Winter - active ingredients

Article by Elisabeth Bergvall (Owner of the Cosmeceutical Creyan Skin System products) in Cosmetics International 12/2021:

The cold is here and challenging months ahead for the skin. It is high time that you adjusted your daily care routine accordingly. Focus on products with protective and strengthening "specialists" to keep your skin fresh and healthy through the winter.

When temperatures drop, the sebaceous glands produce less of the skin's natural protective sebum barrier and moisture can more easily evaporate from the surface. The skin dries out, tightens and itches. Small cracks can also appear. When it's cold, the blood vessels contract and ensure that the heat is kept inside the body. However, this reduces the blood supply to the skin – less oxygen and nutrients reach it and it looks paler.

That makes the barrier strong

Added to this is the extreme alternation between dry heating air and cold. This means: The skin now needs support from particularly restorative and protective ingredients. The following ingredients are ideal here to make brittle winter skin shine again.

Ceramides are important endogenous lipids in the top layer of skin and are among the essential building blocks that contribute to a healthy and functioning skin barrier . Ceramides consist of a fatty acid and sphingosine (a building block of the cell membrane) and together with fatty acid molecules and cholesterol form a kind of liquid and elastic “cement” between the small cells of the outer skin layer.

This "putty"

  • closes open gaps in the skin barrier,

  • prevents the penetration of harmful substances (pollution) and
  • protects against moisture loss.

The connection between ceramides and skin health has been proven, which is why ceramides are also very important in medical cosmetics . A lack of these lipids leads to a barrier disorder - i.e. to dry, scaly and irritated skin. Many studies have shown that skin creams with ceramides help the skin regain its balance and reduce the symptoms of barrier weakness. Because skin produces fewer lipids in colder temperatures, topical application of ceramides is essential to provide relief to dry, cracked skin. They help strengthen the barrier and retain moisture in the skin.

Squalane is primarily derived from olive oil and is very similar to human sebum. Therefore, it integrates very well into the skin structure and is quickly absorbed without leaving an unpleasant greasy feeling or clogging the pores.

Keep the moisture

Squalane strengthens the formation of the natural hydro-lipid film and protects the skin from excessive transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Squalane retains moisture in the skin over the long term and, with its regenerative properties, is suitable for the care of dry, sensitive and barrier-damaged skin. The oil works particularly well in combination with hyaluronic acid or glycerin. In addition, squalane supplies the skin with nutrients and protects against oxidative damage as it is also an antioxidant. In winter, it ensures a radiant complexion with fewer dryness lines.

Jiaogulan is a medicinal herb from Asia, which is also called "plant of immortality". With its gently harmonizing effect, it stabilizes the barrier of dry and sensitive skin. Sub-functions of the skin (dryness, tightness) are stimulated by a constructive effect and over-function (excessive sebum production) is regulated with a calming effect.

The plant extract supports the skin in adapting to different stressful situations. This adaptogenic effect improves overall skin functions and moisture retention. Since it also stimulates cell renewal, Jiaogulan serves as an excellent anti-aging ingredient that can adapt to even the most sensitive skin in winter and reduce the depth of wrinkles. In addition, Jiaogulan with its antioxidant effect enables cell protection all year round.

Protect and regenerate

Ectoin , the "stress protection molecule" offers protection for cold-stressed skin. Derived from microorganisms that survive in extreme conditions, the amino acid derivative binds water molecules to itself, forming a stable, protective layer of water. Skin cells, enzymes and proteins are protected from external stress factors such as dryness, heat, cold and UV radiation. Ectoin has been proven to prevent skin and cell damage and even "repair" already damaged skin. It supplies the deeper skin layers with moisture and has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on irritated skin. In addition, these anti-stress active ingredients are able to strengthen the entire barrier function and also provide the deep layers of the skin with plenty of moisture to counteract the formation of wrinkles.

Other important ingredients

Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii butter, see photo) strengthens the skin's lipid barrier, has a moisturizing effect and moisturizes. It soothes, smoothes and provides the skin with numerous essential nutrients.

Lecithin ensures continuous skin renewal and regulates cornification disorders. The moisturizing lipid strengthens the skin barrier and ensures good moisture penetration.

Vitamin E (tocopherol) repairs skin damage and promotes cell renewal. The powerful antioxidant protects against free radicals and improves the skin's ability to retain moisture.

Humectants such as hyaluronic acid, urea, lactic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, panthenol and aloe vera provide and bind moisture. They prevent dehydration and promote the elasticity of the skin.

Niacinamide improves the barrier function and promotes the formation of ceramides and free fatty acids. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces redness and soothes the skin. It can also soften pigment spots and reduce wrinkles.

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Elisabeth Bergvall: The experienced beauty expert and consultant in the field of medical cosmetics is the owner and managing director of Nordesta. The Munich company develops and markets products for the cosmeceutical Creyan Skin System.

Cosmetics International 12/2021