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Skin Beauty Bar founder and lead esthetician Mika Mathis

Source: Myron Smith / Myron Smith

October and all of its spooky season festivities have officially come and gone. While most of us are looking forward to the next holiday on the agenda —Turkey Day — November also calls attention to National Healthy Skin Month. The chilly temps not only signify the change of seasons but also a reminder to get your winter skincare routine in order. This is where master esthetician Meka Mathis comes into play.

If the name Meka Mathis rings a few bells, that’s because the beauty is the founder and lead esthetician at Skin Beauty Bar in Washington, D.C. With over 20 years of experience in the skincare space, Meka and her team provide clients with various beauty services ranging from face peels and derma planning treatments to waxing services and eyebrow lamination. In other words, Meka is the perfect person to give us the lay of the land with skincare.

It’s no secret that cold weather is brutal on the skin — from cracked skin and lips to all-over dryness. However, adding a moisturizer to your routine is far from covering all the bases. Your skin — from head to toe — requires TLC for your melanin to look and feel its best. So, it’s time to put proper winter skincare tips on your radar.

Skin Beauty Bar founder and lead esthetician Mika Mathis

Source: Myron Smith / Myron Smith

If you’re ready to get the scoop on how to take care of your skin throughout the chilly season, look no further. Meka has gifted us with knowledge about everything from layering skincare to advice on what type of moisturizer to use at night. Here’s the 4-1-1.

1. Daily exfoliation is not recommended.

Most folks love the feeling of a good exfoliation session, especially if dry, flaky skin is the norm. However, over-exfoliation is a thing, which can cause and worsen breakouts, make dry skin a factor and lead to irritation. Meka recommends cutting things down, especially during the chilly season.

“During the winter season, you should be using an exfoliant every other day followed by your cleanser,” says Meka.

2. Sunscreen is non-negotiable, even when you’re indoors.

In case you’ve been MIA, sunscreen is a necessity for all skin types, including melanin-rich skin. And while some folks are only partial to wearing sunscreen when outdoors, it appears that your sun-blocking efforts must also be in full swing while indoors. Meka explained that “people can deal with sun exposure indoors due to windows,” so layering up is key to keeping your skin in tip-top shape.

3. A general skincare routine and regular facials are a great start for healthy skin.

Contrary to popular belief, adding multiple products to your skincare routine is not always ideal. In fact, Meka shared that a common misstep is when “people use various products endorsed by social media influencers.”

Aside from consulting with a licensed professional about your skincare routine, the esthetician said that “cleansing your skin twice a day, exfoliating, and moisturizing is standard for winter skin protection.” Additionally, she shared that “layering your skincare in the daytime should consist of the following order: cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF.” At night, a skincare routine should include a thicker moisturizer to help lock in hydration overnight and replenish skin. 

Skin Beauty Bar founder and lead esthetician Mika Mathis

Source: Myron Smith / Myron Smith

Additionally, Meka expressed that beauty mavens shouldn’t shy away from facials and back facials to help address skin concerns during the chilly season.

Meka’s product recommendations: Image Vita C Cleanser ($38, Amazon.com), Image Vita C Mist ($42, Amazon.com), Perfect Derma Peel Body Wash ($32.45, Walmart.com), Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($18+, Sephora.com)

4. Chemical peels should be administered once a month, while stronger treatments have longer timelines in between treatments.

For folks who are tackling hyperpigmentation, the idea of a chemical peel may seem promising. Keep in mind, Meka shared that a light chemical peel that only tackles the surface of the skin can be done monthly. However,” an in-depth peel, such as the Perfect Derma Peel, which is offered at Skin Beauty Bar, should be done only once a quarter.”

5. Moisturizing immediately after hot showers is a must.

Let’s face it: Everyone loves a hot shower. The steam on your skin in the morning or after a long day just gives you the ultimate pick-me-up. However, hot water is known to dry out the skin. The esthetician shared that “the skin is more porous post-hot shower, which allows your skincare products to penetrate. So, you must moisturize immediately after.”

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