Winter weather is a curse on the skin

Illustration by Brooke Berry

Leaves changing color, weather getting colder and skin getting drier are all common in the chilly months. As the winter weather approaches, the skin begins to dry and can cause irritation for some people. Although sticking to a normal skincare routine in the winter is healthy, there are other ways to protect skin from the harsh weather.

Flagstaff Face & Body spa offers its customers treatments to take care of their skin when the seasons change. Skin specialist Meredith DiBattista helps the spa’s customers with their skincare concerns.

Although skincare routines differ for everybody, DiBattista said a typical routine would be cleansing, using a toner, applying a serum, moisturizing and applying sunscreen. DiBattista recommends this routine for someone who is new to the process and wants to begin caring for their skin.

“This is definitely a good routine, but sunscreen is a key part in taking care of the skin,” DiBattista said. “Since we’re in such a high altitude area, people need to understand that sunscreen is extremely important for the skin. I think this is the most neglected step in a person’s skincare, especially in the colder months. These are the most crucial times to apply sunscreen, because the sun is harsher on our skin.”

Besides sunscreen, DiBattista said face serums are the second most important step in a person’s skincare routine. Face serums are lightweight moisturizers that penetrate deeper into the skin to deliver active nutrients the skin needs.

Senior Emily Dumas said she enjoys keeping up with her skincare routine. Her routine consists of using a Cetaphil cleanser, applying Kiehl’s cannabis oil concentrate serum and a Cetaphil lotion.

“My serum is a high-end product, but it’s worth every penny,” Dumas said. “This serum helps control my blemishes and helps control my irritated skin. Skincare is different for everyone, but I think people should be more conscious of how they take care of their skin.”

Dumas said she had struggles finding what type of products work for her. She has combination skin, a mix of oily and dry skin, which has created problems with her skincare routine. Since she has this skin type, she has to find products that are not oily but will also not dry her skin.

In the winter, Dumas said her skin tends to break out more and dry up. To care for her skin in the cold, Dumas drinks a lot more water than usual and carries lotion.

Although some students like Dumas work on taking care of their skin, freshman Joseph Salmon said he finds it difficult to take care of his skin because he lives in a dorm.

“I live in Sechrist, so I often find myself struggling to keep up with my skincare routine,” Salmon said. “Even though I have a sink in my room, I struggle to find time for my skin. I’m still getting used to the college life, so I have been putting things like skincare aside for now.”

Salmon said he finds it difficult to buy skincare products. He has been struggling to find what works for him, because his skin feels different in the higher altitude.

“I think once I find what fits my skin best here, I’ll focus on my skin more,” Salmon said. “Right now I’ve just been washing my face with a cleanser and then applying a moisturizer. I want to start using products like toner, but for now, I just want a quick routine that will get me out the door.”

Salmon said he feels concerned about how his skin will change when the weather gets colder. He is aiming to have a better routine established by December. He said he wants to add sunscreen to his routine and also wants to try a serum or a new moisturizer.

For those who are concerned about how they can afford a solid skincare routine, DiBattista said people should invest their money into buying serums. She said this is a necessity, because serums deliver antioxidants into the dermis, which creates healthier skin.

“Moisturizers will help take care of skin, but serums are the best way to give the skin the antioxidants it needs,” DiBattista said. “From my experience, people have told me they felt much better after including serums in their routine. Serums are not for everyone, though. People who have eczema often find that these products irritate their skin. Everybody has a different skin type, so it just depends on what is best for a person.”

DiBattista said there is always time to take care of the skin. She recommended if students are having a busy night studying, they should wash their face in between assignments to get rid of the dirt that is built up throughout the day.

Even though some students struggle to make time for their skin, taking care of it in the winter is important to prevent dryness and irritation.