Written by Lia Hobel | Photos by Michael Butcher.
Unfortunately, winter air is not always kind to our skin. The cool, dry weather causes it to become dehydrated and cracked, provoking discomfort.
We spoke with two local skin care experts to find out their best skin-saving advice for cold weather. Kristin May is the owner of May Aesthetics Boutique, and Brittany Grabski owns Middleburg Skin Care. The two share a boutique space at 10 South Liberty Street in Middleburg.
Continue reading to discover how you can survive the winter skin slump.
ML: How did you come to open your business?
Grabski: I graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in Health Sciences and then went on to get my basic and master esthetics licenses and laser certification, and then I started working in plastic surgery. I took over Middleburg Skin Care in 2019. I do completely customized facials depending on one’s personalized skin care needs. I also do lash [and] brow tinting, lip [and] brow waxing, electrolysis, and thermoclear (vessel removal, sunspot removal, skin tag removal, etc.).
May: I’m a nurse anesthetist. I got my doctorate in nurse anesthesia in 2015 and I’ve been in healthcare since 2006. I started getting Botox injections and I thought, “I love this more than anesthesia.” I trained for several months and started out on my friends and family, and then with the onset of COVID-19, I thought, “You know, I really love doing aesthetics. Why don’t I just go ahead and open a brick-and-mortar store?”
ML: What are your most important skin care tips during the winter months?
Grabski: Top tips for taking care of your skin in the winter include sleeping with a humidifier in your room to help keep your skin from drying out too badly. Use a heavier moisturizer or layer a hydrating serum under your current moisturizer. Also, don’t take super hot showers or use really hot water when washing your face morning and night.
May: Switch up your cleanser to a more calm, gentle cleanser that’s not going to leave your skin feeling tight when you wash. Secondly, I would suggest a hyaluronic acid serum. Also add a good day cream. Switch from a regular cream [to a] more hydrating one because you know when you’re outside and even when you’re indoors a lot during the winter your skin can dry out, so all of those are really going to help.
ML: Any specific products or services you would recommend?
Grabski: It all depends on the person’s skin. Facials should be a part of everyone’s skincare regime spaced four to six weeks apart.
May: I also suggest a monthly facial. Everybody can benefit from a deep exfoliation. The second step is an aesthetic ultrasound. We can customize serum and [create] more hydrating ones for the winter that goes very deep into your dermis, and then the third part is a LED light that we can customize to a customer’s needs. In the winter, there’s an anti-aging collagen stimulant light. That’s a really good idea as well. I think the biggest tip that I have is don’t skimp on the moisturizer for sure and you can even switch a regular body cream for a more nourishing body cream as well.
ML: Why is it important to see a professional?
Grabski: It’s important to see a professional because everyone’s skin is so different and each person’s skin needs a personalized approach.
May: I think in this area the average consumer, or my average client or patient, does know a lot about taking care of themselves, but it’s important to get someone who has a medical background [and] has had extensive training. I have clients come in that think they really want this one treatment and [I say], “Well that might not be the best for you because the treatment might damage your skin.”
ML: How important is it to build a skin care regimen?
May: I say it’s like you’re working out your skin. You need that foundation, and I tell everybody we can do every injectable in here. We can do any laser treatment. But if you’re not taking care of your skin on a regular basis, you’re not going to get those optimal results.
ML: What’s something that people may or may not realize about skin care?
Grabski: You need to wear sunscreen every day, whether you’re outside or just hanging around the house.
May: Even though it’s winter and we’re not thinking about the sun’s rays, the sun is the most damaging, so definitely do not neglect a good sunscreen.
ML: Any final thoughts for our readers?
Grabski: The top three things everyone needs in their skin care regime is a form of vitamin C during the day, a form of vitamin A [retinol] at nighttime, and sunscreen!
May: We’re pretty much a one-stop shop. We always do a complimentary consultation. We set aside time and we really dive in deep to whatever the concern is, and we come up with a whole treatment plan based on a patient’s goals. We want to build relationships with people and make them feel valued. ML
May Aesthetics Boutique
Middleburg Skin Care
10 South Liberty Street
Middleburg, VA 20117
This article first appeared in the January 2023 issue.