Now that summer’s warmth is a distant memory and everyone’s sandals have been shelved, footcare often falls to the bottom of the beauty priority list. But even though your feet aren’t on display in winter, they can still take a beating. We asked Mary Lupo, M.D., a dermatologist in New Orleans, for advice on how to keep your feet in top shape through the cold-weather months— until it’s time for them to see the light again:
Feet aren’t usually exposed in winter, so what causes them to become cracked and damaged?
Heaters easily dehydrate the skin, and the hotter bath and shower temperatures people seem to like in winter can also be harmful to skin. There are fewer oil glands in the feet to protect them from drying out.
What is the best way to get rid of cracks and calluses?
Hands down: Theraplex FT Exfoliating Emollient. It’s a game changer! It contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the dead, dried skin cells, hydrators for deep nourishment, and even a little menthol to deodorize.
How should we care for our feet on a daily basis now that the weather is cooler? Apply a skin-sloughing foot cream with glycolic or salicylic acid, then slip on a pair of socks on for at least 15 minutes. Even better, wear your socks overnight or do this routine right after you shower before stepping out for the day. It’s so easy and will keep your feet baby soft all year!
—By Jaclyn Smock, beauty intern
If anyone knows the truth about acne, it’s Katie Rodan, M.D., and Kathy Fields, M.D., the dermatologist founders of billion-dollar blemish brand Proactiv. To kick off June National Acne Awareness Month, we’re sharing some surprising acne facts from their book, The Doctors’ Secrets to a Lifetime of Clear Skin:
- Acne is the #1 skin disease in the world—in the U.S., 85 percent of people have it sometime in their lives.
- They might do a number on your waistline, but sweets like chocolate and soda, and greasy foods like French fries don’t cause acne.
- It may seem like the sun dries up your pimples, but sun exposure actually makes acne worse over time: Your skin sheds the UV-damaged cells, which clog pores and can trigger breakouts.
- The dark spots that appear on skin after a blemish are called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Unlike acne scars, they’re not permanent but can take weeks to heal.
- Don’t spot treat: The red pimple that erupts on your skin is actually the last stage of a blemish’s life. Always treat your whole face to attack acne at every stage (even when it’s not yet visible).
- Keep products with the zit-fighting ingredient benzoyl peroxide away from clothes and fabrics; it’s oxidizing action will bleach them.
- Avoid facial scrubs with ground fruit or nut bits, like apricot pits or walnut, when trying to deep-clean skin: Their sharp edges can make micro-tears in your skin, causing further inflammation and irritation.
- Don’t wash your face more than twice a day: Stripping your skin of oil prompts your body to produce more, exacerbating acne and oiliness.