Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Sritama Dutta (Medical Science) on 01st Mar 2021
2 Must have Minimalist serums for winters and how to use these properly
Fixing your Dry Skin this Winter is Easier than Ever. Know how!
Winter is knocking at the door. With the upcoming holiday season, you know you're going to be worried. And one of the biggest concerns among them is the soon-to-happen loss of moisture from the skin and the impending dryness and flakiness that becomes difficult to manage.
But before you run to the shop to stock up on your moisturizers and winter creams, there are specific things you need to know. You are merely applying loads of moisturizer so your skin won't solve the problem. It might keep your skin moisturized for a short period but what you need is a long-term remedy to keep your skin soft and supple in the winters. But how?
If you find yourself clueless in this matter, we are here to help you with that. This article will discuss why moisturizing is important and the most effective way to take good care of your skin during winters. What more? We will also disclose two great ingredients that you can proudly call your best friends this forthcoming winter.
Why is Moisturizing Your Skin Important During Winter?
In the cold months, the skin loses a high amount of moisture and appears dry and flaky—the pores of the skin shrinks, which hinders the dermal cells' self-cleaning action. In turn, it reduces the sebum secretion by the skin cells, which otherwise acts as a natural moisturizer for your skin. The sebum produced by the sebaceous glands gets trapped in the dermal layers, which might give rise to several skin conditions like breakouts, redness, rashes, and even acne.
The cold weather can also disrupt the inherent defense barrier of the skin. The acid mantle, which is formed by the combination of the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands of our skin with sweat, acts as a protective shield that prevents bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful contaminants from penetrating the skin layers. A drop in the environmental temperature automatically minimizes the natural process of sweating and also reduces sebum production. The acid mantle fails to maintain its integrity and makes the skin susceptible to various infectious agents.
The only solution is to keep our skin optimally hydrated during the winter season to combat all these. Not only does this keep your skin glowing and plump, but it also helps in protecting the natural integrity of the skin. And if you have a few parties to attend during the holidays, well-hydrated and moisturized skin will allow you to wear your makeup without the worry of damaging the skin.
Humectants, Occlusives and Emollients: When to use what?
Not all moisturizers are the same. Depending upon their constituent chemicals, different moisturizers act in different ways. Every moisturizing cream or lotion is composed of majorly three different elements. They are Humectants, emollients, and occlusives. If you are not so familiar with these terms, let's see what they entail.
- Humectants: Humectants are probably the best ingredients that help in moisturizing the skin. They have a unique hydrophilic quality that attracts environmental moisture towards your skin, which increases the moisture content in the dermal cell. The most commonly used humectant is glycerin. Other effective humectants are hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and also salicylic acid. These ingredients themselves bind with the water molecules and keep the skin hydrated.
- Emollients: Emollients are ingredients that cannot fetch moisture on their own. However, they spread out on a surface and trap the already existing moisture content from the skin. They help to soothe the skin and soften it.
Emollients are of two types: oil-based and water-based. The oil-based ones are slightly heavier on the skin and feel somewhat greasy. These work best on dry and dehydrated skin. Whereas lightweight, water-based emollients are suitable for normal to oily skin. The modest, widely used emollients in skincare products are lipids and silicone. Recently, due to its much milder effect, Squalane has gained popularity among emollient moisturizers.
- Occlusives: Occlusives are ingredients that help to create a physical barrier on the skin. Though this barrier does not allow external moisture to enter the skin, it effectively prevents the internal moisture from escaping from the inner dermal layers. The most common occlusives are zinc and waxes. However, these ingredients feel somewhat heavy on the skin and do not give a pleasant feeling when used as a standalone product. Thus, mostly occlusive ingredients are found in combination with emollients.
There is Magic in Mixing:
Moisturizers work best when they are formulated as a combination of humectants and emollients. It adds the benefits of both types of ingredients and maximizes the effect of the Moisturizer. The humectant helps draw moisture from the external environment in the dermal cells, and the emollient prevents it from escaping so that your skin remains hydrated for a long time. Even in the harshest winter, a combination of humectant and emollient will keep your skin well-hydrated and supple.
