How to Tweak Your Skin-Care Routine for Winter, Depending on Your Skin Type


Everyday Health shared "How to Tweak Your Skin-Care Routine for Winter, Depending on Your Skin Type" featuring Dr. Purvisha Patel, Visha Skincare, and Advanced Correcting Serum.

Dry air outside and inside zap moisture from skin, leaving your complexion dull and lifeless. Here’s what you can do to help revive its radiance.

Picking the right products can ensure your skin stays hydrated and healthy no matter the season.

In winter, skin just can’t win. That’s because it has a lot to contend with — both indoors and out. “Cold air and wind constrict blood vessels and can result in decreased moisture to the surface of the skin. Hot showers and heating inside evaporate water from the skin faster, resulting in drier skin that can crack and become inflamed,” explains Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Memphis, Tennessee, and founder of Visha Skincare. All that to say, if you’ve been grappling with angry skin, you’re not alone.

While that may mean this season isn’t the most ideal for your complexion, it doesn’t mean you can’t have glowing, healthy skin right now. All you need to do is make a few pivots within your existing routine, depending on your skin type or concern. It’s also important to recommit to caring for your skin with an inside-out approach, sticking to healthy habits like getting eight hours of sleep every night, drinking water to stay hydrated throughout the day, and, if your healthcare team okays it, taking a daily probiotic, says Dr. Patel. Early research suggests these supplements may offer anti-aging benefits by balancing skin pH, strengthening the skin barrier, reducing photoaging, and more, noted a review published in January 2016 in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

When it comes to topical tweaks, here’s how the right cleanser, a good moisturizer, and smart wellness habits can battle environmental elements, indoors and out.

If You’re Concerned About Anti-Aging, Use Actives Wisely

Dry air can almost sap the life out of skin. As such, a dull complexion may inspire you to start or add products to an existing anti-aging routine in hopes of bringing back your glow. Before you do that, consider a few things. One, if you haven’t started a retinoid — a vitamin A derivative that research, including one study published in March 2016 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, has shown to stimulate collagen production in skin to plump and lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles — you may be considering it now. It certainly will exfoliate the outer layer of skin to reveal fresher, more radiant cells underneath. But the not-so-great news is that now may not be the ideal time for a new retinoid regimen.

Retinoids speed cell turnover. In winter, this is both a boon and a curse. Here’s why: Because of this process, common side effects of starting a retinoid include dryness and irritation. If skin is already dry, you’ll find using retinoid uncomfortable at first.

If you still want to start, you can take steps to mitigate these potential problems. Gonzalez advises beginning slowly by applying a pea-sized amount to your entire face twice a week. Work your way up to every other day, and then if you’re not irritated or flaky, move up to every night. Always apply your moisturizer on top. Another option is a “sandwich”: Smooth on a moisturizer after cleansing, then use your retinoid, and add another layer of moisturizer on top, she suggests.

You can also look for products that formulate retinol (a milder version of the vitamin A derivative) into a hydrating base. One example is Visha Skincare Advanced Correcting Serum with Illuminotex ($65,, one of Patel's products that combines retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. If you are currently on a retinoid regimen, Patel recommends layering with a hyaluronic acid moisturizer to decrease the chance of peeling.

No Matter Your Complexion Concern, Always Wear SPF — Even When It Snows

You may not pay much attention to the sun now that you’re wrapping up in a hat and scarf, but the UV rays are still there — and they’re strong. “Wearing at least SPF 30 is always a must,” says Patel.

A sunscreen is important daily, but is also critical when you’re out enjoying winter activities, like a winter walk or weekend ski trip.

As the Skin Cancer Foundation points out, snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays. That means you “get hit twice” by the light, according to the World Health Organization. If you’re planning to be out for a long duration, treat the ski hill like the beach: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and then reapply every two hours, per the Skin Cancer Foundation. Because if there’s one thing that’s constant in your skin-care routine it’s the fact that sun-care products are your hero products — no matter the season.

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