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Dr. Shereene Idriss, AKA the "Pillow Talk Derm," is a NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist who gives skincare advice from bed in her #pillowtalkderm Instagram stories. Last time she was on our show, she shared her nightly skincare routine and product recommendations.
Now, she's back to walk you through her daily winter skincare routine — including morning, midday and bedtime — and her favorite hydrating products to beat dry, flaky skin.
MORNING WINTER SKINCARE ROUTINE
STEP 1: SKIP THE MORNING CLEANSER + WASH YOUR FACE ONLY WITH WATER
"In the wintertime, as the temperatures dip outside, as the central heating goes up inside and the humidity in the air goes down, our skin becomes parched and more sensitive and more exposed to everything you don't want it to be exposed to. You want to protect your skin during this time, and more is more when it comes to skincare — EXCEPT when it comes to washing your face," Dr. Shereene says.
"Avoid over-cleansing your face. I'm not saying don't wash your face. Wash your face, but just use water. Because the night before you would have cleansed your face with a cleanser." (We'll get to the Pillow Talk Derm's bedtime skin care tips for winter in a bit!)
"In the winter, we only wash our face with water. We do not want to over-cleanse our face with a cleanser. Over-cleansing is going to over-strip your skin of its natural oils, causing you to become drier over time," she stresses.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE + LAYER YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS
"As the temperatures dip outside and we start to cozy on up and layer our clothing, we must also be layering up our skincare. This is where the layering process begins," the Pillow Talk Derm says.
"In the winter as I get really dry, I also exfoliate sometimes in the morning." She likes to use the L'Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum. "I put it all over my cheeks, forehead, nose area — especially where the 'maskne' situation is going on — chin, I extend it slightly [to my neck] and then I take a little dab and put it around my lips."
STEP 3: EXFOLIATE AROUND YOUR LIPS + "BASE" THEM
After exfoliating your lips, Dr. Shereene recommends that you "base" them with a thick, rich ointment. "I go between two products," the derm says. "One is the Blistex Conditioning Lip Serum, which I absolutely love because it's loaded with vitamin D and avocado oil and it's honestly cheaper than your morning cup of coffee. Or, I like to use this one by Weleda Skin Food, because it's super thick." Let the Skin Food melt into your lips and they will glisten "for a couple of hours, no joke," according to the derm.
STEP 4: FIGHT DRY SKIN REDNESS + FLAKING
If you have dry skin like Dr. Shereene, you know with that comes redness. Once you've exfoliated in the morning, you can apply a couple drops of this Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum and rub it in all over your face. This can also help with irritation from wearing a mask, she says.
"I've also been having personal struggles with seborrheic dermatitis, which is kind of like dandruff of your face, due to the high moisture areas. I wear my mask like 9 hours a day when I'm in the office seeing patients. So I got myself a prescription for Ketoconazole cream," the Pillow Talk Derm says. "If you guys are having the same situation, a little trick is you can go and get Nizoral over the counter. It's 1% and you can wash your face with it as well. I use it [under and around my nose] to help with that flaking. It has helped me tremendously."
STEP 5: HYDRATE WITH SERUM
Dr. Shereene loves the Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum. "It is a beautiful glycerin-rich serum that helps to draw in moisture and keep it locked in throughout the day. I always extend it down [to my neck and chest]."
STEP 6: MOISTURIZE WHEN AT HOME + NOT WEARING A MASK
"If I'm wearing a mask, I skip the moisturizer because I don't need it because I get way too humid," the derm says. "If I'm not wearing a mask, like if it's a weekend and I'm home all day, I will use a nice moisturizer to seal it all in." Again, don't forget to moisturize your neck and chest. "And anything left, I always just put on the back of my hands," the derm adds.
STEP 7: SUNSCREEN
"Sunscreen is my BFF. I don't leave the house without it," Dr. Shereene says. Yes, even in the winter! "Do not forget to use the sunscreen in the winter. Sun is always a risk for skin cancer, even in the winter."
