Dry skin can be a nuisance year-round, but in the cold months of winter, it can be particularly stubborn. Dry skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin’s outer barrier, which interferes with the skin’s ability to protect itself. And if you have dry skin, you already know how important it is to find products that actually keep your skin hydrated. The trouble is that it’s hard to know which products will strip moisture from your skin, and which ones won’t.
A good hydrating cleanser is the first step to repairing dry skin, and as such, finding a good one is vital. Avoid foaming cleansers, as even gentle ones tend to contain ingredients that strip the skin of natural moisture. Instead, opt for something rich in hyaluronic acid, which acts like a sponge, holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Our Essential-11 Hydrating Cleanser is loaded with it, and contains cucumber and peptides to help soothe and smooth dry skin.
Because serums are typically more concentrated forms of active ingredients, they are superstars for battling dry skin. On top of adding a healthy dose of moisture to your skin, they can stimulate collagen production and repair skin cells on a molecular level. Hydrating superstar Needle-less Serum is loaded with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to keep skin supple and nourished. Pair it with our Advanced C E Ferulic to brighten dull skin and give your face a lasting glow.
3. Eye Cream
Dry skin tends to show lines and wrinkles easier than oily skin due to the lack of moisture— sadly, this is especially true around the eyes. Our eyes are surrounded by some of the thinnest skin on our bodies, so it’s critical to take good care of them. Gently pat our Age Reversal Eye Cream around the eyes to intensely moisturize and get rid of bags, puffiness, and crow’s feet.
Pick a moisturizer that will last through the day, and help lock in the hydration added by your serums. We tend to recommend lightweight formulas, as ultra-heavy creams can weigh the skin down and feel greasy. Our Soothe and Recovery Cream contains cactus and coconut extracts, which are remarkably effective at preventing flaky skin. Plus, it’s been shown to increase skin moisture levels by 150% after 24 hours!
Regardless of skin type, sunscreen should always be the cap on your morning routine. In addition to providing protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, sunscreens can help with moisture retention. Look for something with zinc, whose anti-inflammatory benefits can help prevent dryness, as well as hyaluronic acid, which is dry skin’s best friend. Our ever-popular Broad Spectrum SPF45 and Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF46 contain high concentrations of both, plus they come with the added bonus of soothing Vitamin E.
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 771-788
Indian Journal of Dermatology, May 2016, pages 279-287
Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Oct. 2018, pages 491-497
Understanding your skin is the most important step in skin care. How does it react to certain environments? Does it experience big swings with the seasons? Can it adapt well to new products? Without a solid grasp on what type of skin you have, it’s nearly impossible to treat it correctly.
While it is true that every person’s skin is unique, most skin falls somewhere within five categories: Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive, and Combination. The reason that determining skin type is so important is that many products are not suitable for certain types. For instance, aggressive treatments/cleansers often result in the skin producing excess amounts of sebum, which can be problematic in general, but especially for those with oily skin. The same goes for harsh acne treatments and those with dry or sensitive skin. No need to be alarmed though. Despite the use of the word “normal,” all skin types are incredibly common.
Fortunately, figuring out your skin type is relatively simple, and we’re here to help. Here are two easy, at-home methods for determining what type of skin you have:
The Bare-Face Method:
This, as the name implies, entails simply observing your skin. Wash your face with a mild cleanser, and gently pat it dry. After 30 minutes, look in the mirror. What does it look like? Does it feel tight or flaky? If so, you probably have dry skin. Are your cheeks or T-zone shiny? It’s likely that you have oily skin. If your face feels uneven, with patches of dryness and oily spots, it’s likely combination. If you feel that your is balanced and even—lucky you, you probably have normal skin..
The Blotting Sheet Method:
Another very simple way to determine skin type is to press a blotting sheet against different areas of your face and hold it up to the light. This shows how much oil the sheet absorbed. The drier the sheet, the drier your skin type. If the sheet appears to be saturated with oil, it is quite likely that you have oily skin. Do this test in patches around your face and if certain spots show a good amount of oil, with other being fairly dry, you probably have combination skin.
