Retail & Innovation

5 steps to healthier skin this winter

Winter weather can be harsh on your skin. A Walgreens beauty expert shares her routine and offers tips for taking care of your complexion in the cold.
Steve Rausch, Walgreens Stories
Dry winter air. If you’ve experienced it, you know the negative impact it can have on your skin.

Cracked, dry, chapped skin is not only uncomfortable, it can also make you more susceptible to infection and a host of skin conditions, from dermatitis to eczema to psoriasis. So it’s crucial to your overall health that your skin remains healthy and intact.

The key to healthy skin in harsh winter weather is to create a simple skincare routine, and then follow it consistently, says Amanda Simons, a beauty area expert for Walgreens in Tennessee.

“When it comes to developing your skincare routine, remember that what works for me may not work for you,” says Simons. “But a good standard regimen is to start by cleansing your skin, then layering with a serum and then a moisturizer.”

Simons spells out her five-step winter skincare routine, and offers tips and product recommendations that may help improve your skin health this winter:

1. Cleanse your skin: If you don’t clean your face first, you’re leaving all the dirt and debris from the day on your skin, and you don’t want to apply anything over a dirty face, says Simons.“You want a healthy base to work from, so get all the bad stuff off your skin using a gentle cleanser like Walgreens Hydrating Cleanser that removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping away moisture.”

2. Apply a serum: Because serums act as treatments to address specific skin concerns, not all serums are alike, so choose the one (or ones) that meets your unique needs. Walgreens offers a number of different serums, including Walgreens Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Walgreens Refining Retinol Serum for smoother skin, and No7 Radiance+ 15% Vitamin C Serum for skin that’s brighter and more radiant.

Simons saves her biggest serum raves for No7 Future Renew. “Future Renew is the best serum I’ve ever used,” she says. “It’s the only serum on the market that uses Pepticology ™, two key peptides that work in different ways to regenerate the skin and reverse damage. Peptides are amino acids that stimulate the production of collagen to help make skin more elastic, supple and plump, which improves your overall appearance. Future Renew is great for a variety of skin types, including sensitive skin, and can be used both during the day and at night before bedtime.”

Simons notes that while you can layer multiple serums, you should be aware of possible contraindications in the products you want to use, to make sure they work together and don’t cause an adverse reaction. She suggests speaking with a Walgreens pharmacist for direction on the proper pairing of skincare products.
3. Moisturize: Adding a moisturizer over a serum is the next step of the skincare regimen, and an especially important one in winter. Moisturizers are products that protect and hydrate the skin, and the best time to use them is immediately after stepping out of the shower when your skin is still damp to retain the water. But Simons cautions to not take showers that are too hot, as hot water dries skin out more quickly.  
“There are several moisturizers I love to recommend to customers,” says Simons, “Vichy Mineral 89 Hydrating Face Moisturizer is my favorite facial moisturizer, and my favorite lotion is La Roche-Posay Lipikar Triple Repair Lotion, which is a cream that’s fantastic for all-over hydration.”

4. Don’t forget sunscreen during the day: Simons adds another step to her routine as necessary, emphasizing the importance of including a layer of at least SPF 30 after moisturizing if you’re going outside in the sun, even during the winter, when the effects of harmful ultraviolet light can be multiplied when reflected off snow. UVB rays are the No. 1 cause of skin damage, like premature aging and skin cancer, so sunscreen is an absolute and shouldn’t be ignored in the wintertime.

“Walgreens offers many sunscreen products that work well to protect skin from UV, including Walgreens Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 and La Roche-Posay Melt-In Milk Face and Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60,” she says. “Getting into the practice of using sunscreen regularly, even in the winter, is a great habit to build.”

5. Try ‘slugging’ for extra moisture: A recent trend in skincare—but a moisturizing treatment that’s been around for years—called “slugging,” refers to the moist, glossy skin of a slug as a look to replicate. Slugging is the final step of a nighttime skincare routine, when an occlusive product like Walgreens petroleum jelly is applied over your skin to create a protective barrier that locks in the moisture from the serum and moisturizer. 

“An occlusive locks all of the products into your skin, so it’s going to protect it and you’re going to wake up looking super radiant and nourished,” says Simons.
Simons says that while slugging is typically practiced on the face, you can also slug other parts of the body that you want to keep moisturized. Using CeraVe Healing Ointment anywhere on the body occludes products into the skin and protects against a dry, itchy winter. Simons even uses it on her lips nightly to keep them from getting chapped.

Masks are an efficient way to occlude highly concentrated ingredients to the skin, says Simons, and using one once or twice a week is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and nourished.
“I’m a big fan of masks, especially sheet masks,” she says. “They only take a few minutes to let the ingredients absorb into your skin, so they’re a great addition to any winter skincare routine, especially right after a shower when your pores are open and the ingredients on the mask can penetrate more. Walgreens new line of Modern Expressions masks offer something for everyone at a great price, and with 16 versions to choose from in the collection, they cover everything from head-to-toe.”

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