In Part I of this blog series [Wintertime Skin Part I: Begin Within], we discussed ways you can fortify your winter skin from the inside out, by choosing to include healing foods and nutritional supplements that nourish and protect the epidermis, like balanced Omega fatty acids, complete multi-vitamins and minerals, and a wide spectrum of daily antioxidant support.
Kolya's skincare boutique carries a wide variety of natural products.
There are so many effective clean beauty options to choose from, there is no need to choose between toxic chemical-laden skincare or suffering through another winter with dry, irritated skin.
First, a little bit of skin school.
Let’s discuss a critical component of healthy, functioning skin which is often misunderstood: the acid mantle. This term simply refers to the pH of the surface of the epidermis. If the skin is balanced and healthy, it should be around 5.5. Anything lower than 7 on the pH scale is considered acidic, and so it is with our skin's surface.
Slightly acidic skin is best
Healthy sweat and sebum secretions naturally have a slightly acidic pH, and it is necessary this pH is maintained in order for enzymes to work properly, cells to turn over at the appropriate rate, hydration to be retained, and antimicrobial defences to function at optimal levels.
Skin Type affects natural pH
Generally speaking, people with naturally oily skin are less susceptible to acid mantle disturbance due to their enhanced production of naturally acidic sebum. Dry skin types with very little to no sebum production would therefore have a slightly less acidic pH and can be more vulnerable to acid mantle disturbances and the damage that can result thereafter.
What happens when the acid mantle is disrupted?
If the pH of the epidermal surface is disturbed and not properly reestablished, your skin may feel tight, itchy, or rough after washing. It may look red and irritated. Products you may have used regularly in the past suddenly seem to exacerbate the problem, and your skin becomes highly reactive to anything and everything. Precious hydration is rapidly being lost to the environment at the same time, all sorts of invaders (pollutants, bacteria) are entering.
Why does this happen?
One of the most common ways we disrupt our acid mantle is via the cleanser we use. The winter cleanser you choose should effectively remove pollution, dirt, and make-up, without dramatically raising the pH of the epidermis or stripping away all your natural oils.
My favourite winter cleansers for each skin type
Here are my winter cleanser recommendations for all skin types that are both effective and super-gentle:
- Oily Skin - try switching to Dr.Hauschka Cleansing Cream to deeply cleanse and exfoliate without any surfactants. Your skin will be left radiant and soft, with sebum production balanced.
- Watch the unique “press and roll” technique for Cleansing Cream. Your Dr. Hauschka Night Care Regimen
- Normal Skin - Communion’s Neroli and Pink Clay Illume Cleansing Cream gently detoxifies with clay and castor oil, while chamomile, plantain, and calendula soothe. The gorgeous pale rose colour and intoxicating orange blossom aroma make it such a pleasure to use. Remove with a soft warm cloth for best results.
- Dry Skin - Indulge in Eminence Organics’ Coconut Milk Cleanser and quench your dry skin with a blend of nutritious and hydrating coconut milk, coconut oil, and calendula oil. Removes all makeup and smells like a tropical vacation.
- Sensitive Skin - OSEA’s Ocean Cleansing Milk is perfect for any of the above skin types that are also prone to redness, rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis. It effectively removes all makeup without irritation, and leaves even the most delicate skin types clean, balanced and calm.
Your skin is clean, soft, and balanced. What's next?
Selecting the proper cleanser is a key consideration when making adjustments in your skincare regimen for the cold winter months. You have ensured you are using a nourishing, effective, and skin-protecting cleansing product, so now we'll look at the type of exfoliants, essences and serums that are best suited to supporting your wintertime skins’ particular needs, in Part III of the Wintertime Skin series: The Glow-Getters: Exfoliants, Essences and Serums.