“I want to get rid of this winter skin and bring on new fresh skin for spring!” I can’t tell you how many times my clients have said this to me throughout my 12 years as an esthetician.

In the winter I often see many clients with the same concern: dry and dehydrated skin caused by cold, dry weather. Lower humidity levels, indoor heating, and hot baths and showers strip your skin of moisture. This leads to a build up of dry skin cells on the surface of the skin. When dead dry skin cells are covering healthy cells beneath, what you see is more fine lines and wrinkles, dullness and you may experience tightness from a lack of water. Although applying a good moisturizer over dry skin will feel good and reduce water evaporation by forming a barrier, moisturizers alone won’t penetrate to lower (healthy) skin cells and help the skin become hydrated on its own.

The best way to shed dead, dry surface skin cells is through exfoliation. Exfoliation has many benefits including: increasing cell turnover (bring new skin to the surface from below), unclogging pores, minimizing fine lines, reducing hyperpigmentation (dark spots from sun exposure), and giving you an all over GLOW. In addition, exfoliation helps with the hydration level of the skin by increasing product penetration.

Types of Exfoliants: Physical and Chemical

Physical exfoliation includes scrubs and microdermabrasions. While physical scrubs are effective, be careful with those containing apricot pits or ground nuts. They can make your skin feel smoother instantly but they can be irritating and too rough for the skin because of their jagged edges. Instead use scrubs with jojoba beads which are smooth spheres.

Try: Hydropeptide Exfoliating Cleanser

Chemical exfoliation includes a variety of methods such as acids, enzymes, and retinoids. Glycolic and lactic acids are common types of acid used in the treatment room and for home use. They promote healthier, softer, smoother, more hydrated skin for all skin types. Glycolic and lactic acid not only work to shed dead skin cells but they also have amazing moisturizing properties. Acids stimulate the skin’s natural hydration level by producing hyaluronic acid in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in our skin and it is responsible for retaining water. Basically, without hyaluronic acid and a healthy skin barrier, your skin will not retain moisture no matter how much water you drink!

Try: Hydropeptide Anti-Wrinkle Polish and Peel Plump Kit and GLOW Anti-Aging Facial which includes Lactic Acid Exfoliation

Finally, remember it’s always a good idea to see a professional to determine your skin type and what products would work best on your skin. A proper skin analysis, type, and application of exfoliating products is key for achieving the best results. A professional can also recommend home care products to maintain results of spa treatments. Consistency of professional treatments (about once a month) and home care are essential for healthy, youthful, GLOWing skin.