The combination of cold weather, central heating and other environmental aggressors can make skin dehydrated and sore. This amalgamation zaps moisture away from the skin which leaves many of us grappling to apply heavy creams to help fight the dryness. I suggest that we should think twice before reaching for our favourite moisturiser this winter.
Slapping on thick, greasy and ineffective moisturisers are detrimental to your skin. This is because they weaken the skin’s barrier function and alter the natural function of skin self-hydration. The skin becomes addicted to the use of moisturiser and therefore is unable to self-regulate itself. It is the skin own self-regulation that keeps it looking youthful, therefore the need for the skin to self-regulate is extremely important.
Normal skin has oil producing sebaceous glands that naturally lubricate the skin and keep it properly hydrated by preventing excessive water loss or absorption. Moisturisers work to prevent water loss by coating the skin with a substance to trap moisture – replicating what the healthy sebum balance does normally, thus inhibiting the skin from carrying out its job.
Within an interview Dr. Obagi founder of ZO Skinhealth, describes the skins self-regulation as to that of a tree. He says, “A tree gets its nutrients from the ground; no matter how much you spray the tree, it will become dry.” Given Dr Obagi’s comment, at best these types of products are a fast fix that temporarily give the illusion of smoother skin but do nothing to improve the condition of the skin deep down. I would suggest using an oil-free alternative such as ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defence as it not only rebuilds your skin’s natural barrier function, but also helps to protect from free radicals. You can also add to your normal beauty regime by treating yourself to a booster treatment or two, such as the HydraFacial for an ultimate hydration hit.
Product ingredients are also important factors when dry skin. For instance, hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrator, it draws water up from the deeper layers of the skin into the more superficial layers. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are both great for speeding up the shedding of the dead, dry and dull skin. These are great contributors to the healthy glow we all desire. However, exfoliation can easily be overlooked but it is a crucial step in the skincare routine. Not only does it help with dead skin removal, but it prepares your skin for the application of products that treat the skin. Meaning, you’ll be able gain much more effective results from products, as they are able to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Remembering sunscreen is also important, sunscreen isn’t just for the summer. Applying a broad-spectrum oil free sunscreen to the face and even the hands will help protect your skin from unnecessary damage from the cold, wind and of course the sun.
Hands and lips can also take the brunt of the cold weather.