10 Must-Have Ingredients for Your Winter Skincare Routine
DO YOU EXPERIENCE DRY AND PARCHED SKIN DURING WINTER? READ ON TO LEARN WHAT INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO INCLUDE IN YOUR ROUTINE TO KEEP YOUR WINTER SKIN IN CHECK!
During winter, your skin cells deteriorate faster due to the cold air outdoors and the dry air indoors due to heating systems. Dead cells accumulate faster on the surface of your skin and do not shed as easily. These dead skin cells accumulate in your pores resulting in dry, dull, dehydrated skin which sometimes even cause breakouts.
Let’s take a look at skincare ingredients that can effectively treat common skin conditions affecting many people during the winter season.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is derived from the plant Camellia Sinensis. It is a refreshing drink that has numerous benefits for your skin. When applied topically, its most powerful antioxidants, EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) and ECG (Epicatechin Gallate) work by reactivating dying skin cells. EGCG and ECG combat free radicals that damage the cells.
Polyphenols are also abundant in green tea, giving it powerful inflammatory properties that soothe irritation, swelling, and redness.
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2. Chemical Exfoliants
To avoid clogged pores and breakouts, you need to help your skin slough away the dead skin cells regularly. Regular cleansing of the face two times a day helps get rid of the dead skin cells. However, face washing alone does not totally slough away the dead skin cells.
The most effective way to get rid of the dead skin cells is through chemical exfoliation. It is a process that involves acids that slough away the dead skin cells more effectively. The chemical exfoliant penetrates into the skin and dissolves the bond of dead skin cells for them to easily shed off to reveal new healthy skin cells.
There are two main types of acids used in chemical exfoliation: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s). AHAs which are water-soluble acids that naturally occur in milk, grapes, and sugarcane.
BHA’s are oil-soluble acids which are naturally and synthetically sourced. They are naturally found in papaya, pineapples, berries, and dairy products.
Chemical exfoliants have unique properties but both of them can deliver the following benefits to the skin:
- reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- minimize the appearance of pores.
- brighten and even out skin tone.
- make the skin look plump, supple, and firm.
- soothe the skin.
- refine and smooth the overall texture of the skin.
Treating your skin with an intensely hydrating moisturizer is necessary to minimize the drying effects of chemical exfoliants.
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3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the most versatile skincare vitamin. It gives the skin suppleness, elasticity, and a natural luminous glow. It also stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen plays an essential role in providing structure to your skin and strength to your muscles. Some studies found out that Vitamin C can prevent your skin from drying out. It helps stimulate the production of lipids or fats that forms the protective barrier of the skin.
Vitamin C has a brightening effect on the skin which makes it an excellent winter skincare ingredient since the skin is susceptible to dullness during winter. It is an essential nutrient that refines the tone and texture of the skin. Serums and moisturizers enriched with Vitamin C are excellent additions to your winter skincare routine.
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4. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid or Hyaluronan is a sugar that naturally occurs in the skin. It is a humectant which means that it has a natural ability to hold water and prevent moisture from evaporating. It helps maintain the hydration and plumpness of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is necessary during winter as moisture loss leads to skin dehydration and dullness which are both common ailments caused by the cold temperatures, low humidity levels, harsh winds, and indoor heat.
Hyaluronic Acid is the main ingredient in many serums, moisturizers, and overnight masks. When applying a hyaluronic acid serum, it is necessary to immediately lock it in with a cream to lock in the moisture. Otherwise, it will pull the moisture from your skin which will make your skin even dryer. Lack of moisture can cause chapped, cracked, itchy, irritated skin.
Ceramides are composed of long-chain fatty acids that connect with other molecules to support cellular function. Ceramides shield your epidermis from environmental harm by creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss. Your skin naturally consists of ceramides that are lost as you age, which is another reason for dull and dry skin.
According to a study, acne-affected skin has lower levels of ceramides. Low ceramide levels are associated with an increase in transepidermal water loss which suggests that ceramides are indeed necessary for a healthy skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier is vital to protect the skin from environmental stress including wind, cold and indoor heat during the winter season.
Oatmeal is not only a healthy meal but also comes in handy as a remedy for some skin concerns. It absorbs excess oil on your skin and helps prevent and treat acne. It helps get rid of dead skin cells and relieves dry skin.
Oats also contain saponins which act as natural cleansers to get rid of dirt and excess oil that clogs the pores. It contains zinc and is excellent for calming inflammation caused by acne or rash.
According to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, it was noted that oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that efficiently rejuvenates dry, itchy, and flaky skin.
When used as a mask, it leaves a protective layer on the skin to keep it hydrated even during the dry winter season.
7. Shea Butter
Shea Butter is a 100% natural oil sourced from the ripe nut of the shea tree. It is considered as a superfood for the skin because it is packed with Vitamin A, E, and F that promote healthy circulation and skin cell regeneration. In addition, it has an abundant content of fatty oil. Cetyl ester is also an important nutrient in shea butter that locks in moisture, nourishes, and conditions the skin.
Winter skin conditions like redness and dryness are sometimes difficult to soothe. Shea butter permeates deeply into the skin to ease these concerns.
Shea butter is safe to use even for sensitive skin which requires TLC during the winter season. Sensitive skin is more prone to inflammation during the winter season but shea butter has healing and soothing effects that are safe even for sensitive skin.
Urea is a moisturizing compound that is naturally found in healthy skin. It is also known as carbamide, which is a product of protein metabolism.
Urea is best described as a chemical but also acts as a moisturizer. It can effectively get rid of the thicker build-up of dry skin that usually occurs and works well in making the skin soft.
A study found that it boosts the permeability of other topical ingredients making other skincare products more potent. Research also found that urea helps soothe dermatitis, dryness and revitalize the skin barrier.
Urea is a common ingredient in facial cleansers and moisturizers, anti aging creams, eye creams, lotions, acne treatments, shampoos, and conditioners.
Glycerin, or glycerol, is an odorless liquid that is found in plants and animals but is more commonly sourced from sugarcane and soybeans. It is a substance that is used as a moisturizing agent.
Glycerin is beneficial for your skin especially during the winter season when the skin is most likely to become parched. It is a humectant, a substance that attracts water to the skin. It has a light molecular weight, allowing it to be easily absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. Glycerin provides protection to the skin against pollution and harsh weather conditions.
It is a gentle ingredient that is commonly found in many cosmetics and skincare products. Glycerin-based moisturizers work well on the skin, especially during the winter season.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed shrub that is also known as a wonder plant. Its succulent leaves are used in alternative medicine. It is rich in vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene which provides nourishment to keep the skin healthy and youthful. It is excellent for treating dry and parched skin that is common during the winter season.
Any skin type can benefit from aloe vera especially those with oily skin as it moisturizes the skin without making it feel greasy. It provides a protective layer on your skin that will prevent pollutants from entering your skin.
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