By Céline Champigny
With the onset of winter, our skin needs a little extra love to combat all the damage that the cold months can cause.
Generally speaking, in winter when the temperature drops, our body wants to preserve its warmth, so it irrigates the vital organs rather than the surface of the body, which undergoes a major change that affects the activity of the sebaceous glands, which in turn secrete much less sebum (the skin's natural oils). Sebum is an essential component of our hydrolipidic film, which acts as a natural protective barrier for the skin. Ultimately, in winter with less sebum water escapes from the epidermis, and skin becomes dehydrated faster. This phenomenon affects all skin types, but it is far more noticeable on dry, naturally dehydrated skin.
MOREOVER, IN WINTER...
FILAGGRIN, A KEY PROTEIN IN MAINTAINING THE SKIN'S NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTOR (NMF), UNDERGOES SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
Filaggrin is a major key protein of the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, which is the first line of defense between humans and their environment, particularly against allergens, irritants and microorganisms.
All babies are born without the filaggrin protein. Shortly after birth, since the child is no longer surrounded by water, the body starts to produce filaggrin, which is vital for the skin’s natural ability to bind water.
What we see season after season has been scientifically proven by a 2018 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology (1). The study reveals that filaggrin, which plays a key role in the structure of our skin barrier, is the main culprit behind the changes we see in our skin especially in winter. The Danish researchers conducted skin tests on 80 adults and found changes in the levels of degradation products of the filaggrin protein, which helps maintain the skin barrier function to properly preserve skin moisture by reducing transepidermal water loss. The level of these breakdown products changes significantly between winter and summer, especially in the skin of the cheeks and hands. Dr. Jacob Thyssen of the University of Copenhagen explains that using a high magnification microscope, his study found that skin cells suffer shrinkage when exposed to cold, dry air, which promotes the breakdown of filaggrin reserves. With the lack of filaggrin, the skin texture becomes dry and scaly and would present an increased risk of developing eczema (2).
It is important to use formulas high in linoleic acid (omega-6) and α-linolenic acid (omega-3) which help prevent dry and eczematous skin. These essential fatty acids are incorporated into cell membranes and regenerate the damaged lipid barrier of the epidermis and thus limit water loss (3).
A deficiency in linoleic acid (omega-6), a component of ceramide 1, leads to skin barrier dysfunction and dry skin symptoms (4).
It's also a good idea for people who tend to have dry skin to take some supplements including ONE that I love, SUPER cod liver oil from Natural Factors ( 1 X day). It is rich in omega-3 and also contains vitamin A and also vitamin D, excellent for mature skin !
You can also take borage oil capsules, rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties and acts on skin hydration WHICH IS GREAT for sensitive and eczematous skin.
Should we change Corpa Flora formulas in winter or just change their dosage?
Answer: The purpose of using our formulas in DUO is to be able to change their dosage with seasonal changes. If you are already using some Corpa Flora facial oils rich in essential fatty acids, do not change them ! You just need to increase their dosage to ONE full pump or a little more (if your skin is dry) morning and night always in DUO with about ½ a pump of our hydration enhancing serums (Antidote HB5 or H+ in the form of a gel).
If your skin is however very very dry with mild symptoms of inflammation, we recommend using our new facial oil, the Antidote 04 Intensive Care (fragrance-free) which is more occlusive and contains 4% DEFENSIL® - PLUS.
FILAGGRIN UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The filaggrin protein (in brown) can be observed by immunohistochemical staining on an histological section of normal, healthy human skin.
(1) British Journal of Dermatology 7 March 2018 DOI: 10.1111/bjd.16150
(3) Biomedical Dermatology 4, Article number: 12 (2020)
(4) Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010203