When dry, cold weather rolls in, so does the dry, itchy and sometimes cracked skin. In addition to being uncomfortable and annoying, dry skin causes inflammation that can further damage skin health.
For many people, lotions aren't cutting it anymore. People with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and chronically dry skin have especially poor experiences with lotions during the winter. The reason is easily found in the chemistry of a good emulsion (60%-80% water and 20%-40% oil). Being primarily water, lotions are very diluted forms of moisture that serve little (if any) benefit to lipid barrier function. Actually, many lotions damage lipid barrier function!
The epidermis lipid barrier is responsible for protecting the skin from external pathogens and sealing moisture in the skin. Water cannot easily pass through a healthy lipid barrier (oil can't easily pass though water). Hydrated skin comes from the water you drink and a strong lipid barrier that seals it in. When this barrier is disrupted, hydration (water) can easily evaporate from the skin, causing dryness. Since the lipid barrier is an integral part of the skin's immune system and moisture retention, maintaining its' integrity is very important to maintaining optimal skin health.
Lotion does very little to strengthen the skin's natural moisture retention and often contains ingredients that disrupt the lipid barrier.
Damage to the lipid barrier means damaging the skin's natural ability to retain its own moisture. This is why many people who use lotion feel like they constantly need more. Since the mechanism responsible for retaining moisture is compromised, skin becomes dependant on the little amount of moisture a lotion provides, hence the constant reapplication. This damaging action combined with irritating & inflammatory ingredients (preservatives, colors, fragrances) makes lotion a poor option for improving skin health.
Quality plant oils provide the skin with bio-available nutrition while strengthening the lipid barrier. Improving lipid barrier strength means improved moisture retention and reduced inflammation. Ditch the lotions & supplement with nutrient dense plant oils.
note: cheap, nutrient deficient oils (like mineral oil) don't provide the same value
While plant oils are far more functional than lotions, not all are made the same. Spinach is good for you, but if that's all you eat, you will be nutrient deficient (analogy). The same applies for topical products. A well balanced moisturizer has a full spectrum lipid profile (short, medium and long chain fatty acids), polyphenols, polysterols, antioxidants and vitamins. This full spectrum, well balanced formula provides the skin with the tools and nutrition it needs to build a strong lipid barrier and keep inflammation to a minimum.
If you're looking for a truly functional moisturizer that does far more for your skin than lotion, give our lipid matrix moisturizers a try. We offer free samples for all oil moisturizers.