by Elizabeth Lista
There is some point, every winter, where I casually glance up at the mirror and do an immediate double take. What the $%& happened to my skin? It seems to be generally pretty good heading into the holidays, and throughout, but once we get on the other side into the heart of the cold and darkness, everything seems to fall apart. How can it simultaneously be dry, flaking, dull, red, breaking out and oily? The short answer is: it’s just winter. Winter skin sucks. The long answer is a little more complicated, but with a few skin care, skin treatment and lifestyle hacks, we can turn this rough winter skin smooth again.
Why does this happen?!?!
There are a few main reasons your skin is worse in the winter, although, keep in mind that everyone’s experience will differ a little bit.
1. Lack of humidity
Your skin relies on the moisture in your environment to stay hydrated. When winter sets in, humidity levels drop and are then made worse by electric heating and central air. Dehydration in the skin can cause a host of problems: acne, flaking, dullness, redness, rosacea and dermatitis flare ups, as well as an increase in the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
2. The holidays
The holidays are a stressful time! And stress affects all of our organs, including our skin. Most of us can feel the effects of excess alcohol and sugar consumption. If you feel it in your gut and your energy levels, you’re going to see that on your skin at some point, too. Plus if you’re not sleeping well, or drinking enough water, or being your regular active self, you will eventually notice the effects on your skin.
3. Overusing hot showers/hot tubs/saunas
I know that stepping into a piping hot shower or sitting in the sauna at the gym feels soooo good when it’s bitterly cold out but this can actually make already dehydrated, stressed out skin even worse. The occasional hot tub sesh is no cause for concern, enjoy your life, but be mindful of overuse.
4. Cold temps and harsh winds
That walk from the subway through one of Toronto’s infamous wind tunnels is not doing your skin any favours. Just like your favourite moisture-wicking athletic gear, winter’s harsh winds wick away any remaining moisture from your skin’s surface 🙁 as well as just generally irritate your skin.
How do I turn things around?
1. Get a Miracle 10 chemical peel once a month. It’s a bit of maintenance, I know, but a chemical peel is truly the answer to all things. Acne? Chemical peel. Dry skin? Chemical peel. Rosacea? Chemical peel. We’ll tailor the treatment to your skin type and concerns to get your glow back in time for your next winter getaway.
2. Install a humidifier in your bedroom and run it while you are sleeping. Get one that holds a decent amount of water. They don’t look pretty but they do the trick.
3. Consider a micro-needling beauty booster treatment. This treatment will deeply hydrated the skin for all skin types, as well as improve rosacea, acne scars, melasma, and fine lines and wrinkles. There is some social downtime for this treatment, making winter the best time to do it.
4. Wear a scarf and mitts. Exposed skin should be covered up, even when running between your car and the office. Wear your mitts and cover your face with a scarf to keep precious moisture from escaping.
6. Tough it out. We’re all in this together and it will be spring in no time. Hang in there, beauty!