Winter is here, and with it dryer air all around us.
From the air-conditioning at work, to the heater in your apartment... your skin is not loving it.
Here's the tea on how to have hydrated and beautiful skin all winter long, from the skin geeks who love to make you glow...
Hydration - how does it happen?
We think of hydration as 'water' but that's not the whole story. Water itself is useless in the skin if it can't be held in place. You see water will simply drift off to more important locations given half a chance.
True hydration inside the skin is bound there by little bundles of acids called glyco-amino-glycans. They are naturally occurring in the body, but they deplete with age.
Hence it becomes harder to hold water in the skin the older we get.
Is that it? Well, no...
There's another factor which is the ceramides - the 'glues' that hold our skin together. They sit in between your skin cells, acting like the mortar in a brick wall. Without a good amount of these, water can simply evaporate, leaving a crumbling, uneven, dry surface.
The technical term for it is Trans Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL. The real-world term is 'omg my face is so dry and rough!'
It matters because without water in those lower layers, a second issue develops. Your skin thinks 'wow, we are losing water so fast, we must have lost our waterproofing glue, and we must have lost our water binders. The best thing to do is stop letting any dead cells fall off, because that will act like a band-aid and hold all the water in'.
So your skin stops letting dead cells fall off, and the roughness increases.
Those dead cells sit there stopping penetration of any good skincare you DO apply. And we are now in the cycle of rough, dry top layers, and parched, dehydrated lower layers.
So should I exfoliate?
For most people, it seems natural to reach for a scrub and 'get it all off'. But this is a really bad idea. If you just scrub away the top of a dehydrated skin, you make it even easier for water to evaporate, and you traumatise an already collapsed-down, compacted and sensitised skin.
While there's a place for light exfoliation in your routine, more exfoliation is definitely NOT the answer to dehydrated skin, in fact it will make it much worse.
What we need to do is address 3 areas...
1. Increase the water binding ability in the depths.
We do this by supplying skin with hydrating acids like Sodium Hyaluronate, found in serums like O Cosmedics Pure Age Defiance, B3 Plus, EGF Booster, DP Dermaceuticals Brite Lite, Hyla Activ and Vitamin Rich Repair. These are NOT for the top layers, they're for the depths. Apply one twice a day after cleansing, and be generous.
2. Decrease the water loss through TEWL.
We do this by helping skin make more ceramides ('glues') so water can't get out. This needs a moisturiser with the ability to firstly replace the glues, and secondly help skin make better glues in future. Try O Cosmedics Immortal Cream, Recovery Cream or Rebalancing Cream if you have acne or oily skin.
3. Eat more essential fatty acids from plant sources.
Your body uses these to make adrenal hormones, and what gets left over is used to make special anti-inflammatories in your skin. Inflammation attacks ceramides and is a direct cause of dehydration, so getting it under control is key to healthy skin. You don't SEE all the inflammation your skin goes through, it's kind of like a low-smouldering fire that burns away in the grass, and only burns the forest down when things are really stressful.
Every person needs to supplement their EFA intake in a dry country like Australia, and the results are dewy, beautiful skin.
To do this, we suggest 1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil taken daily in a yoghurt, salad dressing or mixed into a soup or vegetable dish. The safflower, coconut, flaxseed and blackcurrant oil mix within, will dampen any inflammatory disorders, liquefy any congested oil or blackheads, increase the healing in your skin and keep all skins soft, supple and healthy.
In terms of facials, 'tis the season to get into a heated facial bed and enjoy some nourishing facial massage with one of our classical facials like the Spa Heaven Wellness Facial Ritual.
The working of the muscles brings nutritious blood and oxygen to cells. The ingredients we use repair and heal dry layers, and the serums layered on will moisturise & boost brightness.
If you are already using our skincare, we suggest taking advantage of June's facial offer the Age Brilliance Facial. It has steps to clarify, purify, hydrate, nourish and brighten through precision skincare. The special feature of this facial is the inclusion of Photo Rejuvenation Laser.
The laser will elasticise the collagen, increasing the plumpness and richness of your skin, while making it visible smoother, firmer and more supple.
Normally $349, it's only $229 in June.
Please, don't suffer with bad skin this winter. Book yourself a seasonal Winter Skin Analysis and get the advice you need to glow on through the season, and arrive in summer looking radiant.