What does Minimalist Recommend You for this Winter?
The skincare experts at Minimalist always strive to provide you with the most effective and science-backed advice favorable for your skin. When it comes to skincare in the winters, we recommend you two great ingredients that can take care of your skin with great efficiency. They are Hyaluronic acid and Squalane. Let's dig a little into the ingredients' attributes and determine how they are suitable for the skin.
Hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan is a humectant that is naturally generated in our body. Its primary function is to retain moisture in the skin cells and keep the tissue lubricated and moist. However, during the winters, the body's hyaluronic acid does not suffice the skin's need. That's why you need some topical supplements of Hyaluronic Acid when the environmental temperature drops down.
A clinical study suggested that a dose of 120-240 mg of hyaluronan taken for a month can significantly raise skin moisture and minimizes the incidence of dry skin in adults. Applying hyaluronic acid on the skin can also reduce wrinkles and fine lines and make your skin appear youthful and plump by increasing its water content. The hyaluronic serum keeps the skin firm and smooth and helps in rapid wound healing by regulating inflammation and promoting tissue regeneration.
- The Minimalist Hyaluronic Acid 2%+ Vitamin B5 serum provides you with intense hydration without leaving a greasy feel on your skin. It has a feather-light formula with 2% Sodium Hyaluronate that provides a multi-level moisturization. Its smaller molecular size makes it easier to penetrate the deeper dermal layers for long-lasting hydration. The Aloe extract in it adds up to its efficacy.
The sebum that our skin produces naturally contains an element known as Squalene. It acts as a natural moisturizer. But its production eventually wanes in our 20s or 30s. It leads the skin to become dry and dull-looking.
Squalane is an excellent emollient that mimics the skin's natural oil. It is an odorless and non-irritant ingredient that is compatible with all types of skin. It retains the moisture in the skin and makes the skin firm and healthier. It also has an antioxidant property, which helps fight the free radicals in the skin, accelerating the aging process. Research has also shown that Squalane acts as a detoxifier too.
The topical application of Squalane also boosts collagen production in the skin. Its lightweight formulation doesn't clog the skin pores, and neither does it feel greasy. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing redness and swelling.
- The Minimalist 100% Squalane Serum is a superior moisturizing product derived from Olive oil. It significantly promotes the skin barrier function and improves the skin's elasticity after about a month's use. It creates a hydrolipid film on your skin and conserves the moisture in it by preventing trans-epidermal water loss. Squalane has excellent spreadability, and it rapidly absorbs in the skin. The 100% pure squalane helps preserve the skin's overall integrity and prevents it from drying out.
The Secret is Layering: The trick to get the most out of your Moisturizer.
The way you apply your moisturizer significantly affects how efficient its action on the skin is. The best way you can protect your skin is by systematically layering the moisturizer.
After you clean your skin with a mild cleanser, apply a humectant such as Hyaluronic Acid over your face. Leave it for a few mins to let it absorb in the skin. Its affinity towards water will pull in moisture from the environment and help to hydrate the skin.
After that, layer it with an emollient such as 100% pure squalane serum. It spreads over your skin and rapidly gets absorbed in the dermal layers. Its property to retain moisture helps to trap the water molecule that the Hyaluronic acid has attracted to the skin. It keeps the skin hydrated for a longer duration.
To finish, apply your preferred moisturizing cream containing an occlusive as a top coat to add up to the moisturizing effect. It seals the water in the dermal layers and prevents it from evaporating. Follow this gradient, and you are good to go to fight the adversities of the cold days.
Cozy Blankets, A Warm Cup of Coffee, And Soft, Radiant Skin: Can Winter get any better?
Moisturization is the key to healthy and glowing skin. A combination of humectants, emollients, and occlusives can do wonders for your skin. As winter arrives, this skincare regime will prepare your skin for the winter so that you can flaunt your youthful, radiant skin throughout the cold months.