As the cool seasons continue and deepen, we enter one of the most challenging times of year for skincare. During the coming dry months, patients’ regimens will be pushed to their limit to support skin health against dehydration.
It isn’t just the cold weather that’s uncomfortable about winter. With the falling temperature, ambient humidity drops significantly as well, making moisture evaporate much easier from skin. Further, patients will be spending more time indoors with central and artificial heating, which tends to be bone dry.
With so little moisture in the air, it’s more important than ever to ensure skin gets properly hydrated in order to avoid flakiness, crepey or rough texture, acne, poor elasticity and worsened appearance of lines and wrinkles. Patients must use the right products in order to keep skin healthy and firm.
Humectants and Occlusives
There are two main types of moisturizing active ingredients: humectants and occlusives.
Humectants are small chemical compounds that attract and “pull” water from their surroundings. These include glycerin, propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid. When applied to skin, they will pull more moisture out of the air and will also bring more moisture to the surface from the deeper layers.
Humectants help moisturize the surface, but sometimes skin can remain dry if it doesn’t have a healthy barrier to hold the moisture in. With such dry ambient air, all the moisture evaporates and skin remains poorly hydrated. For this, we use a different kind of moisturizing ingredient: occlusives.
Occlusives are large chemical compounds like fats and lipids that prevent water from evaporating, holding it on the skin surface. Applying these will help maintain a healthy skin barrier and preserve skin hydration.
Choosing The Right Products
For most of our clients’ patients, we recommend using products with a combination of humectants and occlusives during winter to provide superior, balanced hydration. Not only does skin need more moisture, but it usually needs help maintaining and holding moisture too when the air is so dry.
Dry and dehydrated skin cases vary from person to person, and the severity of the case will determine how strong an intervention is needed:
- For patients direly lacking moisture, we recommend our Multi-Complex Night Creme which contains both humectants and occlusives to provide an immensely hydrating overnight treatment.
- In more mild cases, we recommend a creamy moisturizer like Restorative Body Conditioner and barrier-supporting serums like Vita Soothe.
- For oily, dry skin, try HA+ Firming Boost, which uses hyaluronic acid, a strong humectant.
Not only do these products make great recommendations, but remember to position them front-and-center in your storefront during this peak time of year too.
Beyond moisturizers, we recommend using creamy cleansers to avoid dehydrating skin and removing too much oil. For patients suffering from dry skin, we recommend Chamomile Facial Cleanser rather than products containing salicylic acid and other beta-hydroxy acids.
Keeping skin hydrated should be one of your patients’ primary goals for the winter months, as this will hold the foundation for healthy, radiant skin. Choosing the right moisturizing products to use is crucial.