Skin needs special care in winter when external factors affect its hydration levels. However, there are some simple steps to help keep skin hydrated and looking healthy throughout winter and beyond!
The primary cause of dehydration is lack of water. There are many factors, internal and external, that contribute to dehydration. Internal factors take place within the body and are affected by diet, coffee and alcohol intake and exercise. External factors include weather conditions, artificial heating and cooling and topical product application. While you can control how you treat your body, you can't often control what goes on around it.
The drop of temperature and humidity in winter increases the risk of transepidermal water loss, leading to thirsty skin. The drier conditions and harsh environmental elements can also damage the skin's protective barrier, leaving it impaired and often sensitive. This is why it is important to pay attention to the changes in your skin and alter skincare accordingly.
Hydrated skin is healthy-looking skin as water helps to support and plump the skin's structure. When the skin is dehydrated, it emphasises the appearance of common skin concerns like sagging, fine lines, wrinkles, redness, dryness and sensitivity.
All skin types can be prone to dehydration, oily skin is not immune! "Oily" or "dry" are skin types, mostly genetic and determined by the amount of oil the skin produces. Your skin type is something you can control with skincare, but not change. Dehydration, however, is a skin condition, caused by a lack of water. Any skin type can be dehydrated but this can be improved with the correct use of skincare and simple improvements to diet and lifestyle.
This is good news because dehydrated skin can pose more serious threats to skin health beyond its appearance. The main function of the skin is protection. It protects us from external factors like UV radiation and infection, eliminates the body of harmful toxins, prevents water loss and regulates our body temperature. When the skin is chronically dehydrated, the skin's natural protective barrier may be damaged, leaving it feeling flaky and exposed to irritation and bacteria. Some of the long-term concerns could be breakouts, sensitivity and even rosacea. When the body is dehydrated, it can inhibit the skin's ability to function optimally. The signs of internal dehydration are thirst, dry mouth, headaches and feeling "foggy".
To combat dehydration through diet, start by drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. Fruits and vegetables are also high in water, so incorporating more fresh produce in your daily diet is a good way to help stay hydrated. Regularly replenishing your electrolytes is also a great way to prevent water loss and maintain balanced hydration. Electrolytes are positively and negatively charged minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and chloride.
Once you're hydrated from the inside, you can concentrate on maintaining your skin's hydration levels with good skincare. Ideally, your skincare should be modified with the change of season to ensure it is adequately protected. In winter, serums and moisturisers containing humectants are the ones to go for, these are ingredients that bind water to themselves. And the holy grail of all humectants is Hyaluronic Acid.
Hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, effectively binding water to the surface of the skin, increasing hydration and plumping the skin for a youthful appearance during drying winter conditions. Hyaluronic acid is best introduced in a serum as they often offer a higher percentage of HA and help to optimise delivery to the skin. Aspect Hydrating Serum and Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum combine a high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid with powerhouse supporting ingredients, niacinamide and Vitamin C, making it an essential for all skin types. A hydrating serum may be used both morning and night to maximise results. It is best used after the application of all other serums to further penetrate and lock in moisture. Follow with an Aspect moisturiser most suitable for your skin and your preferred Aspect Sun SPF in the morning.
To accelerate the benefits of your hydrating skincare, try incorporating Aspect Exfol L into your evening routine 2-3 times a week. This will help remove the build-up of dry or dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, preparing it for maximum absorption of hydrating ingredients from your serum and moisturiser, allowing them to work more effectively.
Making some simple changes to your diet and skincare routine in winter can help you maintain beautiful, well-hydrated skin that's protected from the inside out.
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