To us, “winter” sounds like delightful mugs of apple cider, idyllic outdoor ice skating rinks, and chapped, dry skin. Forget new year’s resolutions—our number one goal is to get our oh-so-smooth skin through the season unscathed.
From harsh winds in the winter to summer sun damage, we’d rather not have to choose between emptying our pockets and succumbing to the dastardly effects of early-onset crow’s feet.
Make Your Skin Feel Like Springtime All Year Round.
Dr. Karen Kade, a dermatologist in Miami but a native of New York, gave us some rules for beating the effects of weather and aging. “In the winter,” she says, “it’s very easy for your skin to get dried out, so make sure that you’re using a good, solid moisturizer and applying it immediately after the shower, while your skin is moist.” She also points out that most acne medicines can dry out your skin, so if your skin is getting irritated, try using those products less frequently in the winter, like applying them every other night instead of every night, or using a lesser amount…and putting more moisturizer on your face.
How To Keep Your Skin Blemish-Free In The Winter.
When you get out of the shower, Dr. Kade warns, pat yourself dry with a towel rather than rubbing, since that can irritate your hair follicles. Similarly, pat on your moisturizer, too. This is especially important in cold, dry weather, because it’s really common for people to get little red bumps on the backs of their arms and other places where hair follicles are irritated (officially known as “keratosis pilaris”). Dr. Kade estimates that this probably happens to around 20% of the population. If you’re one of the many, look for an over-the-counter moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic or lactic acid such as this one—more on alpha hydroxy below.
What To Look For In Drugstore Moisturizers.
Rather than spending tons of money on deluxe anti-wrinkle creams, Dr. Kade told us that the absolute best way to prevent wrinkles and splotches now and later in life is to use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen. Her favorite drug store variety is Neutrogena with Helioplex. “It’s simple,” Dr. Kade says. “The best way to keep your skin looking young is to wear moisturizer with sunscreen in it every day, regardless of the season or your skin color.”
Here are 5 things she told us to look for in drugstore moisturizers:
1. Protection From UVA And UVB Rays.
SPF tells us how well a sunscreen protects against UVB rays, which cause sunburns, but UVA rays are what actually cause skin aging. These rays can even penetrate through glass or, say, a closed car window. So, make sure that your sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Antioxidants protect cells from oxidation, the same process that causes tarnish on silver. They protect you from damaging factors like sunlight, air pollution, and cigarette smoke; imagine your skin as silver, and the antioxidants as preventing tarnish or rust. It’ll be less common to find these in a moisturizer with sunscreen, but try to look for antioxidants in any nighttime creams and moisturizers you choose.
3. Vitamin A.
Retinol, or vitamin A, has been shown to prevent and even reverse fine wrinkles. It’s an ingredient in many anti-aging creams, and is available to anyone over-the-counter.
4. Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
These include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. According to Dr. Kade, they exfoliate the top layers of the skin, which lead to a smoother complexion with smaller pores. She likens the process to peeling back the layers of an onion, which is why patients often experience a fresh, healthy glow. This is another good thing to look for in nighttime moisturizers.
Peptides are biologically active compounds that increase the production of collagen, which is the protein that makes up most of your skin. Younger people have lots of collagen, which is why they have firm, tight skin.
Here are some of our favorites:
1. Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Anti-Oxidant Moisture ($16): Protects against UVA & UVB with Helioplex, contains antioxidants, and is lightweight enough for daily use.
2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion ($10): Contains antioxidants, vitamin A, alpha hydroxy acids, and light sunscreen.
3. Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream ($18): Contains amino-peptides to increase your skin’s production of new collagen cells.
4. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream ($11): Contains retinol to reduce wrinkles. Also protects against UVA & UVB.
5. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer ($10): Protects against UVA & UVB, and is a simple, easy, fragrance-free moisturizer.
You’ll be so happy with your money-saving moisturizer that you won’t even notice those little smile lines anymore.