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Cold Weather Skin Therapy: How to Treat Dryness

Keep your skin soft and hydrated throughout the cold, windy months with this expert advice.

| November 14th, 2013

Thirsty. Parched. Dehydrated. There are a lot of different words for dry skin—and just as many undesirable symptoms that come with it. No matter what you call this common skin condition, it all means the same thing: Your skin needs more moisture.

What causes dryness?
Like most skin conditions, we often inherit dry skin from our family tree. (Thanks, Mom!) But rough, flaky and tight skin can also be caused by outside factors—one of which is weather. (Thanks, Mother Nature!) Cold, windy conditions can suck moisture out of your skin and leave it feeling chapped. Another dryness culprit is diet. If you don’t eat foods rich enough in fatty acids, it unfortunately shows on your skin.

All of these causes affect your lipid barrier, resulting in trans epidermal water loss. That’s when the natural water inside our skin creeps out through cracks and crevices, causing dryness.

How to treat dryness:
Just add water (aka moisturize). Products rich with moisturizing ingredients add a layer of moisture on top of skin, therefore reinforcing the skin’s lipid barrier and keeping water from evaporating. These ingredients include petroleum, natural oils, mineral oil, natural butters and vitamin E, and they offer instant relief.

In addition to moisturizing, you can also hydrate, which is more from the inside out. “Hydration is the act of bringing water to the skin either by stimulating components within the skin that hold onto water—or adding humectants on the surface of the skin to draw in water,” explains cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. The most popular hydrating ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which is also the moisturizing substance found in our skin.

When picking out products to quench your skin, think thick and creamy. “Thicker creams are best, because they tend to contain more waxy or emollient ingredients that coat the skin and prevent moisture from escaping,” says Wilson. “Creamy face washes add emollients back to the skin, too, reducing the level of dryness typically associated with cleansers.”

Choose the right products packed with the right ingredients, and you’ll hang your dry-skin woes out to dry.

Proven Products for Dryness
Our team of chemists check the claims of every product we sell, making sure its ingredients do what they say. The below products contain ingredients that are proven to treat and prevent dryness.

Natura Siberica Natural & Organic Cleansing Fluid, $12
What: Ideal for dry and sensitive skin, this daily cleanser removes impurities and makeup while its vitamin F-rich formula moisturizes and renews skin cells for a bright, even-toned complexion.

Sans Goji Cleansing Oil, $48
What: Infused with powerful Goji oil, this nourishing cleansing oil helps retain the skin’s natural pH balance while soothing and restoring moisture to parched, dry skin.

VMV Hypoallergenics Moisture Rich Mild-Mannered Cleansing Scrub for Dry Skin, $22
What: This moisture-rich cream formula is filled with smooth pumice grains that buff away dry, flaky skin—revealing a healthy glow.

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