Useful Winter Skincare Tips For Those Trips Abroad



The winter season is, sadly, something we will never ever get to experience here in Cebu. However, we know that so many of us travel during winter time in other countries so we all get to experience the season at some point in our lives. We have to remember that changes in temperature and humidity levels must be taken into consideration when we pack. Obviously tropical clothes will not work and even not all our beauty products will mesh well with the climate. That’s why we thought it would be great to come up with an article with some winter skincare tips for all you travelers out there who are planning to leave the country soon. February is one of the coldest months in a lot of countries all over and we noticed a lot of Filipinos are traveling also at this time. Even If you’re not traveling at the moment, you can still keep this article handy in case you travel later in the year - remember winter comes in other months for other countries (like in Australia in June).


{photo taken this month in Sapporo, Japan}


We have asked help from one of our very good friends, Dr. Hester Lim who is a licensed dermatologist (and at the moment living in very cold conditions!) for some useful tips and what to consider when the temperature goes below zero. We asked her several questions, read on for all the important FAQs on winter skincare.

What is the best kind of moisturizer to use?

One thing I've noticed: something your skin may not like during the summer, your skin may love during the winter. So don't throw any products out just yet! Sunscreens can have built in moisturizers, and will moisturize depending on the type of formulation you have (gel< lotion< cream) A general rule of thumb is, the stickier a product, the more occlusive (and moisturizing) it will be. Occlusion is good, because it keeps water from evaporating from your skin (what your dermatologist may call 'transepidermal water loss'). Be careful though, because too much occlusion can cause acne, or a similarly bumpy condition called folliculitis.

For winter, layering is a must (with clothes, and with moisturizers!). Your sunscreen with the built in moisturizer that worked over the summer may not be moisturizing enough for the winter.


In a winter environment, heaters are on full blast. The low humidity in the air is really bad for your skin too, so another thing to consider is buying a humidifier. This also helps if you find that the air conditioning dries out your skin (in a Philippine setting).


*If you have natural oily skin and don’t like the stickiness of a really emollient product, make sure your sunscreen is something creamy (vs the usual liquid), and you can use cold cream right after washing your face at night. If it’s not enough, even Vaseline/petroleum jelly on top over extra dry areas is really good (like around your mouth, tip of nose, etc

Is it advisable to use masks in freezing temperatures or will it dry out your skin? What are the best types of masks to use?


I feel like masks are a relatively recent thing so I can't say I'm an expert. For winter skin, I would go for a moisturizing mask. Masks function with occlusion in mind-- if you have a moisturizing mask, the mask would prevent product loss by evaporation, and leave the moisturizer on the skin longer to do its magic. It’s important in this case to know the ingredients in your mask! For example, an anti-aging mask may work wonders, but it may also contain retinol (a common anti-aging ingredient). Retinol is a great anti-aging product, but it can dry out the skin-- so an anti-aging mask in the winter wouldn't be the best idea, especially if your skin is dry to begin with. A 'whitening mask', or even a 'clarifying mask' would probably be drying as well.

What type of facial wash should we use? Should we avoid scrubs and avoid cleansing?

The use of mild cleansers (that are pH balanced, mild, and don't 'bubble') are best. I avoid any soap that 'bubbles', because detergents are never nice to facial skin. I recommend cleansing up to twice a day, but not more often than that (unless you are doing particularly strenuous activities, or activities that guarantee dirt build up on your skin a la Derek Zoolander in a coal mine). Scrubs are physical exfoliating agents. If you are very flaky/scaly, they can help with the build-up, but I wouldn't recommend them more than once a week, no matter how tempted you are. They can make your skin dry, and overuse can make things worse (dry, angry, bumpy. or all of the above). With skin, it's best to err on the side of safety--in this case, gentleness.


What are the best kinds lotions for the skin to use?

Lotions are like watered down creams, and creams are like watered down ointments. Ointments are the most moisturizing, but also the stickiest and least comfortable (so I recommend them at bedtime on extra dry spots, like petroleum jelly on your lips and nose or wherever you are driest). Creams are more tolerable and would be the best for facial moisturizing. Lotions are best from the neck down (unless its summertime, when face lotions are pretty awesome).

What Lip Balm Ingredient should we look out for?

For winter, lip balms that come in pots, or squeeze tubes, are the best. They are less waxy than the ones that come in 'stick' form, and are more moisturizing. (I may be generalizing, but men don't like these types of lip balms, because they tend to look a bit shiny).

Is it still advisable to still use toners during winter time?

Toners usually contain astringents, which can dry out skin, so for winter I would advise avoiding it, or (if you can't live without it), using it less frequently.


Is it better to wash your face with warm or cold water?

Lukewarm is the way to go! Hot water will definitely dry out the skin, so resist the temptation to stay too long in a hot bath (or shower). Also, follow the three minute rule-- moisturize within 3 minutes of stepping out of the shower. Avoid 'vigorous' toweling off.

Is it okay to spot treat any acne?

That's a very good question. I personally spot treat a lot during winter (because anti-acne medications are so drying), but keep in mind, spot treating won't prevent new acne from forming (compared to 'field' treatment).


And there you have it. Skincare essentials that one needs to know when prepping for a winter Wonderland vacation. It always helps to be prepared. This can save you a lot of time and even money! You don’t what to develop nasty rashes or super dry skin or have to splurge unnecessarily on a moisturizer just because you forgot to pack. Hope you guys found a lot of useful tips! Thanks again to Dr. Hester Lim for all this help!



#travel #beauty

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