Under normal conditions ideal hydration of the skin is maintained when the surface of the skin contains 20% water and the lower layers of the epidermis contain 70%. This ensures lubrication and protection of the natural moisture barrier of the skin. We call this the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF).
The NMF is composed of water-soluble substances that attract water to the skin and help to retain water as well, keeping the hydration of the skin balanced. When this normal moisture balance of the skin is disrupted, particularly during seasonal changes, the quantity of the NMF diminishes leading to dehydrated skin cells and an uncomfortable complexion.
In the winter when the humidity is the air is low, water evaporates through the skin leading to dehydration. Dehydrated skin cells not only accelerate aging but also increase the sensitivity of the skin as well. Just as you would layer your body with clothing to protect it when you go outside in cold weather, it's important to "dress" your skin as well. Think of your moisturizer like an overcoat that protects the skin from being exposed to the dehydrating elements.
Moisturizing ingredients such as Tea Extracts contain potent anti-oxidants in high concentrations for the ultimate in skin protection; Sunflower, Olive Squalene and Soy Bean Oil are very effective added ingredients for slowing the evaporation of water contained in the skin and helping to lubricate and protect the moisture barrier of the skin; Spin Trap proteins help to prevent the natural oxidation that can occur and also help to prevent the water loss that is a side effect of natural aging.
Oily skin can also lack hydration in the winter months leading to an overproduction of sebum. Keeping the sebum and the hydration just right can be a balancing act but failing to do so can actually create an overproduction of sebum. Look for a light weight, deep cell hydrating cream that will help to maintain the moisture balance in the tissues and signal the brain to stop sending too much sebum to the surface of the skin. Ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil are antibacterial and Glycosaminoglycan's (water-binding polysaccharides) support collagen production; Sodium Hyaluronate will help to bind water to the skin’s cells. For people with excessively oily skin conditions look for Pythic Acid (a natural plant antioxidant from bran), grapefruit peel oil and Ascorbic Acid that all work together help acneic skin conditions while healing and moisturizing.
Changing seasons are a great time to visit your esthetician and have your skin analyzed and your moisturizing routine reviewed and adjusted for best results for your skin type.