Feel that chill in the air? Winter is well on its way. And while many of us look forward to sweater weather with relish, you wouldn’t know it by looking at our skin. Between the icy outdoor air and the desiccating indoor heat, it’s no surprise that the biggest beauty gripe of the season is dry skin. However, what most see as a minor inconvenience could hold serious consequences for your complexion years down the road. In the fight against premature aging, winter hydration is just as important as summer sun protection.
While the cold alone isn’t enough to signal a four-star beauty alarm, the drop in humidity compounded with around-the-clock heating are solid clues that its time to step up your skin care regimen. To keep your home cool in the summer and toasty in the winter, your air conditioner dehumidifies the air to control the climate. While this saves you from constantly bundling up when it’s cold outside, it also throws your skin into a state of panic.
Like a sponge, your skin absorbs moisture from the environment to keep its cells healthy and functioning. It also creates a lipid (fatty) barrier to maintain optimal moisture levels even when the humidity fluctuates, like during the winter. Between this lipid barrier and sebum—natural oils secreted by the sebaceous glands—the skin helps combat trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL. If these natural defenses are compromised, the skin’s cells can quickly lose vital moisture, dry out and die. Over time, dead cells can build up, creating a dull appearance and blocking topical ingredients from reaching the healthy cells below.
What threatens the skin’s natural defenses? Anything that strips its lipid and sebum barrier leaves skin vulnerable to dehydration. Talc-based cosmetics, common cleanser detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and topical irritants, like alcohol and benzoyl peroxide, that can cause inflammation all pose a threat to skin’s delicate moisture balance. Chronic barrier abuse can lead to cracked, broken skin, contributing to signs of premature aging. With skin immunity and repair function in jeopardy, lines and wrinkles can easily follow.
Fortunately, you can prevent the type of winter damage that can lead to premature aging with topical ingredients that work with the skin’s barrier to minimize moisture loss. In addition to natural emollients like shea butter, moisture-enhancing ingredients like jojoba oil, liquid crystals and heavy water can work wonders on both seasonal and persistent dry skin.
Jojoba oil comes from the jojoba shrub, found throughout the southwestern United States and Mexico. Jojoba oil acts similarly to human sebum, conditioning the skin and helping to trap in moisture. Combined with other key moisturizers in a formula like CosMedix’s Hydrate+, this highly prized emollient encourages healthy hydration, especially in skin stripped of its own natural oils.
While jojoba oil helps hydrate skin by locking moisture inside, liquid crystals, like those found in Emulsion, help support the natural liquid crystal matrix of dermal tissue and cell membranes. Existing in a state between liquid and solid, liquid crystals help enhance the absorption of topical hydrators that might otherwise remain on the skin’s surface. Because all cellular components in the body exist in a liquid crystal state, liquid crystal skin care products communicate with the skin’s cells to help correct concerns like moisture loss.
One ingredient you’re not likely to hear a lot about is heavy water. However, with a list of benefits that includes ionizing radiation, boosting immunity and fighting acne bacteria, this little known substance is a skin care powerhouse. Heavy water, or deuterium oxide, is water enriched with deuterium, a hydrogen isotope found naturally in the ocean. Denser than water (hence the name), it’s more resistant to evaporation, making products rich in this moisture-binding ingredient, like Mystic, dry skin must haves.
By targeting moisture loss from outside and within, multi-active hydrating products like those in CosMedix’s chirally correct skin care line can help eliminate winter dryness and prevent the aging effects that build with time. Used in conjunction with a skin care regimen customized to your skin’s needs, corrective hydrators can help you give dry skin the cold shoulder this season and every season.
Cosmedix Facials and Products are available at Suede Salon Spa and Body. Call today to schedule your Complimentary Skin Consultation. 856-985-0700