What is it about winter that makes dry skin look a lifeless mess? According to researchers, it’s all down to the cold, dry winter air which causes the outermost layers of our skin cells to shrink. This leads to our skin’s natural hydration factor plummeting and its barrier function weakening, allowing more moisture to evaporate and the condition to worsen. Help!
If that was not bad enough, the inflammatory response our skin sets off to compensate for this moisture imbalance can end up causing irregular pigmentation and itchy skin. Meaning this chain reaction causes skin to become even more susceptible to external stressors, slowing down the healing process (if not stopping it altogether). Paving the way for prematurely-aged, flaky, cracked and dull skin.
What are the characteristics of dry skin?
This skin type is usually classified as opaque, dull, lifeless and with very little elasticity. Pores are small and skin can become flaky and itchy. One of the main reasons behind dry skin is the lack of lipids. Skin without lipids has great difficulty in maintaining its moisture levels. However, dry skin must not be confused with dehydrated skin. These are two very different skin types. The key difference between the two is that one lacks lipids, while the other lacks water.
Environmental conditions can wreak havoc on dry skin. Areas of low humidity or that have very cold winters/climates are the worst. Furthermore, free radicals (from pollution, ultraviolet rays or tobacco smoke), attack the skin’s barrier, making it even more difficult to retain much-needed moisture. These factors can cause premature ageing and fine lines or wrinkles to appear.
Ceramides to the rescue!
The best way to tackle dry skin is by giving it what it needs: Lipids! This is where skin-loving ceramides come into their own. These small but mighty lipids makeup approximately 50% of all lipids found in the stratum corneum (outer layer of skin) and play an important part in stabilizing our skin cell membrane structure. This in turn helps skin retain moisture and achieve optimal barrier function. The downside? Our bodies produce less and less as we age.
“Over our lifetime, our skin faces a multitude of daily external stressors that can impact its barrier function. This is why I believe it’s never too soon (or too late!) to include ceramide-containing products or ones that boost their production, in our beauty routines”, explains Pedro Catalá, founder of Twelve Beauty.
Thanks to its powerful blend of unsaponifiable sunflower, wheat germ, soybean and olive vegetable oils, Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil contains a high percentage of ceramides, supporting skin with a much-need dose of nutrition. Skin is left stronger, healthier with solid and compact foundations. It is regeneration in a bottle.
Dry skin…all over
It is not just our complexions that can be dry, our bodies can suffer from dry skin too. When it comes to nourishing these areas, one of the best treatments available is Rewarding Body Balm. A true superhero formula capable of remedying even the driest, most damaged and dehydrated skins. Not surprisingly, it was initially conceived to restore skin undergoing cancer treatment and was the first-ever product developed by Pedro Catalá.
Among its powerhouse active ingredients are highly nutritional jojoba oil (containing 96% ceramides), sunflower oil, vegetable squalene and spent grain wax. Squalene (derived from olive oil), is a transparent oily fluid with an amazing natural affinity with the skin, as it is one of the main components of human sebum and the hydrolipidic film. Spent grain wax, on the other hand, is very rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid known to boost skin barrier regeneration.
“I always formulate at around pH5, as this level that enzymes responsible for producing ceramides are most active,” reveals Pedro. Meaning that each Twelve Beauty formula, by its very nature, helps to conserve skin ceramide levels and avoid dry skin.
Mix & Win, harness the power of product synergy
If you want to take your dry skincare routine to the next level, here are some ideas that will enhance your skincare results:
Add a few drops of Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil to Nutritive Repair Emulsion before applying to your face. Formulated to repair and restore both reactive and dry skin, this rich mix of unsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols regenerates and strengthens the epidermal barrier.
For dry skin on other areas of the body, an excellent product combo to try is Jojoba Quench Body Serum followed by Rewarding Body Balm. An authentic nutritional delight which harnesses the power of jojoba, one of the oils with the highest proportion of ceramides. Skin is left hydrated, nourished and with renewed elasticity.