Winter is approaching and so is the constant change in temperature between harsh winter winds and indoor heating. The skin is affected the most in this weather. With the lack of humidity in the air mixed with the drying indoor heat, flaky and dehydrated skin becomes the new norm, and the need for deep hydration and nourishment increases more every day. Winter skincare routines include specific products that can counterattack the damage caused on the skin by seasonal changes. As the winter air can dehydrate both dry and oily skin types, the inclusion of humectants and occlusives/emollients are essential for the best winter skincare routine.
What are humectants?
Humectants work as hydrating agents that attract more moisture to the skin by extracting water molecules from the air. The most commonly known humectant ingredient is hyaluronic acid. A single gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water. This acid is present naturally in the human body and works to retain moisture levels within cells leaving the skin plumper, hydrated, and healthy. It also helps diminish the appearance of fine lines leaving the skin looking more youthful and radiant in the winter months. Rather than other acids that exfoliate the skin, hyaluronic acid simply hydrates and can be used every day, on all skin types.
What are occlusives/emollients?
Occlusive and emollient ingredients work similarly. Both create a physical barrier on the surface of the skin with aims of retaining moisture levels, reducing irritation (caused by external pollutants), and softening the skin. One of the most commonly used ingredients that can be classified as both an occlusive and emollient is Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter.
How can these be added to winter skincare routines?
Hydrating masks containing hyaluronic acid is a great way to offer the skin a deep weekly or semi-weekly condition. The MZ Skin Hydra-Lift Golden Facial Treatment Mask and Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask both contain hyaluronic acid and collagen that helps restore hydration, minimize any fine lines/wrinkles, and brightens the complexion.
Moisturisers often contain a mix of humectants and occlusives/emollients. Using these ingredients together hydrates the skin by attracting moisture to skin cells, while also protecting it from external irritants. The MZ Skin Hydrate & Nourish Age Defence Retinol Day Moisturiser with SPF 30 is a great day time moisturiser that is rich in hyaluronic acid and Shea butter. The use of this moisturiser helps restore hydration and boosts collagen production, which leaves the complexion smoother and more radiant. For those with dry or severely dehydrated skin types, the MZ Skin Replenish & Restore Placenta & Stem Cell Night Recovery Mask is a necessity to re-hydrate and deeply nourish the skin.
Another key product in the best winter skincare routines are eye-creams. The skin around the eye is extremely delicate and sensitive, and often is the first place to show effects of the harsh winter weather (usually in the form of flakiness and increased fine lines). Eye-creams should be added into winter routines to hydrate and plump the eye area and to help reverse any weather effects on the skin. The MZ Skin Soothe & Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex contains Albizia Bark Extract, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that help in strengthening capillaries to reduce the appearance of dark circles, whilst also firming and smoothing the eye area.