Caring for your particular skin type
Dry skin produces less sebum than normal or oily skin, which compromises the skin’s natural barrier, and can accelerate the aging process. Moisturization is crucial to combatting dry skin. As we add moisture back into our skin, we strengthen that natural barrier. The more moisture our skin absorbs, the healthier it will appear. Find serums and creams that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and apply them vigilantly. Avoid astringent cleansers and treatments, as they tend to further strip our skin of moisture.
Sensitive skin is characterized by redness, tightness or discomfort. It can be more difficult to care for, as different people are sensitive to different products. Introduce new products to your skin one at a time and always perform patch tests on a portion of your arm before applying the product to your face. Opt for gentle, non-irritating formulas that are free of parabens, fragrance, sulfates, or other common irritants.
Oily skin occurs when your skin is overproducing sebum, or oil. This excess oil can often build up and lead to more frequent breakouts. To remedy excess sebum production, always look for products that are non-comedogenic, as they won’t clog pores. Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to slough away the dead skin cells and grime, as they tend to build up faster with oilier skin. And though it may sound counterproductive, be sure to moisturize daily. Excess sebum production is often a result of skin believing it needs more hydration. Moisturizers help regulate sebum production, keeping your skin hydrated, but not oily.
Normal and Combination Skin
Normal skin is easier to maintain, as it tends to adapt well to most products without being prone to breakouts or reactions. Find a healthy routine and stick with it and your skin should continue to look healthy for years to come. With combination skin, finding the right products can be a little trickier. Look for products labeled for “all skin types” and spot treat certain areas that frequently experience breakouts, redness, or dryness.
Crow’s feet are the small wrinkles that form around the corners of our eyes as we age. Aptly named, they tend to resemble the foot of a crow (though sadly, often with more toes). While all wrinkles and fine lines can be a nuisance, crow’s feet are particularly difficult to deal with for several reasons.
Where fine lines and surface wrinkles can often be treated with serums and moisturizers, crow’s feet are typically less responsive. This is in part due to the thin, delicate skin that surrounds the eyes, but also because that area is seldom in a state of rest. The skin on the sides of our eyes moves constantly—laughing, crying, blinking. Every facial expression we make contributes to the inevitable formation of wrinkles.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute cure to reversing the pesky lines around your eyes, but there are several ways to help improve them and prevent them from worsening.
Like everything in skin care, prevention is the best medicine. While never smiling or laughing again is one option, it sounds both unpleasant and impossible. Instead, opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen. The sun is the number one source of all wrinkles. UV rays penetrate deep and aggressively deplete our skin’s firmness and elasticity. Be sure to use sunscreens that are oil-free and mild enough for the eye area—typically ones that are high in zinc oxide are safest.
The skin around our eyes is the thinnest on our bodies, making it the easiest to dry out and wrinkle. A healthy, gentle skin care routine is your best bet at treating crow’s feet without having needles injected near your eyes. Eye creams that work to keep that skin hydrated are important, but certain anti-aging ingredients are more beneficial than others.
Palmitoyl Peptides and vitamin K have both been clinically proven to strengthen capillaries, increasing the tenacity and flexibility of the skin where crow’s feet form. Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid-based serums can also work wonders for eyes, as they penetrate deeper into the skin, plumping lines on a cellular level. As an added bonus, this also helps prevent puffy eye bags and dark circles from forming.
Exfoliation has also shown to be impressively effective at combating crow’s feet—and surface wrinkles in general, for that matter. Exfoliating scrubs can be tricky for crow’s feet, as the granules can cause stinging and irritation if they wind up in your eye. Instead, opt for a chemical exfoliant, like AHAs or BHAs. These will help plump your skin and improve the texture, without the risk of tears. Here's a more in-depth dive into the world of exfoliation.
Whether you use eye creams, moisturizers, serums, or a combination, diligence is critical. Apply the treatments twice per day (mornings and evenings), and do your best not to fall out of the routine. As is the case with nearly every skin care treatment, results are most apparent with sustained usage.
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2009, pages 228-233
The British Journal of Dermatology, 2011, pages 1011-1021
Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2006, pages 327-348
Take a moment to think about how much you’ve used your hands today. You’ve opened doors, flipped through your phone, put on your shoes. Our hands are how we interact with almost everything in the world, and because of that, it’s vital that we take care of them. One of the simplest ways to do so is with a moisturizing hand cream.
