Want Radiant Winter Skin? Here’s Some Tips

Most people don’t realize that as the seasons change, your skin’s needs also change. Radiant winter skin, while hard to maintain, is possible. A drop in temperature combined with harsh wind causes skin to become dry, dull, and chapped.  The heat in our homes also lowers humidity in the air, pulling out moisture from our skin.

The biggest mistake people make is not modifying their routine as the environment demands.  If you think about your skin as an amazing protective barrier that holds in moisture and protects you from external radiation, toxins and germs, you’ll understand how important it is to keep it healthy.  When the skin is well-hydrated, it can function optimally and will appear supple and luminous.

For busy women, taking care of your skin does not have to be complicated or a full-time job.  A few simple tricks and modifications to your routine will give you the radiant skin you deserve.


Avoid Harsh Soaps

Every time you see bubbles when you wash, a chemical reaction between soap particles and the natural oils in the skin are occurring. This chemical reaction removes healthy moisturizing oils from the skin, and definitely prevents you from having radiant winter skin. In areas like the arms and legs that have very little oil, the skin’s protective barrier becomes completely stripped making it vulnerable to rashes and infections.  9% of dirt and sweat can be removed with a gentle, non-soap cleanser.  For the body, I recommend CeraVe or Cetaphil gentle cleanser, which can even double as a shaving cream!  For your face, Fall is a good time to switch to a sensitive skin cleanser and removed harsh toners and astringents from your routine.



Hydrate Immediately After Washing

For your body, it is preferable to use a cream over a lotion as it has more hydrating effects. Look for a moisturizer that is fragrance-free with ceramides to help skin recover from sun damage, dryness, and irritation.  Ceramides also help keep collagen and elastin, the supportive structures in the skin, healthy   If you are looking to exfoliate and hydrate your body simultaneously, Replenix  smoothing body lotion with Retinol to tighten up collagen, exfoliate, and hydrate will do the trick.  If you find that the facial moisturizer you use in the summer isn’t cutting it, add a hyaluronic acid serum, such as SkinMedica HA5 or Skinceuticals HA Intensifier, as a booster.  Hyaluronic acid attracts water – about 1,000 times its weight – to plump skin.  It will give your skin that youthful, dewy look without making it greasy or breaking you out.


Add Fish Oil, Tocotrienols, and healthy fats

Feed your skin with high omega-3 fatty acid fish like Wild Alaskan Salmon, tuna, and sardines. Avoid Farm-raised fish as the chemical load outweighs the health benefits.  Adding a fish oil supplement 2,000 mg a day and some Vitamin D2/K2 is also beneficial, but remember that fish oil can have blood-thinning effects so avoid and speak to your physician if you are having any procedures.  Add avocado, flax seeds, and nuts to your diet will also hydrate your skin from the inside out.


Reduce Sugar Intake

Sugar and processed, carbohydrate-rich foods dehydrate skin and should be avoided. Replace these foods with colorful, organic fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids.  Flavonoids are pigments with cell protecting properties that naturally give these foods their color.  Those vibrant pigments will transfer to give you radiant winter skin and a healthy glow.  Choose foods from all colors in the rainbow – yellow, purple, red, orange, and green, as they each have their own benefits.


Stay Active

Healthy blood flow will deliver nutrients and oxygen to your skin and remove toxins. Exercise also encourages your skin to produce natural moisturizing factors to combat winter skin insults.  Avoid wool and fabrics that chafe and irritate your skin since skin tends to be more sensitive in the winter.  While you need to stay warm, your pores will still need to do their job to purge toxins, so sweating and wearing clothing that wicks moisture from the skin is mandatory.


Choose Water

Choose water and avoid dehydrating alcohol, soda, and coffee. Alcohol and soft drinks deplete nutrients in the skin, giving it a dull appearance.  If you are at a party, choose a white wine spritzer and alternate with water, as it is better for your skin and waistline.


Don’t Forget Sunscreen

If you don’t need a flashlight outside, UV radiation is present and damaging your skin. Avoid skin damage and protect your healthy skin barrier by always wearing and spf30+ sunscreen containing zinc oxide everyday to all exposed skin.

Your lifestyle decisions and skin care routine will make a huge impact in the health of your skin.  And, you deserve healthy, radiant winter skin.

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Dr. Jen Haley, MD

Dr. Haley received her Bachelor of science in biology and nutrition from Cornell University before attending medical school at F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. After completion of her residency, and as an Officer in the Unites States Navy, Dr. Haley was selected as the VIP dermatologist consultant to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In 2006, Dr. Haley was named as the Head of the Dermatology Department in Pearl Harbor. Since 2009, Dr. Haley has been in private practice using her extensive international experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. With her background in nutrition, fitness, and skin science, Dr. Haley understands the true integration of wellness and its effects on skin health. She has recently launched a podcast, called Radiance Revealed with Dr. Jen Haley, where she discusses tips on how to integrate wellness into your life to achieve true radiance.