"This one is quite lovely," the derm says about Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen. "I don't feel the need to wear any kind of foundation or highlighter or makeup with this. It just gives your skin a natural glow."
"Throughout this whole Covid/quarantine/2020 situation, I have been using less and less makeup and focusing more on my skincare, and this sunscreen gives me just enough glow to feel like I don't need to walk out with any kind of foundation."
The air can get dry inside your home or office as well as in the car during the winter, so the derm recommends misting your skin midday.
Pro Tip: "If you're going to mist with a regular water mister, you do have to follow this up with a moisturizer, because water on your skin in a very dry environment can actually be more drying," according to Dr. Shereene. "So when you're looking for something to mist, make sure it's loaded with glycerin or any other kind of humectant."
"This one by Indeed Labs is me-NO-pause. Do not be fooled by the name of this mister. It is loaded with lotus flower extract and cucumber oil as well as glycerin and it's very easy to apply over your makeup," she says.
NIGHTTIME WINTER SKINCARE ROUTINE TIPS
1. WASH YOUR FACE AT THE END OF THE DAY
"When it comes to winter skin, we should switch to milky or oil balms to cleanse our face at night," Dr. Shereene says. "One of my favorite milky cleansers is this one by First Aid Beauty. It's not going to overstrip your skin of its natural oils," Dr. Shereene says.
Pro Tip: Avoid foaming face washes in general for now, which can be extremely drying and are not suitable for winter for the most part, according to the dermatologist.
"If you don't want to use a milky cleanser, what I often suggest is at night to start with Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm. It's an oil balm cleanser and it's also really nice for winter."
2. "MASK" YOUR FACE 2-3 TIMES A WEEK
"After I've applied my nighttime skincare routine, two to three times a week in the wintertime I like to 'mask,' which basically means I use a thicker moisturizer to lock in those active [ingredients] and to restore hydration to parched skin. And that is the take-home message — moisturize, moisturize, moisturize," the Pillow Talk Derm says. "I like this particular one, which is pretty affordable, by La Roche-Posay." It has vitamin B5 and zinc, which both help with inflamed, irritated or red skin. Plus, it's loaded with glycerin, which is a great hydrator, according to the derm.
"If I'm feeling a little bit festive and fancy and I want to splurge, I like this particular one by Beauty Pie, the Japanfusion. A little bit goes a long way," she continues. "Or, Triple Lipid Restore by SkinCeuticals, which is loaded with ceramides which helps to restore your own skin's natural barrier."
Whichever you choose, Dr. Shereene says to apply liberally all over your face and down to your neck and chest.
3. PUT A COOL AIR HUMIDIFIER NEXT TO YOUR BED
"The most important purchase that you [can make] for your skin this winter season is a cool air humidifier. It basically brings the moisture level of the air to around 30 to 50 percent," the derm says. "It honestly has saved not only my skin, but also my nasal passages as well as my throat many winter seasons. I absolutely love it, especially as it gets much colder out. I keep it next to my bed. This is a kind of a neat one because it changes colors. It can also just be clear. It is very soothing."
Pro Tip: "You HAVE to wash your humidifier at least once a week, because you do not want bacteria, mold, fungus growing in there. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of having this. If you're not going to wash it, don't get it," Dr. Shereene stresses. Of course, "I'd rather you get it and wash it."
4. TRY A HAND MASK
"This whole year, our hands have taken the biggest beating of all due to hand sanitizers, hand washing, you name it. On a night where they're extremely dry and I feel like they're about to start cracking, I will treat myself to a hand mask. If they are really bad I will actually sleep in this overnight," Dr. Shereene says. "I will use a nice liberal amount all around my hands, particularly around my cuticles, in between my fingers, the back of my hands. And then I will seal them in with a glove and I will let them really absorb and sink in. Honestly, your hands will thank you tomorrow."
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