The changing seasons can play havoc on the skin. In a recent study of 80 adults, levels of filaggrin, the protein that helps maintain skin barrier function, dropped between summer and winter. The study found that Natural Moisturising Factors (NMFs) were reduced, resulting in facial skin becoming much drier and textured in the colder months.
Colder temperatures, harsh winds, central heating and dry air reduce the NMFs in the skin, leading to dehydration, roughness and flakiness. In addition to exacerbating dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, moving from centrally heated environments into the biting cold can cause broken capillaries and make rosacea worse.
Another factor to consider is age. Oestrogen and progesterone levels decline as women get older which can result in dry skin, even in people who have never suffered from the condition before. A recent study found levels of fatty acids, in particular ceramides, decreased significantly with age. In this instance, the issue may need to be addressed internally, as well as topically.
Safeguard with Fatty Acids
When the weather turns colder, it is tempting to reach for carbohydrate rich, sugary comfort foods. Instead, increase the healthy fats in your diet such as nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocados, and include an omega oil supplement such as Skin Omegas+ , to safeguard essential fatty acid levels.
Research suggests the fatty acids in fish oil can improve skin barrier function, inhibit UV-induced inflammation and attenuate dry skin.
The aim is to make healthy keratinocytes that produce the right keratins and ceramides to maintain a healthy multi-layered stratum corneum and minimise transepidermal water loss. Support skin further by slotting in Skin Moisture Lock™, which features ceramides, into your client's regime.
Turn down the... moisture
A common misconception is that people should switch to a richer ‘winter moisturiser’ but in fact this can exacerbate dry skin conditions. This might seem counter-intuitive, because when suffering from dryness the first instinct is to reach for a heavier cream. In fact, this can have disastrous effects on skin hydration levels in the long term, as rich creams ‘fool’ the skin to stop the natural moisturising process. The answer is to use the correct moisturiser and enhance with boosters.
The balance of NMFs in the skin is upset when people use rich creamy products. People love them, but their surreptitious and nefarious effects become apparent when they stop using these creams."
Dr Des Fernandes
“The balance of NMFs in the skin is upset when people use rich creamy products”, says Environ® founder Dr Des Fernandes. “People love them, but their surreptitious and nefarious effects become apparent when they stop using these creams. They immediately complain of dry skin. What they don’t realise is that the reason their skin becomes dry is not because of the new, less-oily product but because their skin is virtually depleted of NMFs and their stratum corneum is now incapable of holding in the water. All because the skin is under the misapprehension that moisture levels are adequate.”
Vitamin A based creams such as Environ® Skin EssentiA® or Youth EssentiA® Moisturisers which contain active levels of vitamin A can enhance production of ceramides and keratins to keep skin moisturised at the correct level. The nutrients increase production of glycosaminoglycan molecules (moisturising factors) which help to enrich the space in between skin cells with water and therefore boost hydration levels.