Winter Skin Tips From the Spas at Four Seasons
12 tips to help keep your skin looking (and feeling) good all winter long.
Cold weather can wreak havoc on skin, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer during those chilly winter months. We asked the spa professionals at Four Seasons around the world to share their top tips for taking care of winter skin both at home and while on vacation. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Avoid using facial wipes.
“Often used as a quick fix to remove makeup, these wipes tend to strip the skin of its natural pH balance, creating dry skin patches, tightness and dehydration,” say the pros at the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. “Always clean your skin before bedtime with a cleansing balm or facial wash.” Cleansing your skin removes impurities and makeup, and it de-clogs the pores, which makes your skin feel refreshed and allows it to breathe overnight. Using a night-time facial oil or night cream will further assist with healing and repair. Try Vaishaly’s Cleansing Balm, Night Nourisher or night cream.
2. Don’t lick those lips.
“Lips can get extra dry during the winter, and the natural reaction to lick them can make them crack. Exfoliate your lips as you would your face, and make sure to use a hydrating lip balm, avoiding anything with alcohol as an ingredient,” says Debbie DeLuna, aesthetician at the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. One easy way to gently exfoliate dry skin from your lips is with a soft-bristle or baby toothbrush.
3. Just fake it.
Is your skin pale or dull during the winter? “Fake it!” says AnneMarie Dillon, spa manager at Four Seasons Hotel Dublin. “A light, gradual fake tan can give you a glow that will bring sunshine to your winter days. We love Winter Skin by Eco Tan, a gradual every-day tan made naturally with no parabens or other nasties.”
4. Get your vitamins (C, that is).
Vitamin C shouldn’t be reserved just for when you feel a cold coming on. Michele McKamie, aesthetician at the Spa at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, suggests applying a vitamin C serum to your skin every morning to make the most of its restorative properties. “Vitamin C neutralises free radicals found in our environment that break down collagen and elasticity,” she says. “It helps strengthen our skin to prevent discolouration and broken capillaries.” McKamie recommends trying Ling’s Hi-Vitamin C 12% serum.
5. Stick to weekly maintenance.
“Exfoliate once a week; dead skin cells prevent moisturizing creams from penetrating the epidermis,” says Verena Lasvigne-Fox, senior spa director at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. She also recommends sleeping once a week with a moisturising mask on to really show your skin some love.
6. Treat your hands and feet.
“Cracked heels and dry feet are common in the cold winter months,” says Filipa Batalha, spa director at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler. “We suggest doing an at-home foot mask to help restore moisture. Using a rich foot cream such as Gehwol, apply a thick layer to your feet and wrap in Saran. Let it absorb for one hour.” Batalha also suggests a similar routine for your hands, using a rich moisturising hand cream. One more tip? Don’t forget the cuticles! “Cuticle oil is essential,” she says, “as your cuticles tend to dry out in the winter.
7. Avoid the temptation of a super-hot bath.
“A hot bath feels great on a windy winter day, but the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture,” says Veronika Tukarcs, senior therapist at the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. “If you cannot live without it, nourish your skin by adding a few drops of oil into your bath. Omorovicza’s Blissful Frankincense Oil offers a soothing effect, while Omorovicza’s Gold Shimmer Oil adds a bit of glam.”
8. Employ a well-rounded perspective.
“It’s not only about using the right cosmetics products,” says Emmanuele Selvaggi, front office manager and resident spa aficionado at Four Seasons Hotel Prague. “I recommend using a humidifier at home during winter months, as the heat does not help our skin at all. Second, I would try to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as alcohol can dry out your skin. It is great to drink tea—especially green, white or traditional Czech linden tea—for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”
9. Slather on the sunscreen—yes, even during winter.
Sunscreen may conjure thoughts of warm-weather retreats and sandy beaches, but in reality it should be used year-round, particularly during winter activities. “We are all prone to sun- and windburn, especially while skiing, so it is important to protect your face with an SPF,” agree the spa professionals at Four Seasons Hotel Denver. “We recommend Medik8’s Physical Sunscreen SPF 30 High, which is designed to protect your skin from burning in all winter conditions.”
“Remember to drink lots of liquids to keep the body hydrated—and we are not just referring to hot toddies!” says Todd Hewitt, senior spa director at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. “Water is your best friend. Due to the decreased humidity in the air during winter, your body actually needs more water.” So drink up!
11. When in doubt, ask the pros.
“When travelling to a drier, colder climate, stop by the spa so that an experienced aesthetician can recommend a moisturiser that will suit your skin while on vacation in a new environment,” suggests Emily Richey, spa director at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. Her advice on the matter? “Usually, a more emollient, heavier cream will help protect against the winter elements.”
12. It’s not too late!
For those who forgot to take precautionary steps before stepping out into the harsh winter elements, worry not, say the folks at the Spa at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole: “We suggest applying Epicuren’s Noni Herbal Elixir, which helps with windburn, or the Brazilian Propolis Lotion and Protein Mist.”