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Why does our skin feel dry & irritated during Winter?

Why does our skin feel dry & irritated during Winter?… 

Do you suffer from dryness, redness, itchy or irritated skin during Winter? That nighttime itchiness is just the worse, isn’t it?! These are some of the main causes as to why the Winter season tends to make our skin suffer more than any other season.

1. During our winter months the humidity in the air is very low meaning there is less moisture in the
air to help hydrate our skin. When the air is drier it increases the rate of water flow from the
dermis to the epidermis resulting in faster water evaporation (TEWL).

2. We are constantly amping up the heating in our homes, cars and the office to stay warm, this will
leave the air very dry and further decreasing any humidity in the air.

3. We are taking hotter and longer showers to try and warm ourselves up.

4. When the temperature drops below 8 degrees our sebaceous (oil) glands slow down the production of oil. 

5. Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, chronically dry skin can be more prone to flares & aggravating symptoms during Winter because they already tend to have a protein (filaggrin) deficiency.  

This all can affect the levels of proteins & natural oils in the skin and leave the skin barrier permeable ‘leaky skin’.

Sebum along with other lipids (oils) produced by the cells in the stratum corneum (the skin we can touch) gives us our protective
layer of skin (barrier). Without these lipids & proteins, we are more prone to experience dry, irritated, inflamed, tight skin.

Remember we need a healthy combination of water, proteins and oil to keep our barrier nice and strong.

Without natural oils, your skin will be dry!

Remember the brick wall analogy?….how your skin cells are like bricks and the oil is like mortar (cement)?

Without these healthy oils, your bricks can separate allowing water to evaporate from the skin.

Why do i get itchy skin?

When the skin barrier is ‘leaky’ or permeable this will also allow pathogens, bacteria & allergens easy access. When this happens it triggers our immune cells (mast cells) to release histamine. When histamine is released into the skin in small amounts it causes itching and irritation. In some cases, histamine is released in large doses in the skin which can result in Urticaria (also known as Hives).

Remember: Decreased oil (sebum) + Increased water loss = Triggered immune response (mast cells) and histamine release…Hello, itchy!

So what can we do about it?

During these colder months, it is a great idea to update your home care moisturiser to a Bespoke (customised) Base Cream.

This enables us to add nourishing (skin-identical) oils into your moisturiser to help hold the water
(hydration) in and prevent the environment from stripping it out.

By adding these skin-identical oils into a DMS base cream, we are getting an immediate penetration into
the skin. Without the delivery system, these oils would just be sitting on the surface of the skin resulting
in that greasy oily feeling.

Only Dermaviduals offers the security of using oils that are pure, unfiltered, non-diluted
or mixed, making them safe to use and incredibly soothing to the skin. Dermaviduals
oils are each formulated to be readily absorbed into the skin and are non-comedogenic.
Each oil is formulated to help retain skin moisture, repair and protect the skin’s barrier
while soothing inflamed or irritated areas.

Some great oils are, just to name a few:

Avocado oil – A rich and extremely deep penetrating oil. This is our rescue oil, which helps to
smooth irritated skin and support its regeneration. High in linoleic acid (Omega 6),
linoleic acid prevents dryness and roughness. This oil is also rich in Vitamin E.

Jojoba oil – The oil that mimics our own human sebum. Reduces TEWL by diffusing into
the stratum corneum (barrier) and acts with the intercellular lipids. Non-comedogenic.

Rose Hip Seed oil – This wonderful oil contains high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid
(Omega 3) and linoleic acid (omega 6). Very anti-inflammatory and wound healing.
Rosehip also helps to control our sebum production. Sebum production slows down
when the temperature falls below 8 degrees.

Lotion N – This wonderful spritz contains nature-identical vegetable oils encapsulated in
nanoparticles. Dry skins with barrier disorders require a high oil content to restore
natural balance. These nanoparticles consist of phosphatidylcholine which is also found
in the cell membrane and contains high amounts of linoleic acid (omega 6).

Oleogel Plus – Our rescue ointment. Oleogel plus is a water-free formula and contains
high-quality plant oils that are able to penetrate very quickly into the skin due to its high
natural lipid components. This ointment protects against environmental damage, calms
redness and prevents TEWL. Great to also use on your lips (our dermaviduals lip balm
is Oleogel Plus solidified with natural beeswax).

Remember our omegas, these increase ceramide production (lipids) within the skin and help reduce
inflammation. Taking an omega supplement will help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. (Head over to our Fish oil blog to read more.)

The second step would be to introduce ingredients called humectants which are water-binding such as hyaluronic acid, laminaria digitata, Natural Moisturising Factor, Aloe Vera, Lotion M and Face tonic. We can work these into your skin prescription.

It also may be beneficial for you to introduce an air humidifier into the bedroom at night, this will also
help to put some moisture back into the air. Remember low humidity increases faster water flow within
the skin. This will help to slow that water movement down and lock it in. 

Written by Danielle 


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