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Brrrrr! It’s cold in here! Yes, that crisp chill you feel is the first hint of winter, which means it’s time to protect yourself. We chatted with Aveda’s Manager of Professional Skin and Spa Education, the legendary Helga Hefner, about why you may want to switch to oils in the winter and the best way to layer your skin care when the colder months are on the horizon.


“First things first,” Helga says. “Spring and fall are the transitional seasons; summer and winter are the extremes. It’s important during the extreme seasons to pay attention and prepare for what’s to come.”


Some say you shouldn’t exfoliate in the winter, but Helga says that’s a common misconception. “You want to continue to exfoliate in the winter months because your skin still turns over, just don’t do anything aggressive,” she says. Her number one rule for winter exfoliation is to be gentler with your skin; she recommends doing your exfoliation at night, because your skin repairs itself as you sleep. For a gentle exfoliant, try the Tulasāra dry brush and Botanical Kinetics Liquid Exfoliant, both of which are mild enough for everyday use.


If you feel you need a deeper exfoliation, Helga recommends the Botanical Kinetics Radiant Skin Refiner once a week. “Be very gentle, and let the product do the exfoliating. Don’t use a heavy hand with it,” she says.


Exfoliation isn’t just for your face — you need to scrub down your body too. Helga likes our Beautifying Radiance Polish and limited-edition Rosemary Mint Body Polish, and she’s also a big fan of the dry brush. Brush upward towards your heart and brush your entire body each day. Once a week, add the scrub; you’re basically mirroring what you’re doing for your face for the body.


Exfoliation and hydration go hand-in-hand. “First, work from the inside out. Drink eight glasses of water at least per day,” Helga says. “In the winter, you can drink hot water with lemon and add a little ginger if you want; that helps warm you up.”


“When hydrating from the outside in, the biggest thing is the Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Treatment Lotion,” Helga says. “If pressed in, it helps you skin better whatever products you use, so use it before your Tulasāra Concentrates.”


Helga also recommends swapping out your daily cleansers for creamier formulas. “Even people with naturally oily skin may find it’s not as oily in winter,” she says. Her favorite Aveda cleansers are the Botanical Kinetics Purifying Crème Cleanser and All-Sensitive Cleanser.


Though it may be tempting to soak in a hot bath or take a long, hot shower, Helga says that can actually dry out your skin even more. “Hot showers dehydrate the natural oils in the skin,” she explains. “As much as they feel really good, if you’re in a long hot shower, it’s going to be dehydrating for you. Take temperate showers or put on a Composition Oil before you take a bath to help keep in the natural oils.” She also recommends drinking a big glass of water before getting in a hot tub and when you get out to stay hydrated.


You may want to upgrade your moisturizer come wintertime and opt for something richer than you’d use in the summer. Helga says to apply any moisturizers when your skin is still damp to really lock in the moisture.


“I like to use oils in the winter because it’s so extreme,” she says. “You’re losing more moisture in winter, and that’s why I use oils like Tulasāra Radiant Oleation Oil for the face and body.” When you get out of the shower or bath, oil up and really work it into your damp skin. (Our Composition Oils are great for this too.) “You can go over it with a body moisturizer too, but definitely do the oil first,” Helga says.


Another pesky side effect of winter is dry, parched lips. To remedy this, Helga says layering is key here too. “Use a washcloth, put it in warm water and gently exfoliate your lips to get rid of dead skin,” she says. “Then hydrate and treat your lips with the Feed My Lips Renewing Lip Treatment first, and finish with our Lip Saver.” The Lip Treatment treats dryness, and Lip Saver stays on the surface of your skin to help prevent that hydration from disappearing.


And if your home or office is really dry, invest in a humidifier to put more moisture into the air. “It’s especially helpful at night because that’s when we lose the most moisture,” Helga says. You’ll be giving “beauty sleep” a whole new meaning — and laughing in the face of winter.


Lastly, don’t neglect your SPF in winter. “This is very important!” Helga stresses. “The sun reflects off snow and water so you want to protect yourself even when it’s cold. Our Daily Light Guard is perfect.”


What do YOU do to keep your skin supple and hydrated all winter long? Share your ideas with #avedaskincare on your social media channels and let us know!