In the winter months, even the easiest skin can turn troublesome. Normally smooth legs become tough and scaly, and wind whips peachy cheeks Santa-Claus-red. For those of us with sensitive skin, chilly air wreaks painful havoc via cracked palms and tender lips.
While you may have to fight the elements to keep your face and body healthy and hydrated--you don't have to suffer. Skincare expert and celebrity esthetician Rene? Rouleau breaks down winter skin woes to give you a troubleshooting guide for looking your best in 2011.
Your Skin Is: Dry"Dry skin" can take on a whole new meaning come winter. "When the heat is on in the house and the air is cold outside, your skin will be depleted of its natural moisture," Rouleau says.
Consider using a humidifier during the winter months, so that dry air won't rob water from your skin. Look for creams containing safflower oil, avocado oil and shea butter, which help to keep skin's lipid barriers strong so that moisture can't seep out.
Try Aveeno Positively Nourishing 24-Hour Ultra-Hydrating Whipped Souffl? ($11, drugstores), rich in shea and cocoa butters.
Your Skin Is: Flaky"People tend to load on extra moisturizer to compensate for dryness in the winter," Rouleau says--but more isn't always better. "Rather than putting on extra cream to rehydrate dead cells, try increasing your exfoliation."
Use a gentle facial scrub, such as Ren?e Rouleau Mint Buffing Beads ($41, reneerouleau.com) two to three times a week to gently rejuvenate skin.
For a deeper exfoliation, try Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator ($45, jurlique.com), which uses powerful natural enzymes from indigenous Australian fruits to renew the skin's surface and refine complexion.
Your Skin Is: Extra-SensitiveCold, windy air can lead to supersensitive skin. Rouleau explains, "Products that don't normally sting can now feel tingly and cause irritation due to a weakened lipid barrier." Sufferers of eczema and rosacea often have flare-ups during the winter as well.
If you are experiencing increased sensitivity, opt for fragrance and alcohol-free skincare products. Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion ($9, drugstores) uses milk, honey, grape seed oil and vitamin E to improve skin health.
With just two ingredients (both derived from coconuts), VMV Hypoallergenics Grandma Minnie's
Skincredibly Versatile Solution Oil's Well Nurturing Do-It-Oil ($35, vmvhypoallergenics.com) soothes even the most delicate, allergy-prone skin.