The winter months call for a delicate balancing act for our faces – ‘tis the season of dry, dehydrated skin! Dehydration occurs with an increase of trans epidermal water loss (T.E.W.L). This disruption can cause a domino effect in our skin’s defense system leading to increased inflammation exasperated by winter UV exposure. This exposure can also lead to an rise in matrix metalloproteinase enzymes causing the break down in the extracellular matrix which in the simplest terms, results in a wrinkly, lack luster skin tone.
All this change that comes with the new season also signals the shift of ingredients and protocols in my treatment room. Here are a few of my favorites!
Humectants are our friends – They are hydrophilic, meaning moisture loving.
They attract hydration from the dermis to the epidermis and in some climates from the atmosphere to the epidermis. Look for products with Hyaluronic Acid as this ingredient can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
Occlusives – The RIGHT Occlusives can be wonderful for seasonally dry skin. The wrong Occlusives can potentially cause more problems than they solve! Just keep an eye out for petroleum and mineral based products, as those are the ones we want to leave on the shelf and off our face. Niacinamide is an incredibly versatile Occlusive, especially for those with break out prone and rosacea-like skin conditions. Niacinamide increases fatty acids and ceramides in the skin preventing skin from losing water content, and stimulates microcirculation in the dermis. (It’s also and incredible ingredient for evening out skin tone!)
And lastly, I know that with the brief winter months of Southern California there tends to be very little time to enjoy our favorite cozy sweaters and boots! But, while it may be time to shelf the tank tops and flip-flops, be sure to keep the SPF out. It’s a common misconception that SPF is only needed in summer months, but those sneaky UVA and UVB rays that cause pre-mature aging, skin cancer and photo-damage still lurk behind winter clouds as well as reflect off of snow.
It’s important to layer these products thinnest to thickest, as this is how your skin will best absorb ingredients.
Wishing you Happy Skin this Winter!