Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is Your Skin Prepared for the Winter?

Environmental factors, such as cold weather and low humidity have a negative impact on your skin, such as dryness and irritation. Dry skin can appear at any age however, the severity of the dryness increases with age. Dry skin can trigger other skin ailments such as dermatitis, itchiness and irritation and can be characterized by flakiness, roughness and loss of elasticity.

Inappropriate skin care products can also trigger skin dryness in particular during winter. For example, every day cleansers, especially cleansers that contain harsh surfactants (detergents) can have a negative impact on your skin. Be aware of detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate from a product?s ingredients list.

Due to cold weather and changes in the lipids structure of the skin cells, those detergents can easily penetrate the outermost skin layer (stratum corneum) leading to cell damage.

The use of products with high pH alkaline such as soaps can lead to dryness. The impact of the alkaline pH on the stratum corneum, which has slightly acidic pH, induces rapid tightness, which generates skin cracking.

Cold weather promotes a significant reduction in skin hydration. A cleanser without any moisturizing ingredient can reduce the level of fatty acids and cholesterol from stratum corneum even after a single wash. The removal of these lipids can impair the maintenance of a healthy skin. Humectants, such as vegetable glycerin in the formulation of the cleansers are very efficient to attract the moisture into the skin.

To prevent weather-induced skin damages, you have to take into account an extra skin care.

Here are some practical ideas for your consideration. Use a very mild cleansing formula, such as a natural cleansing product without harmful detergents.

Remove completely the soap from your skin care routine during the winter months.

Apply face creams that include high physiological lipids content, such as: cholesterol, ceramide and free fatty acids, like palmitoleic acid. These lipids ease the penetration of the ingredients into the skin and help reform the lipid?s skin structure. Ingredients that can promote the synthesis of ceramide, like linoleic and gamma linoleic acids are also of great importance in maintaining a healthy skin. A night cream instead of a daily moisturizer is much more recommended during the winter in order to replenish and balance the moisture of your skin.

In conclusion, don't forget to extend and adjust your skin care routine to the cold and dry weather conditions.

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