Healthy Skin: Glowing Up for Winter

winter skincare

A few best practices for winter skincare from Stephanie Peck of Stephanie’s Skin Solutions in Williamsburg

By Grace Silipigni

Between the holidays and occasional bouts of snowfall, winter in Coastal Virginia truly can be a magical time of the year. But our skin—perhaps accustomed to a sun-kissed, dewy complexion associated with warm, humid weather—doesn’t quite greet wintertime with the same level of enthusiasm.

The cool winds that bluster across our coastlines wreak havoc on our skin. The sub-freezing temperatures and low humidity create the perfect storm of dry air that strips our skin of moisture. The result: chapped lips, cracked hands and endlessly dry skin. 

Although there is no “one size fits all” remedy to damaged skin, there are a number of avenues to take in order to regain that healthy glow in winter.

We spoke with Stephanie Peck, owner of Williamsburg’s Stephanie’s Skin Solutions, about her best practices for combating winter skin conditions. The licensed Master Esthetician shed light on a variety of topics ranging from must-have vitamins and diet tips to hygiene practices and skincare myths. Read on to discover how you can crack the code on dry skin:

Coastal Virginia Magazine: Practicing good hygiene is key to preventing common winter illnesses like the flu. How can you combat dry, cracked hands in the winter without sacrificing cleanliness?

Stephanie Peck: The best way to combat dry, cracked hands is to wash them with a hydrating hand soap and apply a hand or body moisturizer afterwards. Using an antibacterial soap all the time is very harsh on the skin and can even desensitize the skin leading to eczema or other skin disorders.

What are some ingredients people should seek out when looking for new skincare products?

Customers should look for products containing niacinamides (or Vitamin B3), Vitamin C and hyaluronic acids.

Master Esthetician Stephanie Peck of Stephanie’s Skin Solutions sheds light on a must-have vitamins diet tips hygiene practices 
and skincare myths. Photo by Sara Harris
Master Esthetician Stephanie Peck of Stephanie’s Skin Solutions sheds light on a must-have vitamins diet tips hygiene practices and skincare myths. Photo by Sara Harris

How do Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C differ?

Niacinamides, or Vitamin B3, improve the skin barrier and help fight against environmental damage. Vitamin C, on the other hand, helps reduce hyperpigmentation, aids in wound healing and helps protect the skin against photodamage, or the adverse effects of sunlight. To reap maximum benefits,
Vitamin C should be applied to clean, dry skin. 

So, what are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture. When fully saturated, hyaluronic acid can hold 30 times its weight in water. It also reduces lines and wrinkles by increasing elasticity and helps reduce redness.

OK, now that we know what to look for, what are some ingredients consumers should avoid?

Parabens, fragrances and alcohol phthalates. 

Don’t exfoliate, don’t use sunscreen and only use thick cream are just a few winter skincare myths.
Why are they untrue?

Weekly exfoliation [even in the wintertime], is important because it speeds up cell turnover. Skin exfoliates itself every 27 to 28 days, but as we age, this process slows down. It’s important to use an exfoliant to remove those cells as their removal allows for better penetration of skincare products. 

Aside from topical treatments, how else can you combat dull, dry skin?

Maintaining your skin from the inside out is important. Your diet should include Omega-3’s, leafy greens and plenty of water for hydration.

How does Stephanie’s Skin Solutions help combat clients’ winter skin conditions?

At Stephanie’s, I customize every treatment to what is going on with the skin at the time of service.

Learn more at

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Grace Silipigni
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Grace Silipigni is an elementary school Spanish immersion teacher based in Virginia Beach and a regular contributor to Coastal Virginia Magazine, covering a wide range of topics such as health and wellness, education and learning, food and drink, happenings and events, travel and getaways and more.

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