healthy.

And when in doubt, the quintessential lazy girl packs up and heads to Aruba for year-round sunshine and a climate conducive to beautiful skin. “A winter vacation can replenish not only the soul but your winter skin!” says Dr. Day.

Read more:
The best drugstore makeup and skin care finds
Beauty tips: Choosing the right skin care products
Winter beauty: The best winter skin soothers
Beauty tutorials: The secrets to flawless skin
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Skin care: The lazy girl’s guide to winter skin