It’s no secret that we at Belmondo Skincare love using nature’s ingredients in our healthy skin regimen. Teaching our clients, customers, and readers about the benefits of using earth-grown ingredients in their skin care regimen is the heart and soul of what we do.
In Part 4 of this 10-part series on the benefits of natural skincare, we’re giving you the lowdown on rough, cracking skin – one of the less beloved signs of Winter – and what you can do to replenish moisture and get back to looking and feeling balanced and smooth.
P.S. Look for Belmondo’s Favorite Tips scattered throughout this series. There’s one in each article. We’re giving you the inside scoop on how we enjoy the things of earth, naturally, for beautiful skin and a greener planet – and how you can, too!
Nature Walks. Sparkling snow. Gatherings with family and friends. And dry, rough, cracked skin.
Not exactly your Winter Wish List this year, we’re guessing? We thought not!
Along with the natural beauty of Winter come a few, shall we say, seasonal drawbacks. Wintry elements such as low humidity in the air can easily lead to moisture loss in the skin, which manifests itself as rough, cracked, dry, flaky, or scaly skin. (It sounds lovely, we know. Wink.) Read on to learn more about the conditions leading to skin dehydration and how to prevent and treat it.
What causes skin dehydration? How do I know if my skin is dehydrated?
In short, skin dehydration is caused by moisture loss and the removal of sebum (naturally occurring oils) from the skin. When moisture evaporates and sebum is stripped, the skin becomes dehydrated. What does dehydrated skin look like? Think dry, red, rough, scaly, itchy, lustre-less, and sometimes even cracked. (Ouch!)
What causes the skin to lose moisture? During the Winter in most climates, the atmosphere is the culprit. Osmosis (absorption of water) occurs anytime a climate’s humidity drops to below 80%, which we know is very typical in the Winter.
Low moisture in the air equals low moisture in the skin. Healthy skin usually contains about 20% water content. In cold, dry climates, the skin’s water level can drop to 10%, which is a dehydrated state. This causes a disturbance in the skin’s Ph balance and this affects the flow of fluids and nutrients within the skin’s cell structure. If dehydrated skin is left untreated, these thirsty cells can become permanently damaged, leading to premature aging.
In addition to environmental factors, skin dehydration can be brought on by use of harsh, drying soaps and other stripping, astringent products. At Belmondo, we advocate for the use of moisturizers that contain all-natural ingredients such as olive oil.
How can I avoid skin dehydration in my day-to-day life?
As with anything, it’s easier to prevent dehydration than it is to treat it. We recommend a holistic lifestyle approach that’s easy on the earth and easy on your skin.
Lifestyle tips for keeping your skin well-hydrated and looking and feeling as youthful as possible: get plenty of rest, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and drink lots of water, especially after exercising. Also vital: proper nutrition, meaning a diet filled with organic green vegetables and fruits and other foods with high water content. Healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter, and wild fish are all welcome components of a skin-friendly diet. We also like supplements containing essential fatty acids (EFAs), which replenish your skin from the inside out and provide additional healthy lubrication to the tissues. And of course, we recommend manual exfoliation of the skin 1-2 times per week with an all-natural exfoliant for optimal cell turnover.
What to avoid: long term exposure to air conditioning or heaters, overexfoliating, and soaps and chemical detergents that contain sodium lauryl sulfates, as all of these are very drying to the skin.
How can I best treat my dehydrated, rough, flaky Winter skin the all-natural way?
To treat dehydrated skin, invest in a good quality, all-natural moisturizer that contains lipids (healthy fats) and other moisturizing elements that are already present in the surface of the skin. (The skin welcomes in what it recognizes to repair and renew itself.) Plant-based oils such as olive oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil, and safflower oil mimic the skin’s natural lipid content. For a terrific trio of products containing healthy plant-based oils, try The Dew Face Oil, After the Rain Face Toner, and The Cloud Face Cream,
We also are proponents of using skin-friendly butters, such as mango butter, cocoa butter, and shea butter, as well as 100% pure essential carriers oils, such as olive oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, and jojoba oil. All contain lipids that will replenish and revitalize dehydrated skin. The Nectar Hand and Body Butter will get the job done. Avoid oils manufactured with high percentages of synthetic ingredients (read the labels), as they will irritate and dry out the skin.
Belmondo’s Favorite Tip No. 4: Your sweet lips deserve extra special treatment in cold weather. They’re even more prone to dehydration than the rest of your skin due to their special cell structure. Best moisturizers for lips: look for all-natural products with ingredients such as olive oil, beeswax, hemp oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and other rich healthy oils. Around here? We like The Balm.
Special note about dehydration for Retin A users . . .
We commonly see skincare clients who have experienced tremendous dehydration due to use of Retin A, a frequently-prescribed topical solution that claims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Problematically, the ingredients in Retin A strip the skin so finely that it becomes unable to react normally to environmental effects, thus intensifying dehydration. (No wonder the usual side effects of Retin A are dryness, flakiness, and irritation.)
If you’ve been using a Retin A product, note that it will usually take about a year for your skin’s full health to return after stopping application.
Needless to say, we at Belmondo are not in favor of Retin A and its dramatic drying effects on the skin.
So that’s the scoop on Winter dehydration and how you can both prevent and treat its oh so lovely side effects such as redness, scaliness, and flaking. We advocate a holistic lifestyle approach that promotes cell turnover and replenishing the skin with lipids and other natural elements. We want you and your skin to glow all Winter long!
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*We at Belmondo Organic Skincare are natural skincare professionals, not medical professionals. If you have a skin condition you feel needs medical attention, please consult a physician.