It’s no secret that winter in Chicago is tough.  The evidence is all over everyone’s faces.  Literally.  I recently paid a visit to The Spa at Equinox to check out their new seasonal services (hello, cranberry brightening facial) and left reevaluating whether or not I’ve been doing enough to prepare and protect my skin for the winter months.  Luckily for me (and you!) Equinox’s regional spa director Alli Galecki was willing to clear a few things up… literally, and figuratively.

First of all, why is the winter so tough on our skin?

A large factor is due to the constant change in temperature.  Moving from cold, dry conditions to warm, artificial heat will bring on imbalances in your hydration levels.

What are the key things we should be doing to make it through the season? 

Switching up your daily regime seasonally will help.  I always recommend seeing a professional for a deep cleansing facial to prepare your skin for the upcoming season.  Your Esthetician will then design a custom treatment plan for home care that will combat any harmful effects of the winter.

I hear from a lot of readers that they’re moisturizing like crazy but still experiencing dry skin.  Any suggestions for taking it up a notch?  

Stimulate and Exfoliate!  By removing dead surface cells you allow your serums and moisturizing products to penetrate more effectively. I’m obsessed with the Micro-Exfoliating Scrub by Skinceuticals and the 10 Minute Brightening Mask by Lather.  Our Estheticians use these products in almost every treatment.  The results they bring are instant.

Any products or ingredients to avoid in the winter?  

Steer clear of anything with a high alcohol content or products that force a rapid cell turnover.  If your skin is feeling rough, looking dull or flaky, it is time to switch up to products that are more soothing and emollient in texture.

What about baths and showers?  I’ve heard hot showers can dry out skin, but is a bath more moisturizing? 

Believe it or not, being in water for an extended period of time will actually dehydrate the skin regardless of the method or temperature.  Moderation is key and it’s important to always follow with a rich body cream from head to toe.

How about SPF in the winter?  Keep using the same strength or change it up?  

I recommend using a broad spectrum SPF 50 year round. The Sheer Physical Fusion SPF 50 by Skinceuticals is perfect for all skin types and has a wonderful lightweight texture.

Any tips for chapped lips? 

Gently exfoliate your lips daily with a toothbrush before applying a soothing balm. Also choose a product with nourishing ingredients like Avocado and Almond Oils as opposed to stimulating menthol additives.

When it finally begins to warm up how do we adjust our routines?  Gradually?  Suddenly one day?  

A sudden change in your entire regime may cause your skin to have a transition period including breakouts or sensitivity.  It’s best to proceed gradually introducing one new product per week.  I would suggest starting with your moisturizer, then on to your cleanser and so on.

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One Response to Winter Skincare Q+A

  1. Tali says:

    This is a great information, thank you Amillia. This answered questions I had, particularly moisturizing and SPF during winter. I will def try some of these products and check out the spa! Hope you are feeling amazing :)

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