Skincare in Winter
When the temperatures dip below zero, the battle against drying skin seems all but inevitable. West reached out to Cynthia Webb, owner of Boutique Medical Aesthetic in downtown Oakville, to discuss how to best care for aging skin all seasons of the year.
A Registered Nurse since 1985 and a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist since 2006, she is recognized as an expert injector, trainer and educator for Allergan Canada as well as Sciton Lasers, manufacturer of Halo™ Laser treatment.
Webb agrees that the cold outdoors, exacerbated by the dry, hot indoors, can wreak havoc on the skin’s moisture due to evaporation. Unfortunately, many people also suffer from additional loss of moisture because they have what she calls a “disrupted skin barrier”.
“We produce our moisture from the inside out,” says Webb. “The body has a certain pH and skin barrier that protects the skin.” She explains the body naturally produces ceramides, as well as a cholesterol that, together, help prevent loss of moisture through the skin.
Ceramides are vitally important, according to Webb. They protect us from water loss through evaporation by providing this natural barrier. Without it, the moisture we produce internally will evaporate into the air. As we age, many people rely on creams and lotions to moisturize the skin and battle the marks of aging. Ironically, this can have the negative effect of breaking down the skin barrier.
“Let your skin do what it needs to do,” says Webb. “Often we’ll see women apply more and more moisturizer and what happens is your body turns off the ability to produce the ceramides and cholesterol that’s keeping your hydration in.” The body starts to depend on outside application, rather than rely on its own ability to moisturize.
At Boutique Medical Aesthetics, Webb recommends medical grade skincare products to her clients. These are pharmaceutical grade quality that are supplied and managed through a physician or designate such as Webb. While drug store or department store skin products treat the surface – which is the dead dry skin – the active ingredients in medical grade products change the skin cells at a cellular level so the cells rise the surface healthier and hydrated. Even still, the number one thing anyone can do to prevent the effects of aging on skin is to apply sunscreen all year round.
“The sun is responsible for 90 per cent of your aging and 10 per cent is from genetics,” says Webb. A minimum SPF 30 should be applied every two hours, or more frequently when perspiring or swimming, and through all the seasons.
“Blue light coming from our devices even causes skin damage,” insists Webb, which is why she recommends wearing it inside as well as outside. Medical grade skincare complements the sunscreen because it is able to correct sun damage that has already occurred. (The greatest sun damage happens between ages seven and 27 years old.) As we get older, the products also play an important role in preventing and protecting the skin for the future.