On Monday, Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow… which means we’ve got another 6 long weeks of winter. This also means our skin will likely be suffering. Skincare is a unique thing. There are hundreds (thousands!) of products claiming to be a “one size fits all” cure. Our team of editors can assure you this is not the case! Dryness, acne, aging, scarring, and sensitivity are just some of the many issues that interfere with a glowing complexion. Regardless of what the next “miracle cream” will tell you, almost everyone needs a well-planned regimen catered to their own specific needs. We sat down with our favorite skincare expert, Kimmy Williams, to get her top tips for the most annoying skin issues. Based in San Francisco, Kimmy is a licensed esthetician, acne specialist, and the owner of Acqua e Sapone – a treatment center in the bustling North Beach area. No matter what your problem area, Kimmy has the solution. Follow her tips for your best skin – you’ll be thanking her later!!

“Replace mechanical exfoliants like scrubbing beads and exfoliating brushes with a gentle chemical exfoliant. Give your skin a chance to rest and rehydrate by using only a gentle cleanser and moisturizer with SPF until it no longer feels dry. Then, try integrating an alpha hydroxy acid with a percentage of no more than 5% into your daily regimen by only using it once every few days and increasing or decreasing the frequency of usage based on how dry or moisturized your skin feels.”

“Apply sun protection whether you are going outside or not. The UV rays that are largely responsible for wrinkles, sun spots, and saggy skin penetrate glass so you are being exposed to them even when you are indoors. Use a product with broad spectrum sunscreen and an SPF of at least 30 every morning to keep skin looking young.”

3. ACNE:
“Ditch the liquid makeup for a mineral powder.  Liquid makeup including foundation, concealer, and tinted moisturizer is meant to fill in the pores to make the surface of the skin appear smooth which means more congestion for acne-prone follicles.  Stick to a mineral powder that will sit on the surface of the skin and not contribute to acne cosmetica.”

“Do not pick at pimples.  Dark spots that appear on the skin can be due to various triggers including sun exposure and hormones but post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is caused by trauma to the skin, often as a result of inflammatory acne. If you have dark spots caused by acne, the most important thing is to not pick and cause more trauma to the skin as this will likely create deeper and darker marks. Instead, take an ice cube and gently place it on pimples for a few minutes everyday to help reduce the inflammation that causes dark spots in the first place.”

“If it hurts, don’t use it. Many people avoid the stinging sensations that accompany certain skincare products because they mistakenly think this as a sign that the product is working.  But the stinging that comes from skincare products is a sign that something is too strong for your skin at the moment and ignoring it will just lead to ineffective absorption by the skin coupled with potential flaking, redness, and increased sensitivity.”

Click here to learn more about Kimmy Williams. Click here to shop the Acqua e Sapone line of skincare.