Windburn, sunburn, or just extreme dryness? If you’re going on a beach or ski vacation this winter your skin will need some extra TLC. Luckily, there are easy, all-natural solutions for any complexion emergency—no matter where you spend your holiday. We chatted with celebrity skin care guru Sonya Dakar— who keeps Sofia Vergara, Bar Rafaeli, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s complexions clear—and learned how to cure the worst cold weather skin woes.
If you’re hitting the slopes this winter, windburn can be a major problem. The icy air can cause painful blistering on exposed skin and “in some cases it can even cause you to develop rosacea,” says Sonya. Fortunately, there’s a one-step solution to curing the painful effect. "Slather flaxseed oil, sweet almond oil, or grape seed oil, onto your burn every 30 minutes," suggests Sonya. "These oils are packed with omega 3, 6, and 9, which will calm skin and relieve discomfort within 24 hours. In three days, the burn will peel off and reveal a brand new, radiant surface."
Don’t slack on the SPF just because you’re in the snow. A higher altitude means UV rays reach you even faster in cold mountainous climates. “The rays reflect off the snow and are double the strength," says Sonya. Another common cause of sunburn during the wintertime? Hitting the tropics and forgetting that your skin—which hasn’t been exposed to sunshine in a while— will be extremely sensitive to the powerful rays. Whatever the reason for your first or second degree burn, Sonya always suggests one product. "Apply a thick coat of yogurt to the burned area," she says. The plain yogurt you chose must be from cow's milk with no sugar added. "You’ll instantly feel your burn cool—the lactic acid is pulling the heat out of your skin,” says Sonya. Keep the yogurt mask on the area until it dries, then cake another layer on top every few hours. "After 24 hours your sunburn will be completely healed, with no blisters or spots!" To prevent sunburn while skiing, first layer flaxseed oil, sweet almond oil, or grape seed oil, onto skin. "Then apply SPF 30 and top with a light coat of Vaseline to seal in the protective mixture," suggests Sonya.
It’s important to take extra special care of your skin even if you’re not jetting-setting this season. Moisturizing means more than just slathering on a heavy cream. You must hydrate your body first before applying lotion or oil—it’s a key step many of us aren’t aware we skip! "One of the biggest mistakes people make is taking too hot of a shower," says Sonya. "High temperature showers can dehydrate your body by up to four cups of water. If your skin is red when you step out of the shower, the water is too hot." Exfoliating is also essential during this time of year. For a gentle DIY scrub, Sonya suggests mixing one teaspoon of flaxseed oil, sweet almond oil, or grape seed oil with a bag of your favorite tea (try bergamot, jasmine or lavender). Massage the blend onto your face twice a week to increase cell turnover and brighten dull-looking skin.
Sonya Dakar has been treating skin since 1971. She is the founder of the Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills and has many celebrity clients including Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Vergara, and Bar Rafaeli, and has won numerous awards. She is also the creator of her new line of natural, paraben-free products called Sonya Dakar NutraSphere.