|'Tis the Season for Dry Skin|
|Written by Amanda Beisel|
Banish dry winter skin once and for all!
The winter months can wreak havoc on your skin. Environmental changes like cold winter air and lack of humidity dry up the natural oils in our skin, resulting in moisture loss. Unfortunately, this is further exacerbated by indoor heating systems, causing further moisture loss in our skin. Common symptoms can include red, irritated, dry, cracked skin on both the face and body. Loss of the skin lipids results in increased water loss and increased penetration of harmful compounds, especially for people living in big cities. Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition as well as a culprit in aging skin. When the skin is depleted of hydration, it loses elasticity, plumpness and luster, and will often become more susceptible to lines and wrinkles. Winter weather not only irritates healthy skin but can also make current skin problems worse. If you have a skin condition such as dandruff, psoriasis or eczema, be aware that winter weather might cause these conditions to flare up.
The good news is that there are remedies that can prevent and treat these symptoms. Nourishing and restorative treatments for the skin, hands and body will be a great defense for these cold months ahead. A good home-care system using additional hydrating skincare products such as skin oils and additional health supplements will keep your skin healthy all year long.
Love Your Oils
The addition of topical oils during the winter months may prove to be your best defense against moisture loss. Look for products that contain a blend of omega 3 and omega 6 oils that will hydrate and protect the skin, but not clog it.
Two highly nourishing omega 6 oils are linoleic and oleic acid, so look for products containing these two oils. Raspberry seed oil, vitamin E, blueberry seed oil, rosehip oil and pomegranate seed oil are also potent healing oils that have added anti-aging benefits for the skin. Our favorite product is Immerse by Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare. The addition of this amazing oil blend to your moisturizer will give you extra hydration during the day. You can also use Immerse on its own at night to provide superior moisture and protection to the skin. It is common during the winter months to notice the skin on your entire body becoming dehydrated and flaky. The Nurture Balm by Rhonda Allison is an intensely hydrating body balm that instantly soothes that winter dryness, restoring the skin back to its healthiest state.
Lastly, we can’t forget about our internal oils. Some of you may remember the days when parents chased their kids down with a spoonful of cod liver oil. Luckily, over the past few years, new technology has allowed us to improve the taste of fish oils. Now we can up our dose without burping up fish all day long! Try a combination of fish, flax, coconut and other healthy oils to significantly improve the appearance of your skin and boost your overall health.
Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
One of those most dangerous beliefs is that we need sunscreen only in the summer. This could not be farther from the truth. The winter sun can cause a great deal of damage to unprotected skin, plus the added glare of snow increases damage even further. Be sure to apply a physical-based sunscreen containing zinc oxide all year round, with an extra layer when partaking in winter sports.
Cleanse and Exfoliate
Exfoliating your face and body is essential during the winter months to remove the build-up of dead skin. Daily exfoliation with an enzyme-based cleanser for the face is one of the most effective ways to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Performing a granular exfoliation once or twice a week is another option if your skin is not sensitive. A new and effective method of exfoliation for face and body is using a dermal roller such as the SKN Spin. The weekly use of this roller will provide mechanical exfoliation for the skin, removing the dead, drab layer and revealing healthy, fresh skin. The SKN Spin also increases the epidermal density and greatly enhances the penetration of topical products, making them much more effective.
Many people still wash their face with soap, which I strongly advise against. The reason for this is that our skin is an acid mantle that can be referred to as a hydrolipid film, which means it is a water and oil emulsion that covers the skin, and within this water and oil emulsion are micro-flora. Together, they provide a protective line of defense for the skin. They contribute to the health, structure and function of the skin. Without a healthy barrier, bad bacteria will start to grow and toxins will be absorbed into the skin. Improper skincare such as washing with bars of soap and chemical-based products will compromise that acid mantle, leading to skin conditions and unhealthy looking skin. At SKN Clinic we encourage our clients to bring in their products, specifically their cleansers so we can test the PH level. The importance of a proper cleanser is greatly underestimated in the skincare industry.
Seasonal Skincare Treatments
Be on the lookout for seasonal skincare treatments. These treatments are designed to combat the dryness and increased signs of aging that come with winter weather. At SKN Clinic, we have two incredible seasonal treatments. The Winter’s Radiance Medi-Facial is a seasonal delight that is available only in December and January. It incorporates an enticing blend of cinnamon, clove, cherries and chocolate – and works to mildly exfoliate while firming, toning and nourishing the skin. The natural polyphenols and antioxidants build healthy skin tissue and promote cell regeneration. This treatment, with its moisture-binding benefits and antioxidant support, will leave skin healthy and glowing. It is a great facial to get your skin radiant for the holiday season.
The Mulled Wine Firming Peel is another signature seasonal treatment that will leave you looking radiant for your holiday parties. This amazing peel helps to minimize fine lines and refine skin tone. The wine extracts and AHAs will firm, tone, soften and leave skin feeling smooth and polished. Great for photo-aged, normal to dry skin and uneven skin tones.
Don’t Neglect Your Hands and Body
We can’t forget about the hands! We often focus so much on our faces that we neglect our hands. The hands are one the first areas of our bodies to reveal our age. A monthly hand treatment will restore the hands and prevent signs of aging. Using a combination of potent enzymes like bromelain and papain, plus the addition of AHAs, will soften dead skin cells, firm, tone and provide antioxidant support. Complete this with a nourishing oil massage and hot towel wrap to help the oils further penetrate deep within the skin. Hands will stay moist and healthy looking. This is a wonderful add-on to any skin treatment.
Lactic acid is a popular body peel that simultaneously exfoliates and hydrates the skin, effectively beating the harsh winter dryness. The application of nourishing oils following a body peel further intensifies the moisturizing capabilities of this treatment.
Use the tips in this article to start your annual winter checklist, and prevent the negative effects winter weather can have on your skin. Use the resources available to you – consult with a skincare professional to receive guidance on how to care for your skin during this time of year. At SKN Clinic, we provide a complimentary consultation to educate our clients on skincare, skin treatments, nutrition and, if necessary, prescribe traditional Chinese medicine to combat the more stubborn skin conditions like eczema. Let the restoration begin and make this the year you banish dry, irritated skin once and for all.