If your new year’s resolution involves health and wellness, don’t forget about your skin. 

As your body’s largest organ, skin often reflects your overall health and lifestyle choices. And during a harsh New England winter with lots of time spent in the dehydrating indoors, your skin may not be looking or feeling its best.

For some expert advice on overcoming winter skin issues, we asked Angelica Walker, owner of Newport Skin Therapy and one of Newport’s most sought-after skin specialists, about how to best care for and protect skin during an Aquidneck Island winter. Angelica is a Licensed Aesthetician and Certified Acne Specialist with advanced education in facial lifting, sculpting and lymphatic drainage massage technique. She has a loyal following of local clientele and is currently booking new clients three months in advance.

Read on for Angelica’s expert advice on winter skincare for women and men.

Should skincare change in the wintertime compared to other seasons? How and why? 

Defining your skin type with a professional will help you understand what your skin needs throughout every season change. The condition of your skin depends on your lifestyle and how you’re treating your body. For example, eating an unhealthy diet will cause your skin to be easily inflamed and textured, no matter which products you use to correct the issue. 

For Winter in general, a good rule of thumb for every skin type is to treat the skin with ultra hydrating and moisturizing products to protect against cold weather and wind burn. If you don’t see a dramatic change in your skin according to the weather- you may not need to change your skincare routine at all. If you’re noticing just a slight tightness, a simple change like splashing your face with water in the morning instead of a full cleanse can be appropriate for you. 

During the winter months, what are the biggest skin issues you see?

Dryness, dehydration, congestion in the nose, forehead chin and jawline. Eczema and Psoriasis flares. When the skin is dehydrated or dry it will give the appearance of more fine lines, wrinkles and texture. Contrary to popular belief, acne can flare in the winter due to lack of water and lubrication in the skin. 

What spa treatments and/or products are best in the wintertime?

Facials every four weeks throughout the winter paired with a customized skincare routine by your esthetician or dermatologist will promise lovely results. I personally use a cream cleanser for my dry acne prone skin. Glymed Plus Vitamin C cleanser is my favorite right now. After cleansing and drying I’ll use the Face Reality moisture balance toner. Instead of swiping over the skin with a cotton round, I like to pour the toner into my hand and press it into the skin. This toner balances the skin PH to ensure proper absorption of the rest of my routine and adds hydration. To plump the skin I apply either the Face Reality Hydrabalance Gel or the Glymed Plus ultra hydrating gel. To seal everything in, I love the Cleardema moisturizer by Face Reality. 

Keeping the lips protected with Aquaphor or Vaseline will be better than name brand chapstick or medicated lip balm. SPF is still necessary in the winter! 

(All products mentioned can be found for purchase at Newportskintherapy.com. Complimentary Virtual consultations in order to purchase these professional products are available by sending an email to NewportSkin@gmail.com)

 What are your recommendations for winter skincare for women? For men?

Women tend to have dryer skin in general compared to men but these tips apply for everyone.

To keep the skin looking glowy and youthful there are a few tricks that help during the winter.

  • After cleansing and drying the skin, spritz the skin with a mist of water or hydrating toner and apply the rest of your skincare products onto damp skin.
  • Stay away from physical exfoliant on the face and body (scrubs, spinning cleansing devices, facial brushes/ washcloths). Opt for a chemical exfoliant instead (seek advice from a professional to find out what’s best for you.)
  • Apply lotion or body cream right out of the shower while the skin is still warm and slightly damp.
  • Sleep on satin or silk pillowcase with a humidifier by your bed to keep the skin hydrated and soft
  • Switch laundry detergent to unscented and gentle. Fragranced detergents and fabric softeners can irritate the skin and cause body acne. Be sure to wash cloth face masks frequently with unscented detergent as well. 
  • Shaving the face can cause extra irritation in the winter. To avoid ingrown hair and acne switch to a one blade razor and disinfect the blade with alcohol after every use. Apply a hydrating gel immediately after shaving.  

Aside from skincare products and treatments, what else should Aquidneck Islanders be doing to maintain healthy skin during the winter?

Eating a colorful diet. That means plenty of fruits and vegetables, water, a daily multivitamin, and avoiding excess sugar! Specifically, sodas, sweets, heavy breads like bagels and pastries. 

Inflammation in the body can show up in the skin as many different conditions. The skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s important to treat your body well as the skin is a mirror of internal issues. 

Stress-relieving activities like breathing exercises, staying active – even if it’s light stretching – are also helpful. Blood circulation and oxygenating the body will improve your skin. If you are unable to exercise due to injury or health condition consult with your doctor about using an infrared sauna to oxygenate your body! 

Follow Angelica on Instagram @newportskintherapy for more skincare tips, giveaways, upcoming promotions and appointment availability.