Seasonal skin care stories typically follow the extremes of the four seasons, so if you live in an area that doesn't have four distinct seasons, you're often out of luck. Winter in snowy Chicago is vastly different to rainy Seattle or sunny Florida.
We talked with California-based Dermatologist and author of The Skin Commandments: 10 Rules to Healthy, Beautiful Skin, Dr. Tony Nakhla, to get the scoop on winter skin care for each region of the U.S.Midwest and East Coast
Lumped together, winter in the Midwest and East Coast can be brutal on your skin. "Wintertime always brings out dryness in my skin," shares Grace from Illinois, "I definitely have to start using a night cream and I slather Aveeno on my hands all the time to keep them from cracking." Mary-Ellen in Massachusetts says, "You are always searching for something that moisturizes without being greasy or making your skin breakout."Doctor's Advice: Cold climates will require more frequent moisturization. Midwesterners and East Coasters are particularly susceptible to dry skin outbreaks and eczema flares. Those living in extreme cold temperatures are also at risk for Vitamin D deficiency, since their outdoor exposure to sunlight is minimal. A good vitamin D supplement of at least 2000IU should be taken daily.
- Skin Care Tips - Midwest and East Coast Switch out your body lotion for a cream or butter for deeper hydration. If it's a windy, cold day, apply a moisturizer to your skin before you head outdoors to help prevent dry skin. Wear scarves and mittens. Ditch baths and take short showers instead. Apply SPF every day. Apply a thick lip moisturizer before bed to avoid cracked lips in the morning.
Doctor's Advice: High humidity is good for dry skin types. Less frequent moisturizing is required, especially for acne-prone skin, which can breakout more frequently in this climate. A UV protective product should be used daily to beat the hot Southeast sun.
- Skin Care Tips - Southeast: Argan oil could be your answer. It's great for all skin types from dry to oily, so it should get you through winter. It's great for fly-aways, too! Wear SPF daily and don't forget to apply it to your hands. Keep oil blotting tissues on hand for mid-day shine on humid days.
A trip to the Southwest might be sound wonderful to those digging their way out of a snow storm, but Southwest residents are prone to their own winter skin issues. "Because it's so dry during the winter, everything needs extra moisturizing," says Arizona native Kelci, "but it seems like I need something different for my face, body, hands, and feet. In the summer, I can just use face cream and a body lotion and be done with it!"
Doctor's Advice: Arid, dry climates require more frequent moisturizing. These climates make the skin more prone to cracks and fissures, especially on the lips. To help combat the desert sun, use moisturizing products that contain UV protective ingredients like L-ergothioneine, Vitamin C, and CoQ10.
- Skin Care Tips - Southwest: Try moisturizing with pure, refined coconut oil. It can be used head-to-toe and is a favorite by many beauty editors. Moisturize your cuticles to avoid cracking. Use SPF every day. Puncture a Vitamin E capsule and massage into dry skin patches for quick healing. Keep lip balm in your purse or desk at work and use frequently.
"Winter is the best time of year for my skin," says Carrie, an Oregon resident. "I find it falls pretty much in the normal category and stays there for the season." While it depends on what part of the West Coast you live on, winter can be a pretty easy season for you West Coasters. What gets tricky is the flux in cold verses warm weather, depending on travel and location.
Doctor's Advice: The West Coast is the ideal climate for skin. It's not too humid and not too dry. Remember to use SPF when you're enjoying outdoor winter activities. The sun reflects off snow and can cause sun burn and skin damage.
- Skin Care Tips - West Coast: Enjoy this great season. Sun protection is your biggest concern. Wear and reapply SPF daily. Don't forget an SPF lip balm. Protect your skin with winter clothing and gloves when you're headed to snowy regions.