How to Keep Skin Healthy as Weather Cools

A longtime aesthetician on the continued importance of sunscreen, the best foods for a fresh face, and the common product most people don't need.

Lower temperatures have a drying effect on skin. For expert advice on how to keep skin healthy in any weather, we consulted with licensed aesthetician Sondra Counts, whose spa, Sondra’s Skin and Body Care (250 Main Street, Pennington), has been revitalizing skin for 19 years.

Do we need sun protection in the winter? Is it different than what we use in the summer?
Yes! Despite the cooler weather and darker days, the harmful rays are just as strong in the winter. Do not ease off of the sunscreen. I recommend that all of my clients wear sunscreen daily to prevent cumulative sun exposure. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30—a shot-glass full is sufficient.

Just like summers are not the same as winter, we need to modify our regimen to deal with seasonal change. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are cold and dry. Be sure to add a hydrating lip balm—your lips will thank you. 

[RELATED: 5 Stylish Ways to Treat Yourself This Fall]

What is the most important step in keeping winter skin fresh and healthy?
Follow your skin care regimen. Drink water, eat leafy greens, fill up on vitamin C-rich veggies and fruits—orange, yellow and red. Eat the rainbow! 

In what order should we use skin-care products?
Most people don’t need a toner. It’s beneficial if you have oily, acne-prone skin. I do recommend a hydrating mist for dry skin in the cold winter months. You can start as early as your 20s using serum, eye cream and moisturizer. The best order is cream cleanser or cleansing oil, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen.

Advise us on cold weather care for hands and feet.
TLC for your hands and feet in cold weather should begin as early as October. Start with a manicure and pedicure. A great add-on is a warm, paraffin-wax dip. For a DIY home-care solution, mix petroleum jelly and witch hazel. Slather it on hands and feet at night, cover with plastic bags, elevate your legs, then close your eyes and relax.

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