By Anne Marie Tremaine, MD

The Breakdown of  the Gentle Skin Care RoutineAs the “winter weather”, rolls into Southwest Florida, we need to make some changes to our skin care regimen. The decrease in humidity can lead to dry, scaly, irritated, and itchy skin. While I do recommend a gentle skin care regimen all year round, it is even more important during the winter. There are several steps to protecting the skin. First, limit showers to once daily and use a mild hypoallergenic, fragrance free soap, like Dove for sensitive skin. Keep the shower time short and avoid hot water. Within 3 minutes of the shower, apply a hypoallergenic cream from head to toe to lock in the moisture. It is important to use a cream, rather than a lotion. Lotions have a higher water content thus are light weight and thin. Creams have a thicker consistency and provide a superior barrier to keep the skin hydrated. My favorite moisturizer for the body is Cerave Moisturizing Cream, but there are many options out there.

Now let’s focus on the face. I’m sure it is no surprise, but I recommend using a gentle face wash. My favorite is SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser. The next step in the morning routine is the application of a Vitamin C antioxidant serum, followed by a light moisturizer and sunscreen. Please remember it is really important to wear SPF every day, even in the winter as those ultraviolet rays are there 365 days per year. My favorite daily SPF is EltaMD.

Ultimately, everyone has different sunscreen needs and wants, you just have to try them out and see what works for you.

In the evening, I like to use a retinoid (vitamin A), even during the winter (must always be combating the fine lines!). It is really helpful to mix the retinoid with a moisturizer to make it more tolerable to the skin. SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 is my favorite facial moisturizer, but if you have dry skin this one may not be enough. The SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Serum is amazingly luxurious and will moisturize, repair, and prevent excessive exfoliation from the retinoids.

Let’s finish with the feet. Dry cracked soles are a common complaint during the winter. I think the evening is the best time to repair the feet and I recommend doing intensive treatments at night. Before bed, apply a generous layer of an exfoliant (SkinCeuticals Body Retexturing treatment, Amlactin lotion, or a prescription retinoid), followed by Vaseline, and white cotton socks. Put your feet up and relax!

If you have further winter skin care questions, please make an appointment with one of our providers.

Anne Marie Tremaine, MD
Board Certified Dermatolgist
Harvard Cosmetic and Laser Medicine Fellowship

Dr. Tremaine is a board-certified dermatologist with fellowship training at Harvard Medical School in laser and cosmetic surgery. She has contributed as a dermatology expert for online and print magazines including Family Fun, msn.com, menshealth.com, and ccn.com. In addition, she frequently lectures to professional societies on her diverse research. For more information about skin care visit the Skin Wellness Physicians website at: www.skinwellnessflorida.com