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Coping with the Canadian Winter - Does the skin need oil or water to combat dehydration ?

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Answer: The skin needs water and oil but there are some very important rules to follow.

The rigours of winter make life hard for our skin and we end up with "alligator" skin rather quickly and moreover, with age, our sebum (small natural protective oils) production decreases, so we must adapt to the real needs of our skin and change our habits which are sometimes difficult to change but what a reward when the skin on our legs no longer feels tight and we can finally fall asleep quickly.

What are the 4 main culprits of dry skin? #1. Heating our homes Our epidermis consists of a protective layer based on water and oil (hydro-lipidic film). The heating system in our homes makes the ambient humidity level vary and when our environment is not very humid, this same environment collects water from our skin like a sponge, which dries our epidermis and our skin becomes dehydrated. Solution: The use of a humidifier can be judicious and lower the room temperature a little. #2. Showering or bathing too frequently... using water which is too hot and inappropriate formulas for dry skin. We avoid the use of very hot water which is getting rid of our natural oils at the surface of our epidermis more efficiently. We avoid, especially in winter or if you have a very dry skin, the use of too alkaline soap bars that are not "superfatted" *. The pH of the skin is slightly acidic (5.5) while the pH of some soap bars can go up to a pH between 8 and 9 which can increase the pH of the skin, making it more sensitive to skin dryness. I personally love handcrafted soap bars for my personal hygiene except for the face where I use the cleansing oil all the time. The bars are ecological, without unnecessary packaging very often, but this is preferable to choose them "surperfatted" especially during the cold season. * A bit of chemistry: The term "superfatted" comes from the cold process manufacturing of artisanal soap, it is possible to soften the soap by adding an oil after the saponification reaction or to reduce the amount of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) used during the manufacturing process in order to have an excess of fat in the formula which is not saponified and is much softer for the skin. Solution : It may seem radical but not washing the whole body every day doesn't hurt... on the contrary it protects our skin microbiota or the flora of our skin which is very important for our epidermal health. Instead, we use a body cleansing formula with a pH of 5.5 or a very mild soap "superfatted" bar that leaves a light oily film on the skin.

#3. Not use moisturizing body formulas in an optimal way. Solution: It is essential to always apply body oils or other moisturizing formulas to damp skin without waiting after showering or bathing, and to blot the skin lightly afterwards if necessary with a soft towel. When an oil is applied to wet skin, it is possible to trap more moisture with the water that is already on the skin's surface, thus minimizing skin dehydration. Body oils do not contain water but they do need water for better absorption on the skin surface, they will leave a light, non-greasy, protective lipidic film on the skin surface that will protect the epidermis to relieve tightness and itching. It should be noted that body oils are generally much more effective than lotions or moisturizing creams which contain a very high percentage of water in their composition and few lipids. Body oils are 100% derived from botanicals, do not contain water, have no unnecessary ingredients, no petrochemical derivatives such as silicones and are free of preservatives that can often create undesirable reactions or alter our skin microbiota. Furthermore, by applying a body oil to a wet skin, the oil spreads much better over the entire body than a lotion or cream and it is more economical also. #4. Not exfoliate your skin regularly A gentle exfoliation of the body is necessary at least once a week otherwise you will end up with an accumulation of dead cells on the surface of the skin and it will be difficult to get good penetration of your body oil actives or other moisturizing formulas. Solution: Mix in the palm of your hand a brown sugar or fine sea salt with our Beauté Divine facial cleansing oil and then make circular movements on the arms, back, legs and feet, paying special attention to rough areas such as the knees, elbows and heels. You will see that on water contact, the cleansing oil will change into a gentle exfoliating milk that can be completely rinsed off, leaving the skin very soft....Simply DIVINE !

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