Winter Skin-Care Secrets From Celeste Hilling

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 01/17/2012 10:09 am Updated: 01/17/2012 10:34 am

Keep your skin smooth and supple this winter with tips from Celeste Hilling.

Winter is finally here! And with it comes several things that could ravage your skin -- from whipping winds to sub-zero temperatures. To protect your face -- and put the best one you can forward -- we nabbed some healthy epidermal tips from Celeste Hilling, CEO of Skin Authority, a beauty line carried at Murale.

When it comes to winterizing skin, what should everyone be doing?

"Winterizing skin is all about hydration. During winter, skin cell production slows way down and goes into a bit of hibernation. This slow-down means, without daily exfoliation, dead cells sit on the skin's surface. With this build-up, regardless of the price of the moisturizer you put on, it will not sink in. I recommend using a natural resurfacing agent such as glycolic acid to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells to be replaced with new, plump ones."

Why is it important to protect skin from the elements?

"In winter, people with sensitive skin tend to have more reactivity than other times of the year because of dry air inside and cold temps outside. To replace moisture that is being lost during the day, I recommend carrying a hydrating mask in your bag that you can spritz on easily and quickly. Think of the frequency of spritzing as you do with sunscreen application while at the beach: reapply every two hours.

And, speaking of sunscreen… the glare of sun bouncing off snow is intense. To ensure your sunscreen works for you this winter: Apply to all exposed skin, which in the winter months often includes our faces, neck, ears, décolletage, hands, forearms, feet and ankles. Use a sunscreen that gives you full-spectrum protection. To determine the quality, check the SPF number on the label (those with SPF 15 or greater yield the best results)."

Check out this additional list of ways to heal winter skin -- with captions courtesy of Earth911. Story continues below the slideshow.

The Problem: Dry, Itchy Skin
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Indoor heat and chilly outdoor temperatures can leave your skin rough, dry and itchy. Most of us reach for that bottle of lotion to cure this common winter woe. But the ingredients list on most brand-name lotions usually reads like a science experiment. Go back to basics with an all-natural fix that will quench your skin without chemical additives.

DIY Fix: Soothing Beeswax Body Lotion

What you'll need: Avocado oil, grape seed oil or jojoba oil, beeswax pellets, water, aloe vera gel and the essential oil of your choice.

How to make it:

1. Start by melting three tablespoons of cosmetic-grade beeswax pellets - which you can find for less than $5 at a local health food store. For best results, put your pellets into a glass bowl, and place the bowl over a pot of boiling water until pellets are melted.

2. Gradually stir in 1 cup of the oil of your choice. Jojoba oil works great for sensitive skin or skin that is prone to breakouts, while avocado and grape seed oil soothe extra-dry skin. All can be found at your local health food store on the cheap.

3. Remove the mixture from heat, and stir in 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. If you have an aloe plant at home, just squeeze some gel out of an aloe leaf, or purchase pure aloe vera gel from your local natural foods store.

4. Use a hand blender or whisk to whip your lotion. Slowly add five tablespoons of water and continue to whip. The mixture should begin to thicken and resemble store-bought lotion. Add a few drops of essential oil , and mix some more.

5. Allow your lotion to set for at least 20 minutes before using, and store in a glass mason jar for up to two weeks.

Flickr image courtesy of shioshvili.

What are some of your trade secret ways to protect skin?

Use anti-inflammatory ingredients to beat redness and irritation. I love moisturizers that include mango, shea butter, olive oil, bergamot and aloe.

Take quick, lukewarm showers. Hot water can be damaging to skin when indoor air tends to be dryer. Exfoliate from head to toe to slough off dead skin cells and apply lotion as soon as you step out of the shower to seal in moisture.

Think about your alcohol consumption at holiday parties. Have one glass of water per each alcohol drink to avoid dehydration.

The eye area is a reflection of dehydration and late nights. I suggest eye massages in a.m. and p.m. with your fingers to reduce puffiness.

Forget hoarding 20 skin-care products. In reality, you need two or three. In the morning, you need a mild gel cleanser, an antioxidant such as Vitamin C and a sunscreen moisturizer. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols in addition to restorative peptides."

What is the one thing people always forget to do/add to their skin-care regimen when it comes to winter skin care?

"Even though we talk about summer as the time a lot of hyper-pigmentation is accumulated, the effects (freckles, red spots, uneven skin tone) don't show until the winter. So, change your way of thinking about only treating sun spots in the summer. Treat them in the winter too!"