Winter Skin Woes
Winter in a northern climate means less sunlight, colder days, snow – and dryer skin. A lot of people experience dry skin in the winter months which results in itching, flaking and cracking that can be both painful. As well it can be hard on your self-esteem.
If you have dry sensitive skin, then your lipid barrier is in trouble. The lipid barrier is a combination of natural oils and sweat. It helps protect the underlying skin from cracking.
The lipid barrier minimizes water loss and is essential for strong, healthy, hydrated skin. It performs three functions:
Traps water molecules and prevents the passage of water out of the Stratum Corneum, which is called Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) prevents natural moisturizing factors from leaching out prevents environmental chemicals and biological irritants from entering the skin.
After the age of 40, the amount of lipids decrease significantly, which is why we are more prone to dry skin as we age.
Your skin type or a skin disease are not the only problems you can encounter when it comes to skin tightness. The environment is also a big factor.
Do You Have Dry or Dehydrated Skin?
Dehydrated skin lacks water but is still able to produce sebum. Dehydrated skin lacks molecules that capture and hold water on the skin surface and inside the skin cells. Seeing that the skin should protect us, it automatically compensates for this lack of molecules carrying water by producing more sebum.
It is for this reason that dehydrated skin can feel and show symptoms of dry skin (tightness, discomfort etc.) as well as the symptoms of oily skin (shiny areas, pustules, blackheads etc.). The appearance of large pores and accumulated dead cells can be seen in certain areas.
Dry skin, also referred to as “alipidic skin” is a skin that is missing oily compounds (lipids). The sebaceous glands of dry skin do not produce enough sebum. The water is no longer retained and evaporates, causing dryness of the skin.
The fact that the follicles are not dilated, the pores appear visually smaller. The skin appears rough and dull looking. This lack of glow is caused by opaque dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin that do not reflect light. Due to this dehydration, the appearance of wrinkles on the skin are intensified.
The Dry Skin Culprits
While summer months are full of sunshine and low-humidity, our winters can be tough on skin thanks to a combination of factors:
Cold, Dry Air: with less moisture than warm air, the cold dry air works against your otherwise perfectly moisturized skin.
Wind: the winter brings more than the occasional breeze, stripping your skin of essential lipids it needs to stay hydrated.
Winter Fires: while nothing sounds quite as relaxing as warming up in front of a fire, either inside or outdoors, the heat from can do a number on your skin.
Hot Drinks: that latte you can’t do without during the harsh winter months contains caffeine which can dry your skin from the inside out, especially if it’s replacing your regular water intake. Instead try one of our superfood blends from Blume that have no caffeine and vegan too boot!
Layering: it’s hard to go outside during the winter without multiple layers, but the extra clothing you need can cause irritation and itching, leading to dried-out, flaky skin.
Take care during the winter months and save your skin from the damaging elements and your own habits, so when spring comes your skin will already be in a good place.