A Dermatologist’s Winter Skin-Care Picks
Protect your face and body from the effects of cold weather with these products.
Arielle Kauvar, a dermatologist in New York City, switches to richer skin-care products before the cold weather really sets in. “This helps your skin transition and avoid the dryness and sensitivity that can come with winter,” she says. Here, her personal goods.
A Creamy Cleanser
Kauvar swaps her warm-weather foaming face wash for Skinceuticals Cleansing Cream ($30; dermstore.com). She prefers its milky formula because it contains alpha hydroxy acids to slough off flaky dead cells and comfrey extract to soothe skin. If your face is very dry, she suggests Olay Total Effects Revitalizing Foaming Face Cleanser ($9; target.com). This extra-emollient wash won’t strip skin of precious oils or leave it feeling parched.
A Moisturizing Sunscreen
Kauvar enjoys skiing, and when she hits the slopes, she coats her skin with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70 with Helioplex ($9; target.com). “It blocks UVA and UVB rays,” she says. “And it’s absorbed quickly.” For everyday moisturizing plus sun protection, she uses Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($14; target.com). It contains glycerin and panthenol, both great hydrators, and it’s oil-free, so it won’t trigger breakouts.
A Proven Line Smoother
At night, Kauvar uses Retin-A Micro or Tazorac (by prescription, retinamicro.com and tazorac.com for info). “Retinoids stimulate collagen production and soften the look of wrinkles,” she says. For an over-the-counter version, she suggests Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($22 at drugstores).
A Vitamin Serum
After cleansing, Kauvar breaks open and smooths on an Alyria Antioxidant Capsule ($80 for 50, alyria-med.com for locations). It offers light moisture and “is antioxidant-packed to prevent aging and damage,” she says. For sensitive skin, try Skinceuticals Phloretin CF ($166, dermstore.com), a gentle formula with vitamin C.
Temperature changes, brisk winds, or just a lack of humidity will sap skin of moisture, so dermatologist Arielle Kauvar counters with these heavyweight creams. She also avoids washing with hot water and keeps bathing time to a minimum.
Counterclockwise, from top:
A Rich Lotion
After toweling off post-shower, Kauvar applies Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion ($7; bedbathandbeyond.com). It contains petrolatum plus colloidal oatmeal to stave off itchiness.
A Hydrating Cleanser
“Body wash needn’t be expensive,” says Kauvar. She likes Olay Age Defying Body Wash With Vitamin E ($5.50; target.com), a rich liquid that contains skin-saturating shea butter. For sensitive skin, she prefers Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar ($3.50; bedbathandbeyond.com). Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, it won’t irritate.
Kauvar washes her hands “at least 50 times a day,” so she always follows with Cetaphil Therapeutic Hand Cream ($7; target.com). Its glycerin and shea butter help prevent chapping. Before bed, she puts Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Foot Crème ($6; bedbathandbeyond.com) on her feet. “The alpha hydroxy acids soften calluses,” she says.
When it’s very cold out, Kauvar carries Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($3; walgreens.com) in her purse. “It soothes cracked skin and cuticles. I even put it on my eyelids if they feel chapped from the wind,” she says. To protect her lips, she uses Lipcotz SPF 45 ($7, dermstore.com). With moisturizing vitamin E and titanium dioxide, a sunblock, it protects against dryness and sunburn, which happens even in the dead of winter.
When a pimple appears, Kauvar reaches for prescription-only Finacea (finacea-us.com for info) to calm inflammation. “They usually diminish blemishes in 24 to 48 hours, which is probably the fastest (a product can work), although it might not feel fast enough,” she says. For bigger, painful bumps under the skin that simply won’t disappear or come to the surface, visit a dermatologist for a cortisone injection, she advises.
For Lines Around the Eyes
She gently dabs on Obagi Elastiderm Night Eye Cream ($112; dermstore.com). This is made with copper zinc malonate, an ingredient that stimulates production of new elastic tissue and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
For Dark Circles
Kauvar soothes the skin around her eyes with Biopelle Dark Circle Relief Cream ($40, dermstore.com). It contains 2 percent vitamin K oxide, which helps to decrease pigmentation, and light reflectors to brighten the undereye area. Also, it helps deflate puffiness.
For Dull Skin
Once a week, Kauvar uses Avene Cleanance Mask ($24; dermstore.com). “It’s an important step in my maintenance routine,” she says. “Any mask or gentle scrub used correctly will take away grime and help your skin better absorb the products that you put on.” It has glycolic acid, to remove dead skin cells, and kaolin clay, to draw out oil and debris. If you don’t have 10 minutes to loll about waiting for a mask to dry, use the Clarisonic Mia Facial Sonic Cleansing System ($199; qvc.com). “You can take this in the shower with you, and it’s probably the gentlest method of physical exfoliation there is,” says Kauvar.
For Rough Patches on the Body
Kauvar rubs Alyria Resurfacing Body Care ($80; alyria-med.com for info) on her knees and elbows. It contains a high concentration of glycolic acid to slough off dead cells and make skin softer without irritation.
For Nighttime Moisture
Before bed, Kauvar applies a nickel-size amount of Alyria Intense Wrinkle Correction ($150, alyria-med.com for locations) to her face and neck. “The skin here is fragile and more susceptible to damage,” she says. The lightweight formula contains the skin-firming ingredient Matrixyl.