3 Ways To Get (And Keep!) Great Skin This Winter

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Photo: Maria Valentino/MCV Photo

Once the temps take a nosedive, you feel it everywhere, especially in your skin. That tight, itchy, dry feeling that arrives in tandem with the snow and twinkle lights is one of winter's worst claims to fame. But, you don't have to suffer through gross skin — arm yourself with these super-easy tips for fighting the effects of cold weather on your face. We've even got some inside info from celebrity skin care guru Kate Somerville, plus the down-low on how you can book a private, one-on-one appointment with her in Chicago!

1. Toss summer products in favor of new winter goodies.
It's not summer anymore, so stop trying to convince your skin that it is. You're exposing your skin to a totally different climate (for a really, really long time), and you're not going to be able to get away with the same products you loved in July. Plus, the natural result of the season change is that you're doing the hygienic thing by swapping out products that need to take a hike anyways.

If you've got that tight, itchy thing going on, we feel you (literally). We're totally backing Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream – it's one product that will actually restore your skin to sanity after it's been ravaged by your commute, travel, or a day of gift-hunting. Prevention is also better than a cure, so start now, before winter means business.

2. Master the at-home facial.
We can't always indulge in the facial we're craving (nor do we want to venture out in icy temps), so it's a good idea to become the master of your own beauty regime. Kate Somerville, whose skin skills and products save the faces of Hollywood's A-List, has some advice for pulling off this treatment at home.

"A good way to start an at-home facial is to steam your face after you cleanse. You can do it over the stove or in the shower, using a hot washcloth to steam your face for five to 10 minutes before you exfoliate. ExfoliKate is like seeing me in the clinic. It uses both chemical exfoliants, including papaya and pineapple enzymes, plus a physical scrub to remove dead skin cells. Next, use a serum with hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate—they hold 1000 times their weight in water and keep the skin plump, making it look full, dewy, and youthful. Last by not least, to seal in the hydration, use a moisturizer with emollients. Look for one with peptides, because they help to keep the skin producing collagen."

We asked Kate for a quickie, too, because we don't always have the time to devote to a full facial. "Try a honey mask. Honey is a great hydrator, so it will attract water to your skin cells and then lock it in. Honey also has antimicrobial properties, so it's great for all skin types, especially the acne-prone or dry. Take a teaspoon of honey and massage it into clean skin. Leave on for about ten minutes and then rinse with warm water."

Kate's full of great skin care tips like these, and so many more, so don't miss your chance to meet with her in person and score some tips for your specific skin woes. She's coming to Neiman Marcus in Northbook on November 17, and she wants to see you. Book your appointment ASAP, because they're going fast. Contact Neiman Marcus at 847-564-0300, ext 2114.

3. Use a winter-worthy sunscreen
. Shop for a sunscreen that's seasonal, one that addresses your skin's different needs in the winter. You'll need something richer and creamier than what you used in summer months, but it's still got to pack a strong SPF punch. You're not showing as much skin, but you can still get UV damage from the sun's rays, and all that reflective snow on the ground only magnifies the damage.

Try Neutrogena Age Shield + Repair, Anti-Aging Sunblock, SPF 55 for everyday coverage. It won't clog up your skin with froufrou fragrances and unnecessaries that you'll find in summery sunscreens. The logistics of re-applying can get tricky on the days when gloves are a must, so keep a stick-version of sun protection in your bag as well. We like California Baby SPF 30+ No Fragrance Sunblock Stick, because it has a great, non-greasy texture.