winter dry skin tips.

updated 10/7/2019
image source:

over-exfoliation vs dryness?

with the cold, windy weather outside and the cozy heaters pumping inside, its completely expected for complexions to feel drier than usual. it's customary for some clients to have a 'winter/fall' regimen and a 'summer/spring' regimen, to help the skin adjust to the new climates. here are a few tricks to help cope with the weather induced dehydration, until the longer-sunshiney days make their way back to the bay! we first need to make sure what you are experiencing is true dryness (when the skin lacks it's own moisturizing oils - aka, lipid dry) and not over-exfoliation from your exfoliating toners or serums. keep in mind that with enough over-exfoliation, the skin can eventually become lipid-dry!


if you are peely only in certain areas (not all over your face) and your products don't sting or burn, you are probably overexfoliating. peeling is happening because the exfoliants are doing their job - and peeling your skin! homecare products should be exfoliating your skin gently just a bit everyday, but not so much that there is visible peeling. but, the change in weather can cause the skin to exfoliate a bit more easily. in this case, try toning your skin less aggressively, as often times people rub their toners into their skin more firmly on trouble areas, or around their nose/mouth, causing the exfoliating acids to penetrate deeper and induce flaking of the skin. or, you can even skip the peely areas and tone everywhere else, just until those peely areas aren't peely anymore.

TRUE dryness

however, if you are feeling dry, tight and flaky all over, and/or the products are a little stingy or burny, you are most likely dehydrated - topically but also probably internally. dehydrated skin can also look a bit crepe-y, with a shiny + wrinkled up tissue-like texture on the surface of the skin. don't worry, they aren't permanent or real wrinkles, you just need more moisture in your life!


first off, make sure you are using WARM water to wash, not hot, not cold. hot water will dehydrate and irritate, and cold water doesn't render as good foaming and rinsing of the cleanser off your skin (kind of like washing greasy dishes with cold water - yuck). also, don't wait too long in between steps while doing your regimen - the standing time between steps can dry your face out (i.e.: washing your face and waiting 5-10 minutes to moisturize - your face gets really dry, right?). however, if you feel you have to wait between each step for products to dry before applying the next thing (especially your toner), you might be using too much active product. about a jelly-bean sized amount is a good guideline to use, maybe more for sunscreen or moisturizers, (and less for exfoliating serums like salicylic or glycolic, which a very little bit of goes a very long way). you just want a nice, thin layer of each product all over the skin that easily absorbs on its own. the total cleansing and product application (excluding icing!) should really take only around 2-3 minutes to complete.

how to use your products

in no particular order, here are a few ways you can use your products differently. chances are, you probably already have one of these in your cabinet, so you might as well use what you already have versus buying another thing. unless you want to spend your money with us and buy another thing (or three!), feel free! we appreciate your support :) the general rule of what order in which to apply your products is "thinnest to thickest". so this means, toner first (most watery texture), then your safflower or sunflower oil (if you are applying this neat onto the skin, sparingly!), then hydrating gel, hydrating cream, and/or sunscreen.


first step to prevent + combat winter dryness is to alternate your regular acne cleanser with our more moisturizing hydrating cleanser. we often will recommend clients to use their regular acne cleanser in the morning, and to use the hydrating cleanser at night to provide a moisturizing cleanse, preparing the skin for the (sometimes) drying effects of BP. best results are achieved with the hydrating cleanser when you massage a generous amount of it onto DRY skin, and thoroughly rinsing it off with warm water until no residue remains on the skin. for taking off makeup, you can try using our washable makeup sponges to get those minerals off (then finish off with several splashes of warm water to remove any residual cleanser); these sponges also work great for waterproof eye makeup. or, you can switch the order - use the hydrating cleanser in the day and your regular cleanser at night to better take your makeup off without the makeup sponges. however, if you are still dry using hydrating cleanser just once a day, you can use it twice a day, and alternate back to your regular cleanser as your skin regains its oiliness.