Here are four reasons that a hand cream should become an essential part of your routine:
1. Keep them looking young
Hands are one of the first places to show our age. This is due to both the thinness of the skin on the backs of our hands, as well as the fact that we use and wash them so frequently. Water alone can dry out hands, but with germ-killing soaps, disinfectants, and sanitizers, our hands are often fighting a losing battle. Regular use of hand creams add moisture and elasticity back into our skin, helping to prevent them from developing wrinkles, age spots, and calluses.
2. Prevent dryness and dehydration
In terms of our skin, hands are complicated. The skin on the back of our hands is some of the thinnest, most delicate on our bodies, while our palms are thick and durable. This causes an imbalance in the hydrolipidic film (an oily substance that covers our skin to help lock in moisture), leaving your hands far more susceptible to dehydration. Hand creams work to strengthen your skin’s barrier both by adding hydration and keeping this hydrolipidic film intact. This means softer skin, cuticles, and nails.
3. Repair cracked hands
Our hands are very responsive to seasons and temperature, but at no point is this truer than winter. The colder, drier air strips hydration and flu season keeps us perpetually washing our hands. This combination often leads to such severe dehydration that the skin on our hands begins to crack. A nourishing hand cream can quickly repair the cracks and restore hands.
4. Self-care & stress relief
Hand creams are a simple, quick luxury. Taking a few seconds to give your hands a bit of TLC can be comforting and can help you relax. Often delicately scented, hand creams add a pleasant aroma that encourages our brains to unwind. Paired with the fact that the tubes are often relatively small, they’re a perfect size to keep in your purse and use whenever your hands need it.
5. Help keep your hands clean
On top of making our hands look and feel nice, certain hand creams are actually hygienic. We may not be able to see it, but bacteria and grime begin building up as soon as we’ve washed and dried our hands. Because some hand creams contain antibacterial ingredients, they help rid our skin of microscopic pests, while working to stabilize the skin barrier’s functions.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 2016, pages 1118-1124
International Journal of Dermatology, February 2017, pages 176-183
Derma-rollers have become one of the most popular trends in skin care. Marketed as a form of “microneedling-at-home,” derma-rollers are small devices covered with tiny needles intended to be rolled around the face. These needles leave small pricks all over the skin, and, the theory is, that as our skin repairs itself in response, collagen production is stimulated. This process is otherwise known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT).
Microneedling has been sold as a potential solution to acne scarring, wrinkles, oversized pores, and hyperpigmentation, which has made it an appealing option for many people. And while the science behind professional microneedling is lukewarm, at-home treatments are often unreliable and sometimes dangerous. Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits and some of the major drawbacks of derma-rolling.
First, is it safe?
In a word: no. If you do a search for “derma-rollers,” you’ll notice the phrase “minimally-invasive” appearing frequently. Microneedling, when performed at the hands of a professional, is minimally-invasive, as they are properly trained and use sanitized, surgical grade needles in a sterile environment to reduce any risk of infection. That risk compounds exponentially when derma-rolling is performed at home.
Often times, store-bought derma-rollers are comprised of duller, shorter needles that are not surgical grade, resulting in a higher chance of them breaking and getting fragments stuck in the skin. Paired with the fact that most homes are not sterilized and most derma-rollers are often not properly sanitized, the risk of infection is high. Each time your roller is used, the chances of bacteria and yeast growing on it dramatically increase.
But does it work?
When performed by a dermatologist or aesthetician, many people agree that microneedling can produce results. As those pinpoint pricks begin to heal, they produce new skin cells, which can help reverse the appearance of scars and wrinkles.
It is important to note that the devices professionals use are also longer and sharper than the ones typically found in stores, and while you can find these clinical versions for purchase, they should not be used if you are not a trained professional. Clinics use numbing creams to prepare the skin for the onslaught of tiny, sharp pricks. To try a surgical grade roller at home without some sort of numbing agent would be remarkably painful.
At-home devices should be approached with caution, as DIY instructional videos are not suitable replacement for professional training. If you are interested in microneedling, contact your dermatologist or aesthetician— it will be both safer and more effective than risking infection or injury at home.
Dermatologic Surgery, March 2018, pages 397-404
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, August 2017, pages 289-298
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery, January 2018, ePublication