If our dermatologists could summarize the perfect word for the question, “What is an optimal…
As the winter season approaches and the dry, chilly weather sets in, our skin takes the brunt of the harsh climate, becoming more and more dry as the days get shorter.
At Cumberland Skin, our expert providers and dermatologists understand how much of a toll the winter season has on the skin. This is why they implement the right winter skincare routine to take optimal care of their biggest organ—the skin!
We sat down with Allison Bodzy, NC-P, a board-certified family nurse practitioner at Cumberland Skin, to learn more about how she takes care of her skin during the chilly winter months!
Board-Certified Practitioner’s Winter Skincare Routine
During the winter, what do you do differently in your daily skincare routine compared to summer?
There are several things Allison does differently to optimize her skin health during the winter. She told us, “The primary change I make in my routine is to switch to more moisturizing products. I begin using a gentle, creamy cleanser twice daily, and liberally apply hyaluronic acid prior to moisturizing my face in the morning and night. I use a creamy moisturizer with sunscreen each morning and a thick night cream.”
While that may sound like a lot, Allison mentioned that this winter skincare routine allows her to continue using a nightly retinol without irritation. (Retinol creams are a key anti-aging topical!)
She also told us that when shopping for winter facial skin care products it’s important to look for products with ceramides and/or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients lock in moisture, which is essential for healthy skin during the winter months. Furthermore, products with vitamin C, vitamin E, and niacinamide help combat skin inflammation.
Furthermore, like many other people, Allison mentioned that her skin becomes very dry and sensitive in the winter. To combat this, she told us, “I use a gentle, fragrance-free body wash formulated for sensitive skin and apply ceramide-based cream immediately after I shower, which helps to seal in moisture. It’s important to remember to avoid taking long, hot showers, since these further irritate and dry out the skin.”
Is it important to wear sunscreen in the winter?
Many people forgo wearing sunscreen during the winter months, but Allison explained that sunscreen is still important no matter what time of year it is! (Even more worrisome, many people use tanning beds to achieve a glow, though this is doing more harm than good.)
Allison explained, “Any sun exposure can cause skin damage, and wearing daily SPF year-round is essential. This is easily achieved by wearing a daily moisturizer with SPF, makeup with SPF, and lip balm/gloss with SPF.
“For longer periods outside, such as during winter sports, it is important to cover up your skin as much as is feasible and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to all exposed areas. Don’t forget to reapply every hour or two, based on label recommendations. I recommend mineral based sunscreens that provide a physical barrier from the sun, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.”
Why is changing one’s skincare routine during the winter important?
Allison explained to us why it’s incredibly important to modify one’s skincare routine when the chilly winter season hits. She said, “As the temperature drops, so does the level of humidity in the air outside. When we turn on inside heat sources, the air around us becomes even drier.
“These factors accelerate water loss from the skin. In order to keep our skin healthy and glowing, we need to add products to our routine that restore the skin barrier, seal moisture into the skin, and minimize inflammation. If we are unable to protect the skin barrier, skin issues, such as eczema, may flare.”
Do you use additional serums? If yes, which ones?
Serums have become more and more popular over the years, and we wanted to get Allison’s opinion on them. She explained her serum use by sharing with us that, during the winter, she uses a hyaluronic acid serum both in the morning and night.
Additionally, she uses a vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid serum in the morning, and a serum with bakuchiol and other antioxidants at bedtime.
Allison elaborated on why she uses these particular serums and their benefits. “The hyaluronic acid adds much-needed moisture to the skin. Bakuchiol, vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid help combat inflammation and brighten skin.”
Do you exfoliate during the winter months? If yes, why is it important?
Exfoliation is often a skincare routine step that many people forget about. However, Allison told us, “Regular exfoliation is important in the winter. Well-exfoliated skin will be less flaky in appearance and will absorb skin care products more effectively.
“Exfoliating products work either physically (using granular substances to scrub) or chemically (using acids, such as alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, without granular material). It is important to remember that exfoliation should be a gentle process. No scrubbing or rubbing is allowed!
“If, like me, you are accustomed to using an exfoliator daily, you may generally continue doing so. However, if your skin becomes irritated, I recommend decreasing exfoliation to 2-3 times per week as tolerated.”
She also mentioned that those with sensitive skin who do not regularly exfoliate during the warmer months should start off with a gentle, chemical exfoliant cleanser. Use this one to two times per week and, if tolerating well, gradually increase usage every two weeks.
Should retinoids be included in a winter skincare routine?
Allison told us, “If you regularly use a retinoid year-round, I recommend continued use throughout the winter. If your skin becomes irritated, it may help to decrease usage of the retinoid to 1-2 times per week, then increase by one day per week, every 2 weeks or so, if your skin can tolerate it.
“You may also try a different strength or formulation of retinoid so that it is better tolerated. There are many retinoids available over the counter and by prescription, and we can help you find the right one for your skin.”
Are there any cosmetic treatments you recommend in the winter?
Cosmetic treatments are an effective way to revitalize and rejuvenate the face. But some are recommended more during certain times of the year.
Allison explained, “I recommend that my patients wait until wintertime to do treatments targeting pigment, such as facial peels and laser treatment for pigmented lesions. These treatments tend to have better and longer-lasting results when the patient is not getting significant sun exposure before and after the procedure.
“Additionally, I often recommend that patients hold off on laser hair removal until the wintertime. Since the hair removal process involves several treatments that are spaced about a month apart, it is ideal to start treatments several months before summer.
“The same concept applies to sclerotherapy, which is the treatment of spider veins in the legs. Immediately after injection, the treated veins may be inflamed, bruised, and slightly discolored; sometimes these symptoms can take a few weeks to fully resolve.”
Healthy Skin Starts at Cumberland Skin
With a professional, board-certified dermatologist by your side, you can effortlessly achieve vibrant, glowing skin—even during the harsh winter months!
Reach out to our experienced team of providers to learn more about how we help patients create their ideal winter skincare routine. Give us a call at (615) 449-5771 or contact us online!
Board-Certified Dermatology Solutions in Lebanon, TN
Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood, and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website or give us a call today at 615-449-5771.