Winter Skin Protection

Kendall Weatherman
October 4, 2021

Shielding the skin against the harsh elements can be quite a feat, but with the right ingredients, you can soothe dry winter skin and turn this season into your new favorite.

Winter Skin Challenges

While some people love the snow and all that Winter brings, for most, the colder weather takes quite a toll on the skin that can dampen the joy out of the season. The low humidity and blustery winds that accompany chilly temperatures sap moisture from the skin, leaving it dry, chapped and lifeless. Efforts to counteract the chill, such as indoor heating, long hot showers, and bottomless cups of coffee, dehydrate the skin even further. To inhibit the increased evaporation of water and breakdown of the lipid barrier, skin needs products that seal in moisture and protect it from becoming completely depleted…Stat!

Shielding the skin against the harsh elements can be quite a feat, but with the right ingredients, you can soothe dry winter skin and turn this season into your new favorite.

Winter Skin Solutions

To avoid winter wreaking havoc on your skin, it needs products that keep out dry winter air. But not all solutions are good for the health of the skin long term. The most common formulas to relieve dull, flakey, tight, and irritated skin include petroleum-based occlusive ingredients, like mineral oil and various forms of paraffin. While these ingredients do form a protective layer, they can clog pores and trigger breakouts, while also thinning skin, impairing oxygenation and elimination of toxins. This makes them less than ideal for those who are acne prone, as well as those who are concerned with age prevention. Instead, check out these healthy ingredient solutions:

  • Plant-based oils + lipids: Choose products with Shea Butter, Squalane, and Safflower Seed Oil to lock in moisture and replenish the essential fatty acids (EFAs) lost due to aging. EFAs are essential for helping synthesize lipids, moisturizing, and reducing inflammation, and vital for keeping skin youthful. Shea butter is an especially beneficial ingredient for the winter as it provides antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that otherwise break down lipids. To ensure skin stays healthy and free from this type of damage, Docent includes Shea Butter in every prescription compound year-round. Squalane from olive oil is bioidentical to human oil (or sebum), which allows it to penetrate deeply, making it highly effective for treating winter skin.

  • Natural humectants: Hyaluronic acid, the most well-known humectant, along with plant-based glycerin, sodium PCA and sorbitol attract water to the outermost layers of the skin, hold water in the skin, and protect the skin’s barrier.

  • Non-comedogenic emollients: Dimethicone is a key moisturizer for protecting the skin barrier and preserving moisture, to keep skin hydrated and calm. Docent incorporates this skin-smoothing and soothing ingredient in their customized prescription compounds to help circumvent dry patches and deliver a smooth, velvety non-comedogenic treatment enjoyable and suitable for all skin types.  

  • Vitamins: Topical antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E are vital during the winter as dehydrated winter skin is particularly vulnerable to damaging free radicals. Docent dermatologists frequently prescribe pharmaceutical-grade topical Vitamin A, known as Tretinoin, as this results-oriented gold standard of skincare triggers production of the skin’s own hydrating factors.

  • SLS-free cleansing agents: SLS, or sodium laurel sulfate, is drying to the skin and counterproductive to anti-aging efforts. Alternatives, such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate found in the Gentle Facial Wash by Docent, effectively cleanse the skin without dehydrating it.    

  • Soothing ingredients: Aloe Vera, Panthenol and Allantoin, also in the Docent Gentle Facial Wash, help soothe, heal and replenish depleted skin, preventing the discomfort that can occur when skin becomes dry and chapped due to blustery winter weather.

While moisturizing is important to keep skin healthy year-round, with dehydration being one of the prime causes of aging, keeping skin hydrated in the winter is a must to stay youthful-looking.


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