Anti-freeze Strategies

The thermometer drops, the wind blows and our skin sees red! In winter, sebum production slows down and the hydrolipid film on the surface is altered and no longer works as a barrier, leaving the upper layers of the epidermis - the stratum corneum – unprotected. It is weakened. More like crocodile skin than peach skin, it dries out, becoming tight, flushed, hot, tingling, and marred. With the natural defenses down, the skin is irritable, reactive, and even intolerant. And also aging faster! The skin that is most affected by this phenomenon is the most fragile, that is to say alipic skin - dry and very dry skin - and sensitive skin, including rosacea. Winter is a merciless season for these skin types but normal skin and oily skin are not immune to harsh effects.

Plan of attack

In winter, the beauty ritual aims, above all, to protect. The cold, the wind, and the rapid changes in temperature are all factors that make skincare difficult. Redness occurs and skin becomes tight and irritable, hence the need to use skincare products on the parts of the body most exposed to the elements: the face, lips, and hands. Remember: lips dry out very quickly in the cold because they are not protected by sebum like other parts of the face. For the face and hands, the use of rich and creamy barrier creams is essential.

More essential than ever: hydration

The word of the day is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. This includes not only the face but also the body, at least after every shower. For the face, choose ultra-concentrated serum moisturizers. Hyaluronic acid is the ingredient of choice. Once the skin is well hydrated, it is imperative to prevent it from becoming dehydrated. To achieve this, use nourishing, moisturizing formulas that are hydrating and anti-drying. These dual-performance treatments contain glycerin, or better, polysaccharides in high concentration combined with butters, such as shea, mango, and cocoa, and represent a barrier against the cold by depositing a protective, not sticky, film to the skin’s surface. Textures are usually very creamy and the feeling of comfort and reassurance from the application happens immediately.

Omega-3, the indispensable allies

These essential fats play a vital structural and functional role in our skin. First, Omega-3s fit into the lipid membranes of our cells, giving elasticity and strength to the skin while adding a barrier. Then an intake of Omega-3 significantly reduces the concentration of an inflammation mediator in skin cells: prostaglandin PGE2 or two. The skin is soothed.

Just remember, to face the harsh climate: add a few drops of rich, oily Omega-3 serum in both morning and evening cream.

Masks: hot in winter

Winter is also a great time to enjoy the many benefits of masks. Regenerating, moisturizing and nourishing, they replenish and soothe. Excellent supplements for daily care, they act in a few minutes. The skin quickly and permanently softens, adding suppleness and radiance. Immediate comfort for deeply serene skin!

With the right care, winter will not mar the skin. One last piece of advice: remember to protect skin from the sun with sunscreen. Even if it’s freezing outside, sunscreen remains essential.

Isabelle Villeneuve is scientific director—head of innovation at Laboratoire Dr Renaud. She has been actively participating in the development of Laboratoire Dr Renaud since 1995.

by Isabelle Villeneuve | Winter 2013/2014