Does your skin feel drier and tighter as the weather gets cooler?
“Your skin tends to become dehydrated during winter, as the cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air does. Due to this, the dry air ‘extracts’ moisture from your skin leaving it dehydrated,” explains Dr Bradley Wagemaker, Medical Director and Co-Founder of Lamelle Research Laboratories.
Whether you are inside or outside during winter, your skin can become dehydrated: When inside, indoor heating systems can dry out the air and your skin will bear the brunt, while being outside the combination of the cold and wind places immense strain on the skin barrier, often allowing excess water to escape from critical layers. Your skin needs water to keep it subtle and healthy. It is made up of different layers, including a built-in barrier to hold in water, which can become damaged during the cold months if not looked after correctly.
Dr Wagemaker goes on to explain that the outermost layer of your skin is made of skin cells which are stacked like bricks in a brick wall. The ‘mortar’ in between these bricks are the fats known as lipids which manage to keep the brick wall strong and together. This cellular brick wall is what helps to keep the moisture locked in. Cold, dry air causes this lipid barrier to become impaired and its ability to hold on to moisture becomes compromised. When the skin loses water, cells shrivel resulting in skin that looks dull and fine wrinkles become more noticeable. The benefits of having hydrated skin include improved elasticity, reduced wrinkle appearance, balanced oiliness, improved skin defense and an improved natural exfoliation, and to ensure that your skin remains hydrated this winter, we suggest practicing the following tips:
- Avoid hot water. Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, making it dry and itchy. Use lukewarm water when showering or washing your face. Also, apply skin products soon after drying your skin to optimally support the already fragile skin barrier.
- Rethink your diet. Drinking water alone won’t help to hydrate your skin enough, which is why your diet needs to be re-examined as well. Foods rich in water and antioxidants should be added, such as beets, spinach and mushrooms, and items such as coffee, alcohol and foods high in sugar and sodium should be limited as these may dehydrate rather than hydrate.
- Use products specifically formulated for dry skin. Hydrating your skin requires you to add water to it, while moisturising your skin implies adding ingredients to it that lock in the water. Simply adding water to your skin won’t keep the water in; moisturisation and hydration work together to ensure healthy skin. Lamelle Pharmaceuticals newly launched Forteve range, including a cleanser, lotions and a cream, is a skin barrier repair system that once applied to the skin, undergoes a transformation by arranging itself into multiple layers mimicking the patterns of the unique properties of the epidermal lipid bi-layer. This results in healthy, hydrated skin that can hold onto moisture.
- Use sunscreen. Even though it doesn’t feel as though the sun is doing any harm to your skin, the free radicals from UV rays can damage the skin’s barrier leading to dry, irritated skin. When choosing a lip balm make sure to choose one with an SPF as lips are likely to become more chapped and drier during this time.
- Use gentle products. Aggressive cleansers and physical exfoliators can remove the skin’s natural moisturising factors and oils, leaving the barrier of the top layer of skin unable to retain moisture. Fragrance free products won’t irritate the skin causing it to become red and inflamed.
Looking after your skin this winter will help to avoid further skin damage and the necessity for a longer “recovery” time at the change of seasons. It should be known that looking after your skin during winter requires different products to looking after it during summer, and that this is the time to pamper and revive your skin.
For more information go to www.forteve.co.za