Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin: sweating between layers of clothes, constantly going from hot to cold, windburn, indoor heaters on full blast. In order to keep your skin healthy, especially if you experience dry skin, TEWL is
the first thing to consider.
Transepidermal water loss, or TEWL, is a natural process where moisture from the deeper layers of the skin evaporates through to the outermost layer, which then evaporates into the surrounding atmosphere.
In a humid environment, water in your skin evaporates slowly. However, in cold and dry environments, water evaporates faster than your body can replace it. This can cause the skin to become dehydrated which can feel irritated, cracked or itchy. Dehydrated skin also exacerbates signs of aging, making fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.
Dehydration can create a self-feeding loop that causes further deterioration if untreated: When your skin is dehydrated, its barrier function is
compromised. Because your skin’s barrier is compromised, you lose more water than normal. This leads to more severe dehydration, which further compromises your skin’s barrier function.
In order to optimize the ability for your skin to retain moisture, stay healthy and look great, here a few things you can do.
Start by protecting your skin. Limit your exposure to harsh temperatures and weather by covering up in the winter. When taking a bath or shower, avoid using steaming hot water and taking long soaks. These tips will allow your skin to retain its natural oils, helping to lock in the moisture it needs.
Avoid strong soaps
Many popular soaps are harsh on the skin. They contain high PH levels, decreasing your skin’s natural oils that help form a protective layer. Look for gentle cleansers or glycerin-based soaps. There are lots of low PH options available in the marketplace, and we carry a few great options in-store at any of our locations.
Use quality moisturizers
Moisturizers with humectants, occlusives and emollients are known to minimize and prevent TEWL while soothing the skin. In an upcoming article, we will teach you how to choose a moisturizer and review the ingredients. For now, know that the moisturizer you use for your body may not work for your face, feet, and hands.
It’s important to reapply moisturizers regularly as once a day is typically not enough, especially if you’re dealing with improving dry or aging skin. To get better results, and to save a bit of money, apply moisturizers to damp skin after you shower or wash your hands.
Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating your skin will remove built-up dead skin cells, which will allow your moisturizer to absorb into your skin better. You can use an exfoliating towel or loofah to scrub the skin on your body, and a scrub lotion for your face. If your skin is damaged, then wait until it is completely healed before you exfoliate.
Use a humidifier
By replacing the moisture in the air, you will slow the process of TEWL and help keep your skin hydrated. This can make a big difference, especially during winter when the air is so dry. If you can, also get one for your office since it’s probably where you spend most of your time.
The tips we’ve shared can be applied to any skin type whether you have dry, oily or combination skin. If you’re unsure about which category you fall into, speak with one of our experts and they will be able to recommend the steps you can take to ensure your skin is looking and feeling great.