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 pilewort extract, liquid crystals and heavy water can work wonders on both seasonal and persistent dry skin.
Pilewort extract comes from the pilewort plant, found throughout the southwestern Europe, Asia and North America. Pilewort extract is used for its soothing, calming and antiseptic properties. Also, it aids in healing and repairing the skin. Combined with other key moisturizers in a formula like Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk, this highly prized emollient encourages healthy hydration, especially in skin stripped of its own natural oils. Other important moisturizing ingredients include Glycerine (a light, organic, non-greasy fatty acid used as a lubricant), Dimethicone (an organic silicone used as a skin protector and moisturizer), and Camphor (extracted from the bark 50-year-old trees and used as a cooling and antiseptic agent. Also promotes firming and toning of the skin).
By targeting moisture loss from outside and within, multi-active hydrating products like those in Clear Essence Cosmetics’ clincally 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.