Beauty & Beyond: Getting Your Skin Through the Winter

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winter skin 2012 Collage

OK, ladies, let'??s face it. Literally. Winter temperatures went down and your skin dried up. Spring isn'??t on the horizon for months and your face is a lackluster reminder of scraping ice off windshields and winds that cut through the heaviest of coats.

Through proper care, winter'??s woes can melt away and uncover a fresh glow for spring. I've put together a few tips I've heard from beauty experts over the years to help you save your skin this chilly season.

The Dry Rough Stuff:

The combination of outdoor cold weather with indoor heat from radiators leads to dry flaky skin. Call it a virtual keratin desert. Dry air literally pulls moisture out of skin, causing rough patches.

Exfoliation is key to springing back. Stronger skin can tolerate Vitamin A peels or microdermabrasion, while enzyme or fruit acid peels are better for more sensitive skin. Begin with once-a-week treatments, increasing to twice a week as the warmer seasons approach.

My Favorites:

La Prairie Cellular Microdermabrasion Cream: It comes with three interchangeable applicator pads and is rich in beauty bling (micronized diamonds, freshwater pearls and quartz crystals). Need we say more? But it ain't cheap, with a hefty price of $275 at Nordstroms (the actual La Prairie site has it listed for $400!).

Ole Henrickson'??s Lemon Strip Flash Peel: This 10-minute treatment is powered by lactic, glycolic, and fruit acids that work to exfoliate and resurface the skin, while algae extract soothes and calms.

Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing System With Lancôme SetThese two beauty giants have teamed up this season with a limited edition gift set available at Sephora. Each includes a Clarisonic Aria and three-sample sized Lancôme products. I adore my Clarisonic for gently exfoliating while I clean with my favorite cleansers.

Maximize Moisture:

Good moisturizers provide not only rehydration but nourishment and cell protection. Don'??t be afraid to experiment with different types until you find one that suites you. Look for one with humectants, which grab onto water and hold it to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best, holding up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. Other natural humectants include Vitamin E and panthenol, a form of Vitamin B5.

With higher concentrations of nourishing ingredients, serums are moisturizers kicked up a notch. Look for ones boasting Omega 3-rich essential fatty acids, such as evening primrose oil or borage seed.

To detoxify and undo what winter has done, feed your skin its vitamins. Products containing antioxidants like Vitamin C and E heal, support cell growth and pave the way for Vitamin A (Retinol, Retin-A) products that stimulate collagen cells. The result is even-colored and toned skin.

If you'??re hesitant to moisturize because your skin tends to be oily, be aware that you can be oily and still be dehydrated.

My Favorites:

Peter Thomas Roth's VIZ-1000'?¢ 75% Hyaluronic Acid Complex: It'??s all in the name. This super-concentrated hydrating serum disappears once you put it on, but you'??ll know it'??s working because fines lines and dry skin don'??t stand a chance.

philosophy'??s Turbo Booster C PowderMix this powder (it boasts 99.8% potency) into your favorite moisturizers and you'??ll protect skin from one of the leading causes of premature aging'??free radical damage.

Laura Mercier'??s Flawless Skin Mega MoisturizerThis super-moisturizing crème intensely hydrates while also protecting against the effects of seasonal changes with Vitamins C and E. Bonus: there'??s an SPF 15 boost for those sunny ski vacations.

What to Avoid:

Products you shun during your recovery routine are just as crucial as those you treasure. Although squeaky skin means clean, it can also mean stripped of natural oils. Avoid any cleansing products with detergents, like sodium laurel sulfate. Wash with gels or creams, instead of bar soaps. Avoid alcohol, witch hazel, and salicylic and glycolic acids.

My Favorite:

Fresh'??s Soy Face Cleanser: This soap- and fragrance-free gel instantly whisks away everyday impurities and makeup (even mascara) without stripping the skin of essential moisture.

A good relationship with your skin now is sure to last through the winter doldrums and into glorious spring.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines.'?¨

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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