With the winds picking up, the air getting cooler and winter just around the corner, our skin is without a doubt scared! Living in Canada, dry, irritated and chapped skin is inevitable for many of us. Between the -40º winds and the dryness indoors, it’s hard to keep your skin moisturized and comfortable - but it is possible!
Here are a few tips and ingredients to look for to combat that dry skin and keep yourself looking and feeling radiant year round.
Moisture is key to keeping your skin from drying out, but not all ingredients are created equally. Shea butter is awesome as it contains many fatty acids and deep moisture. Having a smaller molecular size allows it to penetrate into the skin without the risk of clogging pores. Ideally, you should be moisturizing both day and night. If you are someone who doesn’t wear makeup, we suggest carrying some moisturizer in your bag for reapplication during the day. This is especially good if you are outside or in a dry environment.
Do not be afraid of oils! Plant and nut oils are amazing for your skin, working as a natural balancing component for the occasional oily patch. Our bodies tend to compensate for a lack of moisture in our skin by emitting additional oils. Applying plant or nut oils on your skin assists your body in recognizing that it does not need to over produce — resulting in a balanced complexion. Oils and shea butter also soften the skin working as a shield or barrier against the elements, protecting your skin from the cold and wind.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a serum and a moisturizer, and why you should use both? A serum is generally packed with active ingredients and has a very small molecular size, allowing it to penetrate all the way into the dermis and not just the top few layers of the skin. A good serum would contain more plant oils, natural humectants, like honey, that draws moisture into the skin and our personal favourite ingredient – hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in moisture, an all-star ingredient for hydration. The only drawback is that without a proper seal some of these yummy, potent ingredients can evaporate out of the skin taking away that extra layer of protection. This is where the moisturizer or cream comes in handy!
A moisturizers job is to hydrate the top layers of the skin, and then work as a protection against the wiles of Mother Nature. A good moisturizer is great for the face and will leave you feeling soft and smooth, but for a limited time only without the help of a serum. Together they hydrate deeply from top to bottom while stimulating and plumping up the skin to better defend itself against dryness and irritation providing a smooth, pore less complexion. Layering your moisture is your best line of defense against the environment.
Exfoliation is always important, especially in the colder months. Once or twice a week you should be exfoliating, whether it’s a gentle physical exfoliation, an enzyme exfoliation or a more intense chemical exfoliation. Any of these help to remove the dry, dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, ensuring that your serum and moisturizer can penetrate and do its job. To learn more about exfoliation and which type is best for you, refer to our exfoliation post.
Water Intake and Omegas
While all the topical suggestions we have made are great for combatting dry, winter skin, it is always best to be paired with internal actions as well. It’s no secret that drinking oodles of water is amazing for your skin and overall health - so get drinking! It’s also beneficial to take an oil supplement 1-3 times a day, whether it is fish oil, flax seed oil or borage oil - as long as it is high in omegas. These oil supplements do wonders for your skin and health, hydrating you from the inside out, working as a base for the water you drink so that you do not burn it off so quickly.
It may sound like a lot of work, but you can do all of this in 5 minutes a day. Taking the time to layer some moisture over freshly exfoliated skin, drinking water and taking your oil supplements prevents and combats dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Then you can say, ‘see ya later’ to your scaly alligator skin!
Visit skinnourishment.ca to shop for moisturizers and facial serums - we have kinds for all skin types.