Treating the skin during the cold, dry winter months can be a challenge. Follow these suggestions to keep your skin radiant and supple, regardless of skin type or weather.
Dry skin is actually a manifestation of chronic subclinical (invisible to the eye) inflammation. For optimal resolution, follow the three-tiered anti-inflammatory program, which consists of anti-inflammatory foods, anti-inflammatory antioxidant supplements and topical anti-inflammatory antioxidants. It is also important to make sure that you have an adequate intake of healthy fats such as those found in fish, fish oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc. While topicals can do wonders, it is of critical importance to not forget the dietary component, which can either cause or make worse all of these conditions. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) as a topical is great because it normalizes the skin.
You can counter the causes of dry, flaky skin internally through a healthy diet and by taking nourishing, antioxidant-rich supplements and using topicals that contain alpha lipoic acid. ALA works synergistically with other antioxidants in the skin to reduce the damaging inflammatory effects of ultraviolet radiation. Its antioxidant properties act as natural anti-inflammatories to counter dry, flaky skin.
Also take essential fatty acids by eating cold-water fish such as salmon and taking high-quality fish oil to combat dry skin from the inside out.
Skin that tends to be oilier can avoid some of the oxidative stress inherent in dry skin. The oiliness, coupled with more melanin to provide protection from the sun, delays the appearance of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. But oily skin can also be prone to breakouts.
Oily skin can benefit from cleansing with a nutritive cleanser that contains alpha lipoic acid. Known as the universal antioxidant, ALA is 400 times stronger than both vitamins C and E combined. ALA is unique in that it is both fat and water soluble, allowing it to reach and protect the water and lipid portions of the skin with antioxidant benefits. These antioxidant benefits act as natural anti-inflammatories, thoroughly cleansing the skin of impurities without causing dryness, redness or irritation. Skin feels and looks clean, soft, supple, silky and radiant.
Alpha lipoic acid has the capacity to regulate production of nitric oxide, which controls blood flow to the skin. When applied topically, it helps to transform the complexion from dull, pasty and pale to vibrant and glowing. It will shrink pores, even out skin tone, decrease lines and wrinkles, and eliminate puffiness. Oily skin often suffers from enlarged pores. In addition, ALA will normalize oil output. Avoid sugary and starchy foods, which upset the normal cell metabolism.
Always use a cleanser that has anti-inflammatory properties and is not harsh or drying the way soap can be. Try a toner or toner pads that contain DMAE on the oilier portions of your face, and on the dry areas use an oil-free moisturizer.
Olive oil polyphenols are important antioxidants (natural anti-inflammatories) found in their highest concentrations in extra virgin olive oil. When used in topical formulas, even in high concentrations, they are extremely gentle and non-irritating and are safe for even the most sensitive skin.
Olive oil polyphenols offer many benefits when incorporated into topical formulations, including the following:
- Delivers polyphenol antioxidant benefits directly to the skin
- Provides an all-natural approach to the prevention of free-radical damage
- Minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles while brightening and evening skin tone
- Guards against signs of premature aging
- Is extremely gentle and non-irritating and safe for even the most sensitive skin
Mature skin can benefit from DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), which is a nutritional substance that is a powerful anti-inflammatory and membrane stabilizer. DMAE is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that causes muscles to contract and tighten under the skin. Therefore, it can help maintain muscle tone in the face and body as we age, helping to prevent both sagging and drooping of the muscles under the skin. Because it is also a superb anti-inflammatory, it will give you a very visible increase in overall radiance and evenness of skin tone and color.
Mature skin can also benefit from topical neuropeptides. In studies examining the application of various neuropeptide preparations directly to the skin, exciting clinical benefits were observed almost immediately upon application. Within minutes of applying a topical cream containing multiple neuropeptides and DMAE, a powerful anti-inflammatory with activity in both the skin and the brain, we see:
- a visible increase in radiance and glow to the skin. This is the result of their powerful anti-inflammatory activity, as well as their effects on blood circulation and cell metabolism
- an increase in firmness, as the neuropeptides aid in collagen and elastin production
- improved appearance of the skin’s resilience, tone and texture
- decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- decreased appearance of tiny veins and capillaries
- maximized regeneration and hydration of the skin
As we get older, our skin cell turnover decreases, we lose the thickness of the dermis through the loss of collagen and elastin, and we experience a decrease in important blood vessels which carry nutrients to the skin cells—all of which can be greatly ameliorated by the application of topicals with antioxidant properties.
Chapped, Dry Skin
Products that contain polyenylphosphatidyl choline (PPC) are unsurpassed in relieving chapped, dry skin. This is because the chief moisturizing agents in the skin are phospholipids. When we apply an unsaturated phospholipid like PPC, the moisturizing action is even more effective and powerful than that of the natural phospholipids we find in our skin.
Topical PPC provides the following benefits:
- Acts as a natural moisturizer to provide superior emollient benefits to the skin
- Helps heal dry, chapped and inflamed skin
- Increases the appearance of a radiant, rosy glow
- Rapidly moisturizes severely dehydrated skin
- Helps to improve the appearance of damaged skin
With the change in the weather, have you noticed a change in your skin?