No matter the condition of an individual’s skin, winter can bring about a whole host of unwanted challenges. When the temperature drops, people often expose themselves to overly dry, hot environments while indoors and equally dry and freezing conditions outside.
These changes in a person’s environment can cause skin to become dull, dry, or acne-prone. Existing skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea, acne, and psoriasis, may even worsen during the winter season. Why? Dryness can weaken the skin’s barrier used to protect itself from the world it interacts with, which can lead to worsening skin conditions.
Here are 10 tips for aestheticians to help their clients power through the winter months and emerge with better skin.
- Humidity helps. If it is common practice to crank up the heat in the treatment room to keep clients warm, consider adding a small humidifier to the room to add moisture to the air. Client comfort is key, but the hot, dry air will exacerbate a client’s skin condition during the winter.
- Use cool water. While the weather outside may be frightful, the heat is not necessarily the solution. Long hot showers may sound like a dream, but they can wreak havoc on clients’ skin. Whether requiring clients to shower post-treatment in the spa or simply helping them keep dryness at bay, try suggesting they swap out long, hot showers for shorter – and slightly cooler – showers.
- Encourage hydration. Water may seem like the go-to for internal hydration, and while it is true that water hydrates, foods high in essential fatty acids will do a much better job at maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier. While professionals might not have much control over what clients eat and drink, if they want to see improvements in their skin’s condition, these simple pointers can go a long way.
- Suggest the right cleanser. Depending on what products are used on clients for pre- and post-treatment care, it may be a good idea to make some minor adjustments for the winter months. Check the ingredients to ensure nothing is going to further strip the oil from clients’ skin. Try switching to gel, oil, or more milky cleansers, as these are more likely to prevent further dryness.
- Recommend exfoliation. Exfoliation is a key step in any skin care routine, especially during the winter. Dry, flaky skin is not uncommon this time of year and exfoliation can help reduce this. Analyze clients’ skin before performing an exfoliation service to determine which method would be most beneficial. Talk to them about the benefits of professional exfoliation treatments to keep dry skin under control. It may not be a good idea to exfoliate clients with highly sensitive and extremely dry skin, as this could cause increased skin irritation.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Water is not easily retained in colder temperatures and, as a result, clients’ skin is constantly dehydrated. Choose heavier moisturizers with high water-retention for treatments and recommend a good homecare option for clients.
- Fight free radicals. Antioxidants are a must in the winter, as they help to protect the skin against free radicals. If not already doing so, incorporate antioxidant-rich products, such as serums or creams, into treatments to give clients the boost their skin needs to fight the cold.
- Screen the sun. The sun may not always be shining, but it is crucial to educate clients on the importance of wearing sunscreen all year long. UVA and UVB rays are still active during the colder, darker months and present just as much of a concern then as they do in the summer. Ultraviolet damage, especially when the skin is already struggling with dryness, can be avoided by using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above. Keep some SPF available in the spa to apply after treatments.
- Encourage full-body focus. Winter skin care should not just focus on the face. The body needs just as much care when fighting the dry, cold air and indoor heat. The winter months are a great time for full-body treatments. Pay special attention to the hands and lips, which can become especially dry during this time of year. Take this opportunity to retail any hydration-packed moisturizers and products the spa might carry.
- Suggest sugaring. This time of year, clients may not be as concerned about potential hair growth, but winter is the perfect time to get a head start on preparing for a summer glow. Clients’ skin could greatly benefit from the added exfoliation that is a native part of body sugaring treatments.
Winter skin care really comes down to making sure the skin can retain the moisture it needs to remain healthy and youthful. As an aesthetician, help clients by incorporating great products and services that focus on these elements. It is also important to educate clients about what changes their skin may be going through and help them create a homecare routine that will compliment and prolong the results of the treatments performed.
Lina Kennedy is a chief pioneer, collecting many feathers in her cap. An expert on professional sugaring, Kennedy regularly writes articles for industry magazines in North America and Europe. As president of Alexandria Professional, one of her personal goals is to ensure that each professional trained in the art of body sugaring learns and understands the exceptional results that they and their clients can achieve through The Kennedy Theory™ for sugaring and The Kennedy Technique Theory. ™