Face up to winter! Every winter, my husband and I pack our bags, bundle up the kids, and head to Telluride, CO, for our annual ski vacation. It's my favorite trip of the year because I get to indulge in all the things I love: quality family time, being active, and wearing cozy sweaters and Ugg boots.
The only downside is the toll that the cold weather takes on my skin. Thankfully, I've found solutions for the most common winter beauty woes. I hope these winter skin care tips help you face up to the rest of the season beautifully.
Use a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids every other day to help encourage cell turnover and remove the dead cells accumulating on the skin's surface. Unlike their predecessors, today's alpha hydroxy formulas are gentle enough to do their work without causing skin sensitivity.
Use manual exfoliators (scrubs with beads or grains) no more than once or twice a week, and just on the T-zone for all but the oiliest skin types.
After cleansing, apply a rich cream moisturizer. These contain skin-quenching ingredients such as beeswax, squalane, petrolatum, and shea butter. To get the most out of your moisturizer, apply it immediately after drying your face, while your skin is slightly damp.
Moisturizing makeup formulas are dry skin's best friend in winter because they are oil based. Look for products that say "formulated for dry skin" or that list ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate (bonds moisture to skin) and petrolatum (creates a creamy consistency). Use powder sparingly or skip it this time of year. (Check out these three makeup picks that boost your skin.)
If your skin has taken on a Kermit-like tinge, counteract it with bronzer or self-tanner. Yes, the bronzer you loved last summer can still work for you in the doldrums of February. Just keep in mind that you are paler now, so pick a formula that's one or two shades lighter than what you used during bathing-suit weather.
The reddish-brown tones in these products will neutralize the yellow-green cast you see in your skin and give your face a healthy warmth. If blush is your thing, skip orangey-yellow shades and go for pink and rosy hues, which will perk up your skin and make you look like you just came in from the cold.
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Ruddy nose and cheeks
Try a hydrating face mask with soothing ingredients such as cucumber, chamomile, or calendula to help calm red skin. You can also neutralize the redness and high coloring with a yellow-toned (not pink!) tinted moisturizer or foundation. Your usual blush may now make you look a little like Bozo the Clown, so switch to a softer shade like sandy pink.
Purple-green undereye circles
These tend to be more obvious against winter-pale skin. Use a combination of two shades of concealer to correct the problem: Apply a layer of pink-toned concealer, blend it, and then layer a yellow-toned concealer over it.
Also, try some diversionary tactics: Draw attention away from the undereye area by lining only the upper lash line and applying mascara just to your top lashes. (Watch this video to see how the pros hide dark circles.)
Cold wind irritates eyes, which leads to excessive tearing, so use waterproof mascara to avoid the raccoon effect. If you want to line your eyes, use the same trick you'd use for undereye circles: Apply a long-wearing gel or pencil liner to just your upper lash line; then seal it with dark shadow powder layered over it. Skip lower-lash liner to keep makeup from running when you wipe away wind-induced wetness.
PLUS: Hide wrinkles (and your true age!) with these 9 Tips For Younger-Looking Eyes.
Dry, chapped lips
Don't lick your lips! When saliva evaporates, it removes any natural oils that you have on your lips. To get rid of dry skin, smooth eye cream on lips, and then use a toothbrush or a washcloth to gently exfoliate them.
Smooth on a heavy-duty lip balm that has ingredients such as avocado (relieves chapped skin) and shea butter (helps prevent moisture loss). Stay away from matte lipstick formulas, which can be very drying. Instead, stick to lip gloss or a tinted balm.
More from Prevention: The Ultimate Winter Skin, Hair, and Makeup Guide