Far off are the days of dewy summer skin, the natural result of circulation-boosting temps and humid weather. Late fall and winter bring months of chilly, dry air that do no favors for our complexion.
“Extremes are really hard on the skin,” says esthetician-to-the-stars Joanna Vargas of the Joanna Vargas Salon in New York City, a haven for organic and natural skin care. Vargas’ services blend her pro picks for the best in natural skin care products with noninvasive, skin-transforming treatments like LED light therapy and microcurrents. The result is a menu of cutting-edge anti-aging skin care services that will have you hooked on naturals.
With winter just around the corner, Vargas shared her expert skin care and nutrition tips to banish flakes and redness and keep skin at its most radiant all through the harsh season ahead. Her overall philosophy? “Feed the skin all the right vitamins and nutrients in organic products. Do that and your skin will look great all year round!” Here are Vargas’ expert tips for gorgeous winter skin:
- Scrub Less Although cell turnover slows during the winter, it’s a time to exfoliate less, not more.” The skin is fragile from the dry heat in our offices as well as the cold wind outdoors. Over-scrubbing will just make the skin red and itchy.” And if you see patches of flaky skin, resist the temptation to scrub them away. “Those flakes are an indication of a rash that occurs from environmental stress,” says Vargas. “I would exfoliate less in winter- once a week as opposed to twice.”
- Change the Way You Wash Soothing and hydrating products should replace more drying skin care that may suit your skin during hot months. “I like people to switch to a cream cleanser for winter as I think it's soothing and hydrating for every night.” If your current cleanser leaves your skin dry and squeaky-clean, find a natural version that hydrates as it cleanses.
- Layer Vitamins and Moisture While your skin might stay supple sans moisturizer in the summer, winter requires a more rigorous regimen of hydration. Vargas likes the one-two punch of serum layered under rich day and night creams. “Serums should be used under your cream, night and day. Your skin will need the extra vitamins. Your day cream should be strong enough to keep that feeling of hydration throughout the day,” she says. If your current day or night cream doesn’t suffice, switch to a formula with shea butter, Vargas recommends. “A night cream with shea butter and royal jelly is always great because it hydrates, calms chapped skin and regenerates while you sleep.”
- Go For Good Fats With a change to the way we treat our skin on the surface, it only makes sense that we take into account the foods we’re feeding our skin from within. Winter is the season to add healthy fats to your diet that will keep skin nourished and supple. “I always try and tell people to add avocado and fish oil [supplements] as well as drizzle extra flax oil on their salad,” says Vargas. “All the extra good fat will keep your skin and scalp nicely free from that flakiness which occurs to many people during winter.”
- See a Pro Can’t seem to get your skin glowing this winter? Try a professional treatment. “I would recommend Oxygen Facials in particular because they are soothing and hydrating, which is very much needed during the season,” says Vargas. Get the treatment at Joanna Vargas Salon– or schedule a one-on-one session with Vargas herself. And look out for Vargas’ own skin care line, which launched this past summer, for natural products from a true skin care pro.