Dry Skin Survival Guide
Nov 08, 2017 02:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Whether you love or loathe the cooler temperatures, low humidity, and occasional snowfall that occur this time of year, your skin is decidedly less than enthusiastic about the season. And the dreaded “winter itch”—dry, flaky, and tight skin—isn’t the only concern, particularly when it comes to the face. Dry facial skin also exacerbates the signs of aging, according to Medical Aesthetician Megan Eubank with Sullivan Surgery & Spa in Annapolis.
“It can feel uncomfortable, but it can also intensify the look of fine lines,” she says. “When your skin is hydrated and supple, those fine lines look softer and smoother.”
There are, however, some in-office treatments to keep your skin looking its best—even in the dead of winter.
The best way to beat those dry skin blues? Combine all three procedures into one ultra-hydrating, detoxifying treatment. “We consider that the Power Facial,” Eubank says.
MicrodermabrasionA treatment in which a small, handheld device exfoliates the outer layer of skin, removing dead cells and increasing blood circulation to the area. Eubank says she uses a wand with a tip made from diamond chips that allows for a more precise treatment, particularly around sensitive areas, like the eyes and mouth, with less skin irritation. “It removes about two- or three-weeks’ worth of dead skin buildup,” she says. “And it has a little bit of suction to it, so it sweeps away the dead skin as well.”
Lactic Acid PeelA mild chemical peel that eliminates dry patches and flakes by hydrating and softening skin. It also helps to brighten skin, creating an instant post-treatment glow, and there isn’t any significant downtime, which makes it extra convenient for those with a hectic schedule! “It’s a great boost to the microderm treatment, too,” Eubank says.
Hydrating MaskAn intensely hydrating mask that’s applied to the face for 15 to 20 minutes. Additionally, adding a little steam on top of the mask allows its hydrating properties to further penetrate the skin.
Hyaluronic AcidCurrently the all-star ingredient in anti-aging products and treatments, hyaluronic acid is actually a carbohydrate (technically, a sugar) that naturally occurs throughout the body. When applied to the face via a serum or cream, it immediately hydrates the skin, helping to smooth fine lines and plump up wrinkles.
SPFit’s not just for summer!Don’t forget to apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) every day. Regardless of whether or not the sun is shining, its harmful rays can still reach, and potentially damage, exposed skin, which can dehydrate skin and accelerate signs of aging. Be sure the sunscreen is labeled as “broad spectrum” to protect against UVB rays, which damage the surface of the skin and cause sunburn, and UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and lead to photoaging—or fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging.
In Between Treatments
Maintaining a skincare regimen at home is imperative. “Coming in for occasional treatments is great, but if you’re not doing anything at home to protect that investment, you’re really not going to see the benefit of it,” says Eubank. To keep things simple (and reasonably attainable!), she suggests a daily two-step routine—with an extra step thrown in occasionally!
Cleanser - Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, mornings and evenings
Serum - After cleansing skin, apply a serum with hyaluronic acid to retain skin’s moisture
Exfoliator - Once or twice a week, depending on skin’s sensitivity, use a mild exfoliator after cleansing