Los Angeles’s Favourite Dermatologist on Maintaining Skin Health Through Winter

I first met Dr. Lancer when I moved to Los Angeles twelve years ago. He is an incredible dermatologist and he also talked to me a lot about nutrition and really educated me on the oils in certain foods that are so good for your skin. I learnt how a lot of good skincare is in what you eat. Below, my team spoke with Dr. Lancer about how to maintain skin health during the winter months. VB

“The key to keeping skin looking fresh and glowing is to use products that garner and lock in moisture,” says Dr. Harold Lancer, dermatologist to some of the most dazzling faces including VB, Kim Kardashian West, and Ellen DeGeneres. But before that, Dr. Lancer says, “exfoliation [is] one of the top anti-aging secrets. People often leave exfoliation out of their skincare routines in the winter, which leads to leaving dry and flakey skin on the surface.” However, Lancer says the foundation for long-term skin health lies with diet and exercise. 

“A person’s diet has a tremendous impact on his or her skin,” advises Lancer. “I recommend my patients to have a meticulous diet low in salt, dairy and carbs [and] limiting caffeine and alcohol intake as these can immensely hurt the skin when ingested daily.” The perfect complement to a healthy diet? Exercise, which Lancer says promotes blood flow to the cells and can reduce stress, another element that helps to alleviate problematic skin. “I recommend about thirty minutes of daily cardio, which can range anywhere from running and dancing to yoga.” Post-workout though is when Lancer says a meticulous beauty routine can help in bringing out skin’s natural brilliance.

“Daily exfoliation allows for the removal of all dead skin cells, which build faster in the winter,” says Lancer. “This process enables stronger product penetration, which permits a more thorough restoration of the skin barrier.” And those products should be hydrating during the overly drying winter months. Lancer recommends coconut or olive oils and oatmeal-based products as,  “oats can act as agents to remove skin cell debris, exfoliate and moisturize the skin.” Lancer advises a simple home-made oatmeal mask can be nourishing especially when coupled with hyaluronic acid which, “helps to bring the skin moisture and has anti-aging properties.”

But if in doubt, follow these simple credos—exfoliate, hydrate, and use oatmeal-based products. Dr. Lancer says this is the winning combination behind restoring dry skin and preventing further damage.

Below, Dr. Lancer shares an at-home oatmeal mask recipe:


Blended oatmeal (75% of solution)

Baking soda (15%)

Water (10% of solution)

Mix the oatmeal (generally around two tablespoons) and water together, then add in the baking soda (generally around one teaspoon)

Before using the mask, exfoliate and cleanse your skin. Apply the mask and leave it on for about ten or fifteen minutes, then wash off with cool water

Please consult with your physician before implementing any changes to your diet and exercise.