The Big Chill

As temperatures drop and skin becomes drier, it is even more important for you to recommend products to your clients that hydrate, protect and nourish the skin. "This is the time that dry skin goes haywire and eczema flares up," says Annet King, director of education for Dermalogica. "Synthetic clothing, wool sweaters and dry central heating systems can worsen the condition."

Products that hydrate and protect the skin are crucial in the winter when air is colder.
Products that hydrate and protect the skin are crucial in the winter when air is colder.

It's a good idea to update your service menu to include paraffin wax body, hand and foot treatments. "Paraffin is an old therapy with great moisturizing benefits," says King, who also suggests offering winter specials like hot stone massage, thermal mud massage, thermal body therapy treatments and herbal linen wraps. "Or offer full body soaks and steep with warming herbs like clove, ginger, sandalwood, thyme and allspice."

King recommends that your clients make a few adjustments to their skincare regimen during the winter months, such as choosing creamy gel cleansers with low-foam formulas—the higher the foam, the more drying to the skin—and layering on protection to preserve the barrier function. "Use boosters and moisturizers instead of one thick, oily cream," King says. Moisture- and vitamin-rich cream masques used once a week can also help keep skin in optimum condition.

Skincare products have become increasingly sophisticated of late. Dermalogica Super Rich Repair, for example, is a superconcentrated, heavyweight cream that combats chronically dry, dehydrated and prematurely aging skin while it repairs and protects. The company's richest moisturizer, it replenishes barrier lipids, soothes and insulates skin from extreme environmental elements and fights inflammation.

To help provide wintertime skin protection from indoor light and pollutants, Bioelements has introduced Lutein Indoor Protective Day Creme, the first and only product on the market to address harmful blue light, which makes it the perfect moisturizer for the long indoor days ahead this winter. Developed through cutting-edge research, this revolutionary moisturizer utilizes 100-percent natural lutein derived from the petal of the marigold flower. The natural yellow carotenoid pigment found only in lutein absorbs and filters out potentially damaging blue light from visible light. What's more, unlike sunscreen ingredients, lutein has multiple benefits because it is a highly effective antioxidant that protects the skin from indoor pollution and increases skin hydration.


Kenneth Mark MD Antioxidant Hydrating Cream utilizes a breakthrough antioxidant called astaxanthin that's 1,000 times more potent than vitamin E. Created by Kenneth Mark, M.D., a renowned dermatologist practicing in Aspen, CO, New York City, Southampton, NY, and East Hampton, NY, the unique formulation combines astaxanthin with seven other antioxidants to help reduce melanin production and prevent collagen breakdown. Meanwhile, Glotherapeutics GloBarrier Balm Facial Moisturizer with martini oil, vitamin E and squalane provides immediate relief for dry, chapped skin.

Founded in Paris in the early 1970s by a renowned French biochemist, Biologique Recherche is a complete system that works with the skin, not against it, to help it balance and heal itself. All of the products in the line work to enrich the natural moisturizing factor and fortify the lipids composing the intercellular cement. Take the Hydrating Face Emulsion, which is rich in vegetal complex and fatty acids. The thin emulsion hydrates and protects the epidermis from climatic aggressions such as wind, cold and sun. Better yet, it contains a natural solar filter.


From Sweden comes Själ Skincare, a visionary new hybrid that is totally original. The line integrates elements of Chinese, Tibetan, Ayurvedic, homeopathic and vibrational medicine with the latest innovations in biotechnology and bio-osmotic power. The Kura Intuitif Cellular Repair Cream not only hydrates and evens skin tone, but also smooths and protects skin.

For clients who prefer products that go the botanical route, there's Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream, a light but intensive facial cream infused with 100-percent pure macadamia nut and avocado oils, manuka honey, vitamin E and shea butter to leave the skin feeling refreshed, healthy and energized. Another product to try is John Amico Faces Phytosome Nutrient Creme, an antioxidant cocktail fortified with natural herbs and essential oils that restore elasticity and skin moisture. The pure, potent cosmeceutical line EmerginC harnesses the anti-aging power of minerals to improve skin's texture. The company's Active Hydrating Complex is a superb lightweight gel which contains a unique apple and water complex for phenomenal hydration, as well as an active B-vitamin complex and aloe vera gel. Karin Herzog Calming Camomille Face Cream is the first of its kind in the oxygen collection, pairing 1-percent revitalizing and toning oxygen with soothing chamomile and botanicals. The organic line Hollybeth's includes Rose & Geranium Face Moisturizer, which hydrates and softens even the most sensitive skin. The nourishing, balancing effects of rose and geranium leave skin silky smooth, while vitamin E wards off environmental toxins.

Masks are another option for clients whose skin needs extra moisture. Amala—the word means "most pure" in Sanskrit—is certified organic by Ecovert. The company, which is based in Germany, uses whole-plant ingredients grown in their ideal habitats to ensure their peak potential. Try the Hydrating Yogurt Mask with jasmine, macadamia nut and wild rose. Inspired by the herbal traditions of the Indonesian archipelago, Juara draws from the time-honored focus of Indonesian herbal medicine for well-being, prevention and natural balance, as well as from innovation in modern science. The brand's Turmeric Antioxidant Facial Mask provides powerful antioxidant protection from free radicals that can damage skin. Turmeric, traditionally used in Indonesian royal beauty rituals, renders the skin glowing and radiant. O - m Aroma packs a powerful punch in a multitasking three-step face system. Free of parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances and dyes, the Miel de Fleurs Manuka Honey Masque is infused with organic apricot and papaya extracts.

While the delicate skin around the eyes always requires extra attention, it's even more important in the cold weather. Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Creme is formulated with lady's thistle, organic argan oil and cactus. Peptides and plant-derived buckwheat wax also help minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Another product to try is Gerda Spillmann Eye Region Cream with chamomile.

Repêchage founder Lydia Sarfati points out that during the winter months, our skin becomes drier because the humidity level goes down, and it's not just our faces we need to worry about. "Even if we don't change our cleansing routine, our skin will feel dehydrated and flaky," says Sarfati, who recommends her Honey Body Polish All Over Body Scrub with crushed almonds to exfoliate dry skin. "Honey is the world's sweetest humectant," she says. "It actually attracts moisture to the skin."

Of course, once skin is exfoliated, all it requires is a product like Gabriel Couzian Highly Nourishing Body Cream, which contains olive and sweet almond oils, beeswax, shea butter, bisabolol, aloe vera and glycerin. The rich, cortisone-free cream relieves dehydrated, flaky or chapped skin, redness and irritation, providing long-term results by encouraging the skin to rebuild itself with renewed resilience and strength. —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY