Surviving the Winter: Beauty Experts Weigh In, Part I

Dry skin and a lack of Vitamin D are just some of the unfortunate effects of icy breezes and plummeting temperatures. To keep ourselves looking fresh we turned to some of the beauty industry’s leading experts for their tried-and-true tips. Here’s a look at what skin care expert and esthetician Renee Rouleau and internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine Dr. Lipman had to say. Plus, tune in tomorrow for insight from world-renowned hair stylist Oribe, famed makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, and fitness expert Joe Dowdell.

Health Tips from Dr. Lipman

Lipman has spend the last two decades focused on improving people's lives as the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City and when we spoke with him he singled out the below as wintertime must-dos.

1) Take Vitamin D: Adequate levels of Vitamin D are essential for our immune systems to function optimally.

2) Take a probiotic daily: A strong immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut and probiotics help keep your gut engine humming. A recent study confirmed that probiotics could help fight off colds. Look for a probiotic with 10-20 billion organisms and take one every day.

3) Avoid sugar and processed foods: Sugar is a poison which, among other things, dramatically decreases immune function. And processed foods? Virtually all of the nutrients get processed right out of them so they do nothing to strengthen immunity.

4) Eat your greens: Colorful salads and dark greens are loaded with flu-fighting phytonutrients. 

5) Get adequate sleep: Get plenty of it – at least 7 hours a night – to allow the body to restore and repair itself while you rest.

6) Exercise: It helps keep your immune system healthy and robust, so keep moving throughout the winter.

7) Reduce stress: Do breathing exercises, yoga or simply things you enjoy, to help boost immunity, relieve tension and enhance physical and mental resilience.

8) Restore Yourself: Spend 5-10 minutes once or twice a day in Reclining Open Chest Pose. This particular Restorative Yoga pose helps to elevate your mood and energize you when you are tired.

9) Take your Fish oils or other Omega 3’s:These are great for preventing dry skin during the winter and are also thought to elevate mood and decrease depression. Increase the dose if the blues start to get the upper hand or your skin gets dry.

Skincare Tips from Renee Rouleau

When it comes to skincare tips, no one dishes them like Renee Rouleau, so it wasn't surprising that when we spoke with her about the season's dos and don'ts she had plenty of insight including which ingredients to avoid and what the ideal cleanser lather is.

1) Don’t use the shower fan: After taking a warm shower the moisture collects and hangs in the air. If possible, do not run your bathroom fan or vent to eliminate the steam. Instead, allow the humidity to linger because this will encourage the moisture to remain in the air, which will keep your skin comfortably hydrated.

2) Use a humidifier, in your bedroom, especially if you are acne prone: Before switching to heavier products try out this secret solution. Put a humidifier in your bedroom! It sounds so simple but this trick will work, for both dry skin and acne-prone skin types. When we feel our skin getting dryer our first idea is to use a heavier, creamier moisturizer. For acne-prone skin a heavier product may increase clogged pores, in this case, a product switch is unnecessary. A humidifier will put more moisture into the air, which will regulate your bedroom’s environment. Your skin can grab more hydration without causing you to purchase a new moisturizer.

3) Be sure to perform your nighttime routine: When the heat is on at night that means your skin has dry air blowing on it for about seven hours or more while you sleep. The dry air looks for moisture wherever it can get it and that means taking it from your skin. This makes your nighttime skincare routine is crucial in the winter so you can prevent unnecessary dryness. Do this by using a nighttime moisturizer (any moisturizer without SPF) that is appropriate for your skin type.

Often, I find that clients believe their nighttime moisturizer has to be heavy or greasy to last through the night, but that is not always true. The most important aspect of skin care is matching your products with your skin type so you’re giving your skin exactly what it needs.

4) Incorporate more products into your routine: The basics may not be enough as your skin changes with the winter climate. Applying moisturizer consistently is important; however, when your skin craves more hydration, the answer is not adding on extra layers of moisturizer. The solution for alleviating tight, dry skin is using a specialty serum to accompany your moisturizer. Use the serum underneath your moisturizer to hydrate the skin because the damp skin will help to absorb your regular moisturizer more effectively.

5) Switch to a milder cleanser: I cannot stress enough the importance of not only washing your skin morning and night, but also to use a cleanser that will not dry the skin and cause damage.

Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. This ingredient is a surfactant; a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin. These ingredients are simply too harsh and will strip the water out of the skin after every washing leaving the skin feeling tight and creating more oil and shine. And what you wash with is the MOST important part of your skin care routine. Why? Because if you wash with a foaming cleanser or soap that is too drying, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin cell buildup. Then you have to quickly run and put your moisturizer on to put back in what you just took out! It makes no sense! Choose either cleansing lotions or gel cleansers that avoid the harsh ingredient, Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These are better choices as they will effectively deep clean the pores but will not rob the skin of much needed water.

Remember the rule: More lather, more drying. Less lather, less drying. All Renee Rouleau foaming cleansers are sulfate-free.

Check back tomorrow for insight from world-renowned hair stylist Oribe, famed makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, and fitness expert Joe Dowdell!