WINTER SKIN MYTH#1: “It’s grey and gloomy. My bikini and tank tops are in storage. I don’t need SPF now.“
False Winter exposure may actually be more intense, depending on where you live. “If you skate, ski or snowboard, you can get as much as, or more, sun exposure [from the glare of the snow and ice] than many of us get in the summer,” says Dr. Vince Bertucci, a dermatologist in Woodbridge, Ont. And if you live in a large city, remember that pollution intensifies the effects of UV exposure. As Dominique Mandeville, a Montreal-based dermato-aesthetic doctor, advises: “If you invest in only one cream, make it an SPF”—no matter where you live.
Skin care product suggestion: Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation SPF 30 ($50, at perriconemd.com)
WINTER SKIN MYTH #2: “Zap! Laser treatments should be done in the fall or winter rather than the summer months.”
True “When it comes to lasers, that part of my business is dead in the summer,” says Dr. Nowell Solish, a Toronto dermatologist, “but I make up for it in the fall.” Newly treated skin is highly sensitive, so Solish doesn’t recommend that treatments be done during the warmer summer months. “You’ll be more vulnerable to burning because many lasers remove the top layer of the skin,” he explains. In fact, some procedures— especially those designed to erase brown spots or other discolourations, like the mask of pregnancy—might not work as well.
Skin care product suggestion: SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator ($98, at skinceuticals.com
WINTER SKIN MYTH #3: “The best products are the most expensive products.”
True…and false Regardless of the price, the most important thing to look for is the percentage of active ingredients (for example, whether it’s an 8-percent glycolic-acid night cream or a 2-percent BHA cream). “The rest is just oil and water,” explains Solish. “What’s important is a peptide product and vitamin C.” They help build collagen and fight free radicals—something you need no matter what your skin type.
Skin care product suggestion: The Body Shop Vitamin C Facial Pradiance Powder Mix ($28, at thebodyshop.ca)
WINTER SKIN MYTH #4: “Now that the temperature is dropping, I need a super-thick, rich moisturizer.”
False Besides water, moisturizers contain ingredients that help them do their work: Humectants absorb water and hold it in the skin, occlusives stop that water from evaporating, and emollients smooth and lubricate. All good stuff, unless you’re prone to breakouts. “If you produce enough oil to develop acne, you may not need a moisturizer,” says Dr. Lisa Airan, an aesthetic dermatologist in New York. But if you have oily skin that tends to be dry, a lotion or serum—rather than a cream—could be a good option. Look at the rest of your regimen before choosing a moisturizer. “If you use a non-drying, soapless cleanser, such as Cetaphil, you won’t need a thick moisturizer,” says Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, a Toronto-based dermatologist.
Skin care product suggestion: Cetaphil gentle Skin Cleanser ($12, at drugstores and mass-marker retailers
10 essential nighttime skin care products