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Ask Cheryl: How Do I Treat My Winter Skin?

Winter’s coming. And when the seasons change, we accommodate by transitioning our clothes, our homes, even our exercise regimens. So why wouldn’t we transition our skin as well? When temperatures go down, our skin dries up. If we don’t show our complexion a little TLC, a change in the weather could leave our faces looking weathered. To avoid this virtual keratin desert of dry flakes and rough patches, it’s time to overhaul your skin care.

The expert team of physicians, facial cosmetic surgeons, and nurses at SkinHealth Centers is poised to help you put your best face forward no matter the forecast.


SkinHealth Centers founder Cheryl Clarkson gives us the best tips for transitioning your skin care through the seasons.

Q: My skin is so dull and I miss my summertime healthy glow. What can I do?

A: From outdoor air to indoor heaters, dry air robs your skin of moisture. Exfoliation is the key to springing back. Whether it’s from summer sun damage or the affects of colder weather, our skin builds up a layer of dead skin cells that need to be removed. Not only does this layer make our skin lackluster, but when you apply a moisturizer, it sits on top of it and doesn’t penetrate to do its job. At SkinHealth, we have several ways to slough off the rough stuff that will leave you with healthier looking and softer feeling skin.

Q: What are some ways I can exfoliate my skin?

A: Whether you choose from a mechanical exfoliation or chemical peel, there’s a way to treat your skin safely that will uncover a fresh face. For mechanical choices, microdermabrasion uses crystals or diamonds to blast away those dry skin cells. This treatment is perfect for younger and normal complexions, and is a favorite among men. If you’re more sensitive, try our Hydrasonic Skin Therapy that uses a machine that emits high-frequency sonic waves to exfoliate gently. If you’re choosing a peel, there’s a chemical suited for your complexion. These involve the application of an agent, such as glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid, to gently lift and dissolve dead skin cells.

Q: I have sensitive skin but I still want the benefits of exfoliation. What’s the best method for me?

A: Having sensitive skin doesn’t mean you should shy away from exfoliation. There are several ways for you to reap the benefits. SkinHealth’s Hydrasonic Skin Therapy provides thorough, consistent exfoliation without irritation because it exchanges the crystals, salts or chemicals of traditional exfoliating treatments for high-frequency sonic waves. This makes it a gentle alternative for sensitive skin to exfoliate dead skin to uncover clear and radiant skin. Although the term “chemical peel” sounds harsh, there are plenty of mild ones to choose from that do the work minus the irritation and redness. Sensitive skin can benefit from lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid naturally derived from milk that sloughs off dead skin and helps skin maintain its ideal PH factor. Another choice might be an enzyme peel, which is a blend of natural fruit ingredients (or enzymes) that dissolve dead cells.

Q: I just exfoliated my skin. What’s the next step to hydrating it?

A: Your skin is now ready to accept highly hydrating products. Since dead skin cells act like a roadblock to skin care, by removing them you’re allowing ingredients to penetrate and work their magic. Look for one with humectants, which grab onto water and hold it to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best, holding up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. Green tea moisturizers, like SkinHealth’s Vital T, can also calm and soothe skin. Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants that can help minimize free radical-induced damage and visible signs of aging. The consistency of your moisturizer is individual, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different types until you find one that suites you.

SkinHealth Centers has two locations – 37 Newbury Street, 5th Floor in Boston and 251 Washington Street in Wellesley Hills www.skinhealthcenters.com . Learn more and book your appointment here.