Usually in the winter we have some clean up to do from the summer fun. To lighten unwanted brown spots, make sure to use a vitamin C serum on bare skin in the AM and a retinol on a freshly washed face in the PM before your moisturizer. IPL (intense pulsed light) or Clear and Brilliant laser treatments are gentle with minimal down time and will lighten and brighten more quickly than skin care products alone. If you are having a laser treatment, schedule it at least 2 weeks before an important event to ensure you have plenty of time to recover and start to see the benefits of your treatment by party time!
In the winter, both forced air inside and the cold, windy air outside pull water from your skin making it overly dry and more easily irritated. To combat this, turn up your daily moisturizing by using a face cream in the AM after your serum and before your sunscreen and again at night after washing your face. When things really dry out, use an ointment (RESTORE Healing Balm) around your eyes and lips and blend it into your face cream before bed to protect your skin from further water loss while your sleep. You will wake up dewy! Also drink plenty of water! If drinking alcohol, try for 8 oz of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
Dry, winter skin is more easily irritated so remember less is more when it comes to skin care. Look for gentle products without common causes of irritation like fragrance, vitamin E and lanolin. Pull back on how often you use
products with active ingredients. For example, you may only be able to tolerate retinol three nights week instead of seven. Stay away from scrubs and beads that can easily irritated already dry skin. Instead, for gentle exfoliation try 10% or less glycolic acid products.
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Meet the author: Board-certified and practicing dermatologist, Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, is the founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. She studied at Stanford, University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. She lectures nationally, is well published, and an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Highly respected among the skin care community, Dr. Rogers has been annually named “Top 1% of Most Honored Doctors in the US” by Castle Connolly.