Skin Health Magazine Issue #9 / Autumn-Winter 2018 | Page 15

W inter is coming and, if it’s any- thing like last year, it’s set to be a cold one. If you have dry skin, the season can be even harder on your complexion but there are ways to combat those unwanted rough, flaky patches of skin. You just need the right products. The main thing dry skin lacks is oil, so you need to use products that work to replenish the skin’s lipid content while restoring the epidermal barrier, the layer that protects your body against the outside world and keeps vital lipids in place. As a rough guide, skin care products with balm, cream or oil textures will always serve you well, as will products described as ‘rich’, ‘nourishing’ or ‘replenishing’. You should also look out for key ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, plant oils, Ceramides and Glycerin, as these will all work wonders for parched skin. RESPECT YOUR BARRIER Your skin barrier is made up of lipids, ceramides and dead cells, but it’s the lipids that keep the skin soft, supple and firm. If there aren’t enough lipids holding the cells together, water can escape more easily which leads to dryness and irritation. Cleansing with products that don’t respect this lipid barrier is the quickest way to dry out your skin, so stick to formulas that remove impurities without stripping away surface oils, like the PCA Skin Creamy Cleanser. This magically removes layers of dirt, pollution and foundation without disrupting the skin barrier, ensuring your face never feels tight post-cleanse. Once skin is clean, you can start to layer up your hydrating products. Applying multiple layers of thirst-quenching formulas is much more effective than relying on one extremely rich wonder cream, which will do little more than sit on the surface of your dried out skin. For long-term relief, layer serums with creams and oils to address the varying causes of dryness, from the dermis to the surface. The VERSO Hydration Serum is the perfect post-cleanse hydrator, as it contains a unique mix of Oat Lipids, Oils and Vitamin E to hydrate the skin while Niacinamide maintains healthy skin barrier function. Next, you can layer the DCL Ultra-Comfort Cream over the top. This not only relieves surface dryness and sensitivity, but contains additional lipids to strengthen the epidermal barrier, making the skin feel noticeably more comfortable within minutes. Complete your routine by patting an oil over the top, to add a radiant glow (well-moistur- ised skin always has a slight sheen) and lock in as much moisture as possible. Try the Babor SKINOVAGE Moisturizing Face Oil, which uses botanically-derived lipids to soften the skin and protect against chapping, which is essential on very cold winter days. IT’S NOT JUST SKIN CARE The job of managing dry skin isn’t something your topical routine can tackle alone; there are small, seemingly insignificant life hacks you can adopt to help things change a bit quicker. Drinking more water and limiting your intake of alcohol are two simple ways you can increase the amount of moisture in your body and, therefore, your skin. You should also check your diet. If you’re weekly food shop is severely lacking in foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids, it’s time to make a change. These help prevent water loss between the cells, to keep the skin hydrated and plump at the surface, so start adding more vegetables, nuts and oily fish to your meal plan as soon as you can. Another way to stop dry skin from getting drier during the winter is to avoid cleansing the skin with hot water. It might feel like an early morning treat to warm your face up with a hot flannel and sink full of steaming water, but this will only increase inflammation and damage the lipid barrier. Instead, opt for lukewarm water when washing your face and avoid rinsing your face under a hot shower. And remember, pat don’t rub damp skin post-cleanse; nobody wants to be met with an angry red face first thing in the morning. ISSUE #09 | 2018 | 15