SKIN | The Pro’s Guide To Managing Sensitive Skin This Winter

Some people are born with sensitive skin; other people have it temporarily‘, explain dermatologist Amy Wechsler of the surge of rough, ruddy complexion during winter. ‘It’s very common due to cold climate, as well as stress, travel, or sleep deprivation‘.

No matter which camp you fall in – seasonal or year – round sufferer – if your skin is consistently feeling tight, pink, dry, flaky, or inflamed, it’s time to switch things up. From choosing the right formulas to supercharging you complexion, here dermatologists and makeup pros weight in on how to minimize flare – ups to maintain a remarkably clear glow through spring.

Go Fragrance Free

‘Fragrance is one off the most common ingredients in cleansers, creams, and lotion that can lead to redness, itching, burning, or excessive dryness in sensitive – skinned individuals’, explains Dr. Naissan O.Wesley. And that’s just the beginning when it comes to giving a product’s label a close read, says Gucci Westman, makeup artists pro, healthy – skin obsessive, and founder of clean beauty brand Westman Atelier. ‘You should look for products with ingredients that are soothing and formulated for your skin’. A long-time sufferer a rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes redness, Westman steers clear of fragrance as well as sulphates, which can irritate rosacea – prone skin. ‘Try to pick a product with as few ingredients as possible – the most ingredients [on the label], the more potential for problems‘, adds Wechsler. ‘It can get tricky when most products have a list of 30 to 50 ingredients’.

Cleanse Gently – And Not Too Often 

It’s important to remove makeup and environmental toxins, but over cleansing should be avoided’, explains Wesley. ‘It can strip the skin of its natural barrier and fatty acids, potentially leading to excessive dryness and irritation‘. For sensitive skin, Wesley recommends an ultra – gentle, sulphate-free cleanser (‘Sulphates are typically the ingredients that causes cleansers to foam or lather’, she says) or micellar water, which won’t dry out the skin‘Sensitive skin really doesn’t need to be cleansed more than once a day unless makeup needs to be removed at another point during the day‘, she explains.

Exfoliate Regularly, But Don’t Overdo It

‘Exfoliation is a sensation for sensitive skin during the winter‘, explains Manhattan – based dermatologist Francesca Fusco. ‘It removes dead cells on the surface so that products will penetrate more efficiently’. She recommends choosing a very fine – grained physical exfoliant – but with a major prerequisite: Tread lightly. ‘Scrubbing is for pots and pans, not your skin, as Dr. [Patricia] Wexler always saysAs for the rest of the body, you can use a chemical exfoliant to treat physique with a topical treatment that contains an alpha hydroxy acid, such as lactic acid to increase cell turnover while maintaining moisture. This kind of treatment can be especially helpful for those who struggle with keratosis pilaris, whereby individuals affected experience rough bumps, most commonly on the back of the upper arms. ‘People who have KP also tend to have more sensitive skin in general or be more prone to dry, itchy skin conditions such as eczema’, says Wesley.

Moisturize Meticulously

If you have sensitive skin, you must saturate it in hydration daily. Otherwise, skipping just a day will be evident by way of unsavoury flaking and sallowness. Your best bet is to double down by incorporating two or more deeply moisturizing elixir. And come winter, any woman would be remiss not to add a serum that contains hyaluronic acid to her routine. ‘When applied to a freshly cleansed face, it’s like a magnet for retaining moisture in dry skin’, explains Fusco. Afterward, opt for a facial  oil packed with omega fatty acids, which are the major building clock of the skin barrier. But be very discerning about what kind will work best. ‘Some oils can be soothing, but some can be irritating’, explains Wechsler. ‘I always tell someone with sensitive skin that they should do  a test spot on their face for three nights or days so if they develop a rash, it’s not taking up their whole face‘. Finally, to seal everything in, reach for a noncomedogenic moisturizing cream, which tends to be more emollient off the skin. If you want to take exfoliation and moisture to the next level, Wesley recommends a HydraFacial treatment. ‘It’s a facial that combines microdermabrasion to exfoliate, followed by putting moisture back in the skin to make it look nice, polished, and hydrated right after‘, she explains. ‘It’s a nice procedure to do before events, but also in the winter to help skin – cell renewal without irritation.

Look To ‘Clean’ Makeup Products

”I tent to stay away from heavier coverage, even when approaching redness – prone areas’ explains Westman. ‘You end up looking a little too makeup when you use too many products, so I like to keep it simple and pat on a buttery, blendable foundation’. When working with clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Julianne Moore, Westman only covers the problem areas, that blurs it out to give the skin a natural – looking glow. And because redness can be tricky when working with blush, she recommends starting with a mild tinted formula. ‘I like to use cream blushes as you can really control the saturation’, she explains, adding that you should focus on the apples of the cheeks and lightly blended the hue until it really mimics a natural flush. While dealing with sensitive skin is often frustrating, there’s solace in today’s ever – growing market, which has never been better suited for showing skin TLC while steering cleat of irritants. ‘I know the the products that I choose are helping to improve my skin, not just cover it up’, explains Westman, citing her own journey with rosacea. ‘It really helps me to stay positive and keep confident’.


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