if you already have hydrating gel in your skincare arsenal, you can layer this on in the day time underneath your sunscreen, as well as underneath AND on top of, your benzoyl peroxide gel (if you aren't already doing this). alternatively, our hydrating cream can be layered underneath your sunscreen, but is NOT to be combined with your BP. remember, creams and lotions deactivate benzoyl peroxide, so use the hydrating gel with BP instead. if this doesn't cut it, you may need to upgrade your sunscreen to a richer, more hydrating one for the cold season. those already using the hydrating cream and need more moisture can try adding a couple drops of organic, cold pressed safflower or sunflower oil to their jar (any food grade cooking kind will work fine!). you can also try applying 2-3 drops (literally, just 2-3 drops) of safflower or sunflower oil to your skin directly; just drop them into the fingertips of one hand, touch both your hands together, and then pat the oil into your skin before applying your cream + spf. finally, if you are using hydrating gel as your primary moisturizer and it's not cutting it with the cold weather, simply switch to (or alternate with) the hydrating cream and see if that helps.

rejuvenation serum

rejuvenation serum

this serum is a favorite of the sS estheticians and clients alike. it's packed with antioxidants to help correct free-radical damage (read: aging!) and is also gently moisturizing. it also smells delicious. you can try using this in place of hydrating gel, or underneath hydrating cream.


its pretty standard protocol for clients to upgrade to a more hydrating sunscreen during the winter months to make up for the chilly and windy weather-induced dehydration. let's start with the least moisturizing spf's, and work our way up to our most moisturizing spf's. if you are using one of the tizo spf 40 sunscreens, youngblood mineral powder (either pressed or loose) or illuminare liquid foundations (moisturizing or concealing formulas), you can layer your hydrating gel or hydrating cream underneath. the next level up in moisture (after the tizo spf 40) would be the beyond complexion daily spf 30, our lightest moisturizing spf. the most moisturizing spf we have is our safeguard spf 40. if you are super dry, you can massage in a little extra safeguard into the skin. or, layer your hydrating cream, hydrating gel or just 2-3 drops of safflower or sunflower oil directly onto your skin, underneath any sunscreen for an instant moisture boost. remember, you don't have to moisturize extra all over if you don't need to, you can spot-treat-moisturize where you need it, then put your SPF all over, on top.

goji yogurt mask

goji berry yogurt mask

if you're STILL dry (or just want to protect your skincare investment and do a little extra for yourself!), bring the spa-like experience home with the goji berry yogurt mask from arizona-based skincare company, skinscript. this is the same moisturizing mask we use in the treatment room when clients are not fit to peel, and need healing moisture. it's easy to use - after cleansing, icing and toning, apply a generous amount onto the skin (at least a teaspoon all over the face, extra for neck and chest) and leave for 15-30 minutes. then, gently rinse off and moisturize. you can do this as many times per week as you like, and for extra zing - store it in the fridge for a cooling + moisturizing treat.


internally (like, in your body AND in your home)

increasing your intake of omega-3 and flax seed oils not only help boost hydration from the inside out, but also help regulate elimination of the body's toxins. clients have been loving the nordic naturals fish oil supplements we carry (which do triple duty: it can help to keep inflammation down, ups your vitamin a + d levels, and is super healthy for organs such as your brain and eyes!). eating wild fish, nuts, and incorporating more healthy fats like nut butters and avocados can help too. kim's been keeping humidity up in her apartment with the help of the muji aroma diffuser (if you don't have one, you can also gently simmer an uncovered pot of water on the stove instead), with drops of eucalyptus oil in it for aromatherapeutic effects. this helps not only the dryness of inside air which affects her sinuses, but also is a natural way to 'anti-bacterialize' the air while inducing calming effects, which is particularly soothing during the cold season! fun can be had trying out different oils - lavender for calming, rose for soothing, citrus or lemongrass for energizing, etc. we hope to be able to teach you to listen to what your skin needs, and that these tips help curb your seasonal dryness and/or overexfoliation. as always, feel free to contact your sS esthetician or drop us a line at if you need help navigating through the skincare jungle of products, in search of moisture AND clear skin!

Not sure where to start?