16 Seasonal Skin Tips Every S.F.'er Needs To Know!

In the Bay Area, we can visit snow when we want, and leave it on the slopes when we’ve had our fun — much to the envy of our powder-shoveling, East Coast brethren. Even so, there’s no denying sweater weather is upon us here at home, which means there will be plenty of overzealous heaters running on full blast, very soon. And of course, when the hot air is cranked up, skin dries out. For some, the cold just means tightness, while for others, chapping, splotchiness, and premature wrinkles have their heyday. Trust us, it’s not the cutest look.
To take control of your skin’s health this winter, we spoke to local expert Dr. Eleni Linos, an assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF, who offered 16 important skin-care rules that are must-follows. From using a mild soap to moisturizing on-the-go, we’ve taken Dr. Linos’ advice to heart and slathered on dozens of creams and treatments to help you zero in on your own winter-product lineup. Read on to find the best beauty tips and products for surviving S.F. winters.
1 of 16
Gentle Does It: Dr. Linos says skip bar soaps, which may contain harsh surfactants. They leave skin squeaky clean but are also drying. Work up a lather with Dove’s suds — the most nourishing formula is limited-edition and available only during winter. It foams nicely, rinses off clean, and leaves skin soft with a powdery clean scent.

Dove Winter Care Body Wash, $7, available at Dove and food and drug retailers until March 2013.
2 of 16
Discover Oil: Winter is the time to shake up your usual shower-and-lotion routine and treat yourself to luxe textures. Why not give bathing oil a try. We know what you’re thinking, that it’ll leave you in a pool of grease or will make you break out. That's so not the case. This 100% botanical formula is light, soothing, and gives us an overall feeling of well-being. We swear it puts a spring back into our step. Apply it on wet skin, and rinse off in lukewarm, not hot, water, says Dr. Linos. You’ll never know how you lived without it.

Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, $54, available at Clarins.
3 of 16
Dip In: Lotion may not be thick enough in this weather, says Dr. Linos. You can't go wrong with a body butter like this rich balm, made of completely natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and Vitamin E. Warm it up in your hands and let it melt into parched elbows, heels, and knees. Plus, the stimulating tingle of lavender mint can't be beat.

Nourish Lavender Mint Organic Body Butter, $9.99, available at Nourish.
4 of 16
Descale: Take care of your skin from head to toe, says Dr. Linos. We’re often guilty of neglecting our stems this time of year. Hidden inside jeans and wooly tights, who will notice, right? But, it seems we always find ourselves in a hairy situation where we need to show some leg, and not scare others while doing so. This intensive formula is made just for such scenarios. A one-two-three punch of aquaxyl for shine, shea butter for moisture, and glycerin for hydration rids flaky skin and leaves gams looking silky — instantly.

Nip + Fab Dry Leg Fix, $9.95, available at Target.
5 of 16
Lock In Moisture: Give your hands extra TLC right now. Dr. Linos says moisturizing after every wash is a must. Add this baby to your arsenal of hand creams. It’s paraben-free, packed with antioxidants, and best of all, scentless. It does its job without interfering with your fragrance or distracting your fine palette from that glass of Cabernet.

Atopalm Hand Cream, $18, available at Atopalm.
6 of 16
Target Dry Spots: This little vial contains wonder ingredient argan oil, a lightweight, moisture-packed oil, that helps repair skin’s moisture barrier — which Dr. Linos seriously stresses. It has the most beautiful feel. If you don’t believe us, test it out yourself at Melvita in the Westfield Centre (which, by the way, is one of just two freestanding stores in the U.S. belonging to this French organic-beauty label). We especially love the roll-on application that lets you target misbehaving cuticles with precision.

Melvita Roll-On Argan Oil, $15, available at Melvita.
7 of 16
Go Mild: Originally intended for recovering patients after their nip/tuck sessions, this also happens to be just the perfect thing for winter-ravaged skin. It foams up to an elegant, milky consistency and purifies without stripping skin of its natural oils, telltale signs of a mild soap, which Dr. Linos advises this time of year.

Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser, $39, available at Sephora.
8 of 16
Exfoliate Smarter: It’s easy to get carried away with scrubs and polishes, says Dr. Linos. For those of us without that light touch, there’s the digitally calibrated, 60-second Clarisonic for the cleanest clean possible. Employing a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, the soft bristles whisk away six times more makeup and two times more dirt than manual cleansing alone. What’s the end game here? Better absorption of serums and creams for soft, supple skin this winter. Check out the latest model, Aria, a three-speed, state-of-the-art brush with a USB charging port.

Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing System, $159, at Clarisonic.
9 of 16
Boost Your Hydration: Dr. Linos says relax. The best winter skincare is the one that works for you. We love this elixir because it's customized and you can use what you already have in your routine. Here's how it works: Take your usual cream, add a few drops of this concentrated elixir, and voilà, you have yourself a turbo-charged, winterized treatment that provides immediate comfort to taut, irritated skin. Add more drops for more hydration until you find that perfect level of moisture.

Yon-Ka Hydralia, $59, available at Dermstore.
10 of 16
Protect And Perfect: SPF, even in the colder months, is compulsory says Dr. Linos. Take the chore out of UV-ray protection with BB cream. If you’re new to the stuff, let this be our gift to you. BB cream is a multi-functioning, all-in-one cream that serves as moisturizer, SPF, foundation, and concealer. It has single-handedly transformed our mornings. This one has the broad-spectrum protection you’ve come to expect from Clinique, and it’s on our list because of its calming formula and nice slip — it slides on effortlessly with no tugging.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30, $37, available at Clinique.
11 of 16
Fight Aging Rays: Your day cream should work hard for you. We love this one because it covers all the bases. It has an SPF of 30, an absolute must for Dr. Linos. What's more, it reduces wrinkles, evens out skin tone, and is designed for sensitive skin. We’re totally sold.

First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30, $38, available at Sephora.
12 of 16
Flash A Smile: Keep lips soft and hydrated with a moisturizing treatment suggests Dr. Linos. This one has a cult following, and we’re evangelical about it, too. It feels great because it’s packed with nourishing oils that smooth and soften. It tastes great because it’s made with sugar, a natural humectant that prevents moisture loss. And above all, it looks fabulous because it gives lips a luscious just-bitten pop of color in berry that’s so on trend right now.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Berry, $22.50, available at Fresh.
13 of 16
Lay It On thick: When selecting a night cream for winter, the general rule of thumb is to look for a consistency similar to that of Greek yogurt. Passing Dr. Linos' test is this one, the most emollient cream in Origins’ new Make a Difference collection. Like Goldilocks, your just-right levels of hydration are different from the next person’s. So, try out as many creams as possible before springing on one. A good place to start would be this blend of potent botanical and natural ingredients that provides hydration for up to 24 hours.

Origins Night Cream Make a Difference Plus + Ultra-rich Rejuvenating Cream, $39.50, available at Origins.
14 of 16
Wake Up Eyes: The delicate area around your eyes, says Dr. Linos, may need some extra love. This eye serum, packed with good-for-you plant actives and amino acids, defends against crow’s feet by attracting moisture deep into the skin.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment, $75, available at Nordstrom.
15 of 16
Quench And Tone: In just one session, you’ll emerge smooth and glowing thanks to a moisturizing cocktail (shea butter, jojoba oil, rose-hip oil, and marine algae extract) and toning ingredients (peptides and Vitamin E). It's enough to make you want to store away those moisture-leaching clay masks and harsh enzyme peels, which Dr. Linos advises against during the colder months.

Patyka Intensive Moisturizing Mask, $95, available at Dermstore.
16 of 16
Keep Wrinkles Away: If you're noticing more fine lines, you're probably not aging faster. Don't be alarmed, says Dr. Linos. The culprit could very well be the shriveling effects of the heater. Give stressed-out skin a break with a hydrating, antioxidant-packed serum, applied before moisturizer. This particular treatment restores skin back to its optimal hydration levels by replenishing moisture-capturing lipids. Breathe a sigh of relief ... you will get your youth back this time.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, 90 piece, $92, available at Elizabeth Arden.

More from San Francisco


R29 Original Series