When the temperature drops, it's time to enjoy your favorite outdoor winter activities, pull out your snuggly sweaters and spend the evenings curled under a blanket. But going between the cold outside and hot indoor air also means you're likely to face one of winter's biggest challenges dry skin.
If you find yourself using more moisturizer on skin that's itchy, red, flaky, cracked or burning, you're not alone. Millions of people struggle with dry skin every winter. That doesn't mean you're stuck with the discomfort until the weather gets warmer, though. The timing may seem surprising, but winter is actually the best time to seek out certain skin treatments, according to Liney Cintron, CNP, with The Christ Hospital Medical Spa.
Why get skin treatment in winter?
During the winter, most people focus on keeping their skin covered and out of the cold. This actually creates more favorable conditions for skin treatments like chemical peels and lasers to produce better results.
“In winter, you're not outdoors as much as you would be in the summer, so you're protected from sun exposure," Cintron explained. “When you receive skin treatments, you want to avoid direct sun exposure."
Also, many people have a tan in the summer, which can impact the effectiveness of skin treatments. “When you're tanned, your skin is more sensitive," shared Cintron. “And laser treatments can lift pigment from the skin, so you may not be as happy with the results."
If you get a chemical peel or laser treatment and then spend time in the sun, it can lead to hyperpigmentation, which causes brown, black, gray or red spots on your skin. It can also result in scarring and painful, sensitive skin. With more indoor time during the winter months, it's the perfect time to get these procedures.
With experts who listen to your specific skin concerns, the Medical Spa is a great place to get the rejuvenating skin treatments you need this winter.
What are the benefits of chemical peels?
Skin peels remove dead cells on the outer layer of the skin, revealing the healthy, smooth skin below. Chemical peels have a variety of benefits for your face, from exfoliating the skin to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Peels can also remove dark spots, improve skin texture and help heal acne-prone skin.
According to Cintron, you can have a more intense skin peel a few times a year, while gentle treatments can help improve your skin as often as every month.
Recovering from a chemical peel takes about three to seven days. Your skin may feel tender, and you should avoid significant sweating — from exercising or sitting in a sauna — for the first 48 hours. Also, it's important to avoid using skin care products that exfoliate or have acids that can dry your skin for several days. You'll also need to protect your skin with sunscreen, even in the winter.
After healing, you can resume your usual activities and skin care routines. Best of all, you'll have beautiful, youthful skin to showcase at winter events.
What are the benefits of laser treatment?
Laser treatments use lasers of a specific wavelength to target skin problems. Ablative laser treatments remove the top layer of skin. As the skin heals and regrows, the area is smoother and tighter. This type of treatment is used for wrinkles, scars, aging and sunspots, and more.
Non-ablative laser treatment creates heat without damaging the skin. This gentler treatment can be used to improve skin texture and tone, remove fine lines and wrinkles, and treat pigmentation issues.
Usually, laser treatments take several sessions, often spaced every two weeks or a month. Your dermatologist will determine the exact schedule and how many sessions you need based on your condition, skin type and skin care history.
The medical lasers used by the experienced staff at The Christ Hospital MedSpa are not the same as the colored LED lights you may see sold commercially. Medical lasers penetrate your skin and act on the different layers, while LED lights only affect the surface.
Recovering from a laser treatment takes less time than a skin peel. Generally, you need to avoid direct sunlight for 24 to 48 hours and not use additional exfoliation and acidic skin care products that can dry your skin.
After the healing period, you can resume your regular skin care, makeup and lifestyle — and don't forget to show off your beautiful skin.
Take some time this winter to get beautiful skin
Winter is a great time to schedule these procedures because it's essential to avoid direct sunlight after a chemical peel or laser skin treatment. The UV index is lower, there's less sunlight and cold weather means people spend more time indoors.