Skin Science

Esthetician Recommended 5 Skincare Favorites for Winter

by Neostrata
December 1, 2022

By Kim Sarros

Kim Sarros, a California-based esthetician and Skin Health Education Lead at NeoStrata Company, Inc, shared her 5 Skincare Favorites for Winter. Read on to find her recommendations.

Winter is on its way. For many of us that means a change in the weather – a drop in humidity plus an increase in cold and wind – that can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. Add to that the drying effects of indoor heating, and it might feel like there’s no place to hide during this skin-challenging season.

As an esthetician, I have treated a lot of clients over the years with dry, flaky and sensitive winter skin. My top recommendations always include a combination of exfoliation and hydration to help address these common winter skin challenges.

Let’s talk about how to protect your skin during the winter to keep it glowing and healthy-looking all season long. Plus, I’ll share my top five NEOSTRATA picks for the ultimate winter skincare regimen.

How does winter affect skin?

Every season brings its own skincare challenges and benefits, and winter is no different. One positive aspect of the winter months is that shorter days equals less time for damaging UV exposure. On the other hand, less humidity and a harsher, drier climate can leave skin feeling vulnerable to the ravages of winter weather.

Common skin concerns during winter include dry, flaky skin, more notable appearance of crepiness and fine lines, itchiness, tightness or discomfort and visible redness for those with sensitive skin.

Why is hydrating my skin in winter important?

Elements like low humidity, cold and wind can challenge skin’s moisture barrier and matrix – made up of components like cholesterol, free fatty acids and ceramides – which are designed to help defend the skin from environmental stressors that can lead to dryness and discomfort.

Counteracting these environmental factors with moisturizers and hydrating ingredients can help support skin’s moisture barrier, helping alleviate dryness to restore a softer, plumper-looking, more supple feel to skin.

Should I exfoliate my skin in the winter?

Absolutely! Exfoliation and hydration are powerful partners when it comes to your winter skincare regimen. When water content at the skin’s surface drops below a certain level, normal skin turnover can be impacted, leading to an increased buildup of dead surface skin and debris. This buildup contributes to the look of rough texture and flaky skin. It can also affect how well your serums and moisturizers reach the skin’s surface.

Exfoliating with ingredients like Glycolic Acid or PHAs can support skin turnover and help clear a path for your topical skincare products to effectively penetrate into skin’s surface layers.

Our Top-5 esthetician Picks for winter skincare:

Here are my top 5 exfoliating and hydrating picks to build your winter skincare regimen:

  1. PHA Facial Cleanser: Your cleansing step sets the tone for your skincare regimen. It removes makeup and surface debris, preparing your skin for the regimen to follow. We love this soap-free, non-foaming gel cleanser because it gently exfoliates with Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA). PHAs are also shown to have antioxidant and humectant properties that can support skin’s moisture barrier against drying environmental aggressors.

    Kick off your winter skincare regimen by using Restore PHA Facial Cleanser twice daily.

  2. PHA Renewal Pads: Banish the look of dry, flaky skin with our newest partner in prep! I’m a huge fan of Polyhydroxy Acids as a gentle multi-tasking exfoliator, antioxidant and chelator that’s appropriate for all skin types – even those with dry and sensitive skin.

    As a bonus, PHAs can help diminish the look of crepiness and fine lines, as well as helping disrupt skin discoloration through its ability to chelate metals like the lead, copper, iron and mercury we encounter in the environment.

    Boost your winter skincare regimen by using PHA Renewal Pads twice daily after cleansing and before applying serum and moisturizer.

  3. Hydra Filling Eye Gel-Cream: The eyes have it! The skin around the delicate eye area is thinner than the skin on the rest of our body. This, coupled with frequent movement of the eye area (blinking, squinting, etc.) can cause signs of skin aging to show up here first. That’s why a good eye cream is essential at any age and all year long.

    Take on the drying effects of winter by leveling up your eye cream. Hydra Filling Eye Gel-Cream is our go-to in the winter because it is packed with hydrating ingredients and antioxidants including Hyaluronic Acid, PHAs and Vitamins A, C and E. Even better, its gel-cream formulation provides a beautiful texture that glides onto the eye area and absorbs well for wear under makeup.

    Look out for your eyes (literally) by using Hydra Filling Eye Gel-Cream twice daily after PHA Facial Cleanser and PHA Renewal Pads.

  4. Hydra Filling Cream: This Hyaluronic Acid face cream is like a drink of water for the skin. Hydra Filling Cream has a rich, decadent texture that’s a real treat for winter-weary skin. We love this formulation because it combines the hydrating benefits of Hyaluronic Acid with a Dual Peptide Complex to target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for healthy-looking, plump, hydrated skin – and it’s non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, making it an ideal wintertime face cream for most skin types.

    Quench your skin with Hydra Filling Cream twice daily, following your cleanse, prep and serum steps.

    Pro Tip: Don’t forget your SPF for daytime! Even in winter months and on cloudy days, UV exposure can contribute to visible signs of skin aging like uneven skin tone, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

  5. Pure Hyaluronic Acid Biocellulose Mask: Dry winter months call for an extra moisture boost. Pure Hyaluronic Acid Biocellulose Mask is your hydration hero when your skin’s feeling parched. I love sheet masks because they’re a terrific way to slow down during the hectic winter holidays – and it feels like a special treat at the end of a long day (who doesn’t need a little me-time now and then?).

    Derived from nourishing coconut water, Pure Hyaluronic Acid Biocellulose Mask helps replenish skin’s moisture in a form-fitting sheet mask that helps with absorption of 0.15% Hyaluronic Acid.

    Treat yourself with this luxurious sheet mask 1-2 times a week after cleansing with PHA Facial Cleanser and prepping with PHA Renewal Pads. Leave the mask on skin up to 15 minutes and massage in any remain solution before following with your eye cream and moisturizer. It’s a fantastic self-care ritual for a boost of hydration - and happiness for you and your skin!

Bonus Pick: Glycolic Microdermabrasion Face Polish: Looking to take winter exfoliation to the next level? Try Glycolic Microdermabrasion Face Polish, a dual-action exfoliator that combines the power of 10% Glycolic Acid with professional grade crystals for skin that feels smoother, softer and silky after just one use.
Use Glycolic Microdermabrasion Face Polish 1-3 times a week after cleansing. Apply to wet skin, massage in a circular motion for 30-seconds and rinse thoroughly with water before applying serum, eye cream and moisturizer.

Winter is on its way, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer. As the days grow shorter, remember to exfoliate and hydrate to keep your skin glowing and healthy-looking all season long.


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