Every evidence-based skincare routine should be based on a foundation of good, basic practices. That includes gentle cleansing, sun protection, moisturizing when dry, and avoiding unnecessary irritation.
Continue wearing sunscreen
It’s true, the sun is often not as strong during the winter. However, in most geographies, it’s still strong enough to result in sun damage. (Geographies that experience total darkness during winter are obvious exceptions!) Making a habit of sunscreen usage can be considered a best practice and can be especially consequential for those with skin discolorations.
Add a skin brightening ingredient to your daily regimen
Assuming that you’re protecting skin from sun exposure, which should always be prioritized when dealing with sun damage, layering in a more targeted skin brightening product can help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone.
Ingredients that you might consider incorporating include alpha hydroxy acids, polyhydroxy acids, retinol, niacinamide, and Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). These ingredients can help improve the appearance of skin tone unevenness and dullness.
Consider starting slowly if you are using an ingredient or product for the first time, starting with 1X/day application 2-3 times per week, and slowly ramping up usage frequency if your skin can tolerate it.
Ask your dermatologist about professional treatments
Winter might be an opportune time to consult with your dermatologist about professional treatments to address the visible signs of sun damage. A board-certified dermatologist will be able to talk you through your various options, including chemical peels and various light and laser treatments, and tailor a plan to your needs. Such treatments may temporarily make skin more sensitive to the sun, which is why dermatologists sometimes recommend receiving them during the winter months.