Written by Delaney Willet
For novices and product connoisseurs alike, skincare can feel like a daunting web of contradictions, pricey serums gone to waste, and the constant, begging question: what preventative action can I take? Add winter weather into the mix, causing a host of flare ups—dry skin, predominantly—and it’s bound to make your head spin. Luckily, we rounded up every winter skin worry you may be fretting and posed them to an expert: Skin Prophecy’s Dee Dee Serpa-Wickman.
Serpa-Wickman studied with world-renowned physicians, specializing in preventative medicine, dermatology, plastic surgery, chemistry, and naturopathy, arming her with an artillery of knowledge to tackle skin health from all angles. She launched the Skin Prophecy skin care line over twenty years ago, alongside her sister MaryAnn. Dee Dee has been in the aesthetic industry for over 33 years, a career that took hold as she searched for her own answers to aluminum toxicity, which penetrated her skin via products she used daily, making her ill. Decades since this scare, Dee Dee stays true to the mission it inspired: “Treating the skin as a whole—what we put on topically, what we take internally, and your lifestyle.”
In California particularly, the post-summer months can take a drastic toll on our skin health. As fall and winter roll around, “the effects of a summer under the sun become more apparent and our skin’s primary issue becomes dehydration.” Unfortunately, a chillier climate lends itself to lifestyle changes that inadvertently worsen already dry, sun-damaged skin. Yet, turning around your epidermal fate at home is as easy as a few simple adjustments to your routine.
Maintaining a beautiful complexion year-round “requires learning which ingredients and products to add or remove depending on the season. If we keep this in mind we can maintain healthy, hydrated and glowing skin.” A main culprit of dull winter skin is adhering to our summer routines, while catering to a completely new set of environmentally-influenced skin conditions. In addition to rearranging your beauty shelf to include a hydrating cleanser, eye cream, pH balancing toner, and reparative moisturizers for both night and day, Dee Dee recommends taking up these habits at home while hibernating.
Increase water intake. One cup for every serving of coffee, tea, or alcohol, tripled while taking any cold or allergy medicine, sleep aids, or antibiotics.
Showers should be quick and taken with warm water, rather than hot.
Keep your heater at 68 degrees during the day. Turn off the heat at night.
While these quick fixes will do wonders for your skin’s quality, the glow we strive for is only truly maintained with a three-pronged approach: lifestyle, at-home skincare, and dermatological treatments that cater directly to your individual concerns.
Dee Dee shares, “Hydration is key to keeping skin looking smooth, dewy, plump and supple. A few of Skin Prophecy's favorite picks to look for in your products are hyaluronic acid (retains moisture), acetyl hexapeptide-37 (regulates the way hydration moves between the basal layers of the epidermis and the surface), EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor repairs, restores and regenerates tissue), and niacinamide (the potent form of Vitamin B3 addresses dryness and dehydration simultaneously).”
In addition to hydration, exfoliation is crucial to brisk weather maintenance. It can be done physically with scrubs used 2-3 times a week, or chemically with enzyme peels, which are “a gentle, powerful and effective way to provide smooth and clear skin.” Chemical peels can be blended to include exfoliating and hydrating ingredients, such as lactic acid, to provide a dual action approach.
To keep your skin on track, Skin Prophecy offers a variety of treatments that address winter skin woes. The Oxygen Facial restores hydration by employing pure oxygen, along with 87 different vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids, healing wounds and stimulating cell activity. Microdermabrasion exfoliates to resurface the skin for better penetration of your home care products. Their HydraFacial infuses rich, hydrating ingredients, antioxidants and peptides directly into the skin for maximum dewiness.
To get the most out of your skincare regime, Serpa-Wickman imparts the following preventative lifestyle advice.
1. Full body dermatology check up once a year
Lighter pigmented skin types should aim for 2-3 times a year. In the meantime, if you discover something unusual, get it checked.
2. Beauty sleep
Sleep is the key to health and healing. It gives your body and mind time to restore and renew.
3. Stress management
Stress has the potential to trigger all sorts of skin conditions. Stress management is a crucial
component in preventing chronic inflammation skin conditions. Do whatever you can to
keep your stress levels down (meditate, take a walk, exercise….See tip #4!).
Cardio is a great source of circulation. It is of extreme importance to the body as the heart pumps blood, oxygen, proteins, and nutrients. It also prompts the lymphatic system to release toxins, leaving you glowing.
5. Eat well
Fruits and vegetables keep your skin living and breathing, especially brightly colored ones, which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to all living tissue because they capture and trap free radical activity to protect the skin against premature aging and disease.
6. Protect your skin from the sun
Wear a non-comedogenic, full spectrum physical block versus a chemical block, at least SPF 30. If you are in the sun all day, you need to reapply every two hours.