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Wintertime from our skin’s perspective

posted 2018 Dec

Tanuj Nakra, MD

As the days get shorter, and temperatures drop, most of us in North America are busy enjoying the holiday season indoors with family and friends.   Warm sweaters, falling snow, fireplaces, deliciously rich food and fun social gatherings ring in the season.  

The cooler weather leads to a double whammy for our skin: the cold temperatures outside are accompanied by low humidity levels, and heating systems indoors further strip water molecules from indoor air.  Under normal circumstances, our skin’s ongoing evaporation is limited by the barrier function of our skin.  When humidity levels are low, our skin has a hard time keeping up with evaporation, and the result is dry, chapped skin.  Our bodies respond to the dry conditions by thickening the stratum corneum (top layer of the epidermis) in an attempt to limit evaporation.  A thickened epithelium is not pretty- it looks patchy and dull.

When the sun comes out during the winter, we relish the radiant warmth.  The sun feels so good on our faces: indoors, outdoors, in our cars, and on the slopes. While the Sun’s power to produce Vitamin D in our skin is a good thing, we tend to underestimate the damaging effect of wintertime solar UV exposure.  Summertime radiant heat keeps us aware of sun exposure, but winter’s cool temperatures belies the ongoing UV exposure.  This is a recipe for wintertime melanin dysregulation as well as even sunburns and DNA damage.  Not good!

What can we do to counter winter’s harsh drying effects and sun damage?  The right skincare products can keep our skin soft, smooth and radiant all winter long.  Hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid and Snow Mushroom infuse the skin with natural plumpers to guard against drying while enhancing skin tone.  Hyaluronic acid (HA) has long been hailed as the gold standard of skin hydration/ dermal plumping.  Snow Mushroom is a natural botanical source of lower-molecular weight molecules very similar to HA, and may have a better ability to penetrate deep into the skin to achieve an even hydrating effect.  Our AVYA Skincare Day Moisturizer features both HA and Snow Mushroom, and was designed to be particularly moisturizing (without oiliness) for all skin tones in winter conditions.  It also contains micronized non-chemical sunscreen (SPF 20) to protect the skin from the winter sun, preventing UV damage.  Niacinamide and our proprietary ancient botanical antioxidant formula (turmeric, neem, and peony) counter ongoing cellular damage from the environment and optimize melanin health, further maximizing beautiful, radiant skin all winter long.

Wintertime does not have to be hard on our skin.  With thoughtfully-designed skincare, we can protect our skin against dryness and sun damage, so we can enjoy our best skin, and fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of the season.  On behalf of AVYA Skincare, I wish you a magnificent 2019 with this ancient Chinese New Year’s greeting: “With each passing moment, let us embrace the New Year with a brighter, more colorful, and more joyous future. Happy New Year!