With December here, winter is but a few weeks away. Cold air, low humidity, heated indoor environments can all contribute to extremely dry and stressed skin (I’m talkin skin so dry, it’s itch itch itch and scratch scratch scratch :/ ). So today I’m listing some of my fav ingredients to look for in skin care products which help hydrate and protect skin in winter. In addition, if you make your own skin care products, some of them make excellent raw materials for whipped butters, lotions, lip balms and healing savs.
Shea butter is a most popular ingredient in personal care products. It’s an excellent skin hydrater because of its fatty acid content. These include palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid. Fatty acids play an important role in skin health and integrity of the skin barrier. The fatty acids in shea butter help retain moisture content and aid in cell regeneration. A study by Akihisa et al found the high levels of triterpenes in shea fat (butter) contain a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor producing compounds. With so many skin benefits in shea butter, no wonder it’s so popularly used. Luv Luv Luv! The above picture is of the natural shea butter I added to my whipped butter recipe last week (I'll be typing that recipe up real soon!).
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is a favorite oil of mine. It contains essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid which has been shown to decrease inflammation. I recently used a lotion containing evening primrose oil for treating my irritated skin rash on my arms and back. I did not have any cortisone cream at home (I know the irony in that!) so I applied it before bed. In the morning, my skin had significantly calmed down and was less red, less irritated. Some research has revealed beneficial effects of evening primrose oil in patients suffering with atopic dermatitis but additional research is needed to provide consistent evidence. Personally, I can’t wait to add it to my next whipped butter recipe in battling dry, itchy winter skin! (I'll keep you posted).
Extracts + Antioxidants
When shopping for a moisturizer or serum, I like to look for botanical or fruit extracts. Not only do these extracts have benefits that include anti-inflammatory, skin brightening and anti-aging, their antioxidants help battle free radicals and everyday stresses in our skin. Extracts and antioxidants help us stay youthful and healthy! It’s helpful to include antioxidants in your diet as well as applying them on your skin. Some of my favorite extracts for skin care products include aloe, green tea, sea buckthorn, chamomile and calendula. If you think about some of your skin care products, many of the bioactives come from botanical fruits and plants. Presently, I am trying out (affiliate link) Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarain with Rose facial moisturizer (filled w lots of yummy extracts) as well as (affiliate link) Andalou Naturals Age Defying Kit (which includes superfruit antioxidants and Resveratrol Q10 (really loving both!)). To help battle dry skin, I incorporate the extracts + antioxidants in a moisturizer or cream as opposed to a gel or toner.
Winter may be weeks away but the sun’s rays are always with us 365 days a year. On cold or cloudy days, protection from ultraviolet light is still necessary. Always remember to apply sun protection in the form of sunblock or sunscreen and reapply (the American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum of SPF 30+ broad spectrum). Minimize your sunlight exposure and supplement with sun protective clothing. SPF can be found mixed together in make-up (such as foundations, lip products) or in skin care (such as moisturizers) or applied on its own. Personally, I like to use a separate sunblock not mixed in make-up or moisturizer but that’s just me, but I still make sure to use it in the winter time. Right now, I am using (affiliate link) Burn Out Kids Physical Sunscreen over my antioxidant moisturizer and under my make-up.
These are just a few go to ingredients I HAVE TO include in my winter skin care,
What ingredients do you use to help battle dry skin in cold, wintery weather??! Leave me a comment below or send me a tweet. I'd luv to hear from you. :@)
till next time skin ravers,