Seasons are changing and that means your routine is due for an overhaul. When we need advice on skin care, ingredients, skin dilemmas and even holistic, but essential, lifestyle tips – we go to the pros. By pros we mean our aesthetician and doctor. We have had lots of questions lately; from switching our skincare going into the fall to what causes rapid aging. Dr. Dendy Engelman answered. Dr. Engelman is a board-certified dermatologist located in New York, and a Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Metropolitan Hospital. Let’s get right into it.
Cultivated: What skincare products or ingredients should we look for when switching from summer to fall/winter routines?
Dr. Dendy Engelman: When it’s cold, there is less moisture in the environment. When you compound that by wind and central heating which further lessens the moisture. In this state, water is lost from the skin cells (keratinocytes) leaving skin dry, flaky, chapped. Even if skin does not seem dry, it still needs that layer of protection. The best way to combat it is layer, layer, layer! When skin is dry, it under produces sebum which allows moisture to leak out of the skin. Now is a good time to add a couple more products to your regimen, think oils, CBD and retinol. Instead of reaching for the heaviest cream it is more beneficial to apply different layers of products to provide multiple barriers.
Oils – I love oils to hydrate the skin- they penetrate deeply in the skin and hydrate beautifully without leaving a greasy feel. Look for oils with Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 to hydrate and lock in moisture immediately so even though you are rinsing the product off (like a cleanser) you are still able to benefit from it.
CBD – CBD is a powerful adaptogen that works to decrease the effects of hormones and other compounds that are released into the body in times of stress (ie. kinase, nitric oxide, and cortisol). It helps to reduce redness, pain and swelling associated with inflammatory acne, regulate the production of oil, and calm certain skin conditions like rosacea or eczema – all issues that can arise from seasonal changes. I like Glo Skin Beauty’s new CBD drops.
Retinol – Retinol can be tricky to introduce in the summertime because it can make the skin more sensitive to sun exposure. The fall and winter is a great time to incorporate if you have not already. Retinol, and especially retinoic acid, work to increase cell turnover, build collagen, improve discoloration, hydrate skin and reduce acne by replenishing the body of vitamin A. With continued usage of this ingredient and overtime, you can see an improvement in fine lines/wrinkles, tone, texture as it is strengthening the skin barrier.
Cultivated: What would you say to those who are worried using CBD in skin care?
Dr. Dendy Engelman: There is lots of confusion about this ingredient so let me clarify. First, this ingredient still needs further testing, but what we know so far is that CBD helps with inflammation. As an adaptogen, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors within our skin layers to decrease the effects of hormones, cortisol, kinase and other compounds released during times of stress. Therefore, topical application of full spectrum CBD can powerfully reduce inflammation.
Inflam-Aging: Rapid aging caused by chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is when the skin barrier is damaged, leaving it vulnerable to infection from microorganisms, pollution, toxins, UVA/UVB rays and more. Basically, your skin is working harder to defend against stressors. Over time, inflammation leads to sensitivity, irritation, redness/rosacea, acne and rapid aging (fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture).
Cultivated: Looks like we will be wearing face masks going into the fall and winter season. How can we keep our skin in the best condition when dealing with acne, sweating and chafing?
Dr. Dendy Engelman: Hopefully, sweating will be less of an issue in colder months. I recommend a balm that will reduce friction of the mask against your skin, keep moisture in and alleviate stress from harsh temperature and wind. My favorite is Elizabeth Adren 8 Hour Cream.
Cultivated: What are some advancements in skincare/in-office treatments or upcoming trends that we should know about?
Dr. Dendy Engelman: I am really excited about the NuEra Tight by Lumenis which targets cellulite. It uses radiofrequency energy to stimulate all three aspects of the dermal components – collagen, elastin, extracellular matrix polysaccharides like hyaluronic acid. It can be very effective in increasing the density of the dermis, which is the problem we are trying to combat. It improves the overall smoothness of the skin structure, thus improving the appearance of cellulite. The before and after images are really incredible.
Cultivated: What are some essential fall skincare tips, and what is your personal favorite way to keep your skin looking its best.
Dr. Dendy Engelman:
Mask – Dehydrated skin can trigger acne flare-ups as dehydrated skin can sometimes be mistaken by your skin to mean dry skin thus leading to increased oil production. This in turn increases sebum, increased inflammation, and the overproduction of skin cells and clogged pores. I love masks for many reasons – from replenishing hydration to detoxing the skin. Masks are supercharged because they add concentrated active ingredients back into the skin in a short time frame. Not only can it hydrate the skin when there is loss of moisture, but it can provide a barrier to limit moisture from escaping.
Stop with hot showers. Hot water can strip the natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and vulnerable to cracking, especially in the winter. Losing these oils compromise our skin’s barrier thus protection from irritants. It is best to shower in warm to lukewarm water instead.
This will reduce the oils that are stripped. Instead, use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. They can lessen the effects of low humidity levels.
Exfoliate – Now is time for your chemical peel. Your skin is especially sensitive after a peel, and really shouldn’t be exposed to the sun afterwards (the number of days you need to stay out of the sun varies depending on the type of peel you’ve gotten.) You’re less likely to be spending time outside during these months, so it makes the recovery easier on your skin. Additionally, peels are often performed to correct the damage accumulated during extended sun exposure – so when a peel is done during colder months, you’re not going to experience recurring damage.
Cultivated: We know there is more to keeping our skin looking young and healthy besides skincare and treatments. What we put into our body and our mental wellness matters as well. Can you share any at-home spa rituals or personal wellness tips?
Dr. Dendy Engelman:
Self-care is essential – do whatever it is that restores you and don’t apologize for it. My mantra is : Self-care is not selfish. Schedule it into your life as you would anything for work. It is critical to success and to combating burn out.
My favorite self-care ritual is a bath. For me, it is some down time from work and commitments and reflection. I love to add Lord Jones Bath Salts because they combine magnesium & Himalayan salts, essential oils, arnica, and CBD, which will reduce inflammation, promote relaxation, and increase a sense of well-being.