Is Your Skin Having Its Own Dry January? 3 Tips To Quickly Get Glowing Again

MindBodyGreen posted "Is Your Skin Having Its Own Dry January? 3 Tips To Quickly Get Glowing Again" and features Visha Skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel's expert commentary on water and hair health.

Because we always have skin care on the brain here at mbg beauty, Dry January conjures a slightly different image than a month full of mocktails. After all, January marks the peak of winter, and crisper weather can wreak a special sort of havoc on your skin. Ever notice your skin feeling tight, itchy, or rough right after the New Year? Yep, that's Dry Jan—the skin care edition—doing its thing. 

Not to fret: If your skin is suffering through its own Dry January, here are our top three tips to get glowing again:

1. Use skin-barrier-supporting ingredients—topically and internally. 

We'll start with the big one: Your skin barrier function can weaken from cold, arid air, which contributes to increased transepidermal water loss (or when water literally evaporates from your skin). That's exactly why you may face increased dryness at the moment—your skin is losing a ton of water to the outside.

To keep that water locked in, experts recommend layering on emollient-rich creams (star ingredients include shea butter, ceramides, and certain oils) to seal the outer layer of skin and keep moisture inside. But according to research, you should ingest these skin-barrier-supporting ingredients, too—namely, ceramides.* 

In fact, science shows that ingesting them orally can offer those same skin-healing benefits (read: softening microcracks and guard against water loss) as a prescription topical.* Take it from board-certified family medicine doctor Robert Rountree, M.D.: "Research shows that when you take these things by mouth—and you don't need many milligrams of them—your body actually incorporates them into the skin,*" he says.

Specifically, in one study, participants with clinically dry skin who took a phytoceramide-rich wheat extract oil for three months saw up to a 35% improvement in skin hydration, and another study showcased improved skin hydration after just 15 days.* 

2. Apply heavier and potent ingredients at night.

Remember transepidermal water loss? Well, it tends to happen more at night (big sigh). That's because your skin is more permeable at night, which means even more water can sneak out while you snooze (which is why many recommend slathering on a thicker cream at night to hold in hydration). 

But there's a flip side: Since your skin is more permeable, it also means potent actives can penetrate the skin easier. Meaning, when you apply humectants (like hyaluronic acid, aloe, or glycerin) before bed, those ingredients have an easier time shimmying into the epidermis and plumping it up with hydration. Just don't forget to layer on an occlusive afterward so those water-loving ingredients don't evaporate into the air.

3. Dial down the water temperature. 

Technically, this is a year-round tip, but it's worth emphasizing during winter: Never drench your skin in hot water. "Hot water evaporates faster," says board-certified dermatologist Purshiva Patel, M.D., founder of Visha Skincare. A scalding temperature also has the ability to strip the natural oils and lipids from your skin—and when your lipid barrier is continuously compromised, cracks and scales (the markers of dry skin) tend to follow suit. 

The takeaway. 

If your skin is facing its own Dry January (i.e., cracks, dullness, or irritation), there's much you can do to manage cold weather's effects. The ticket? Focus on strengthening your skin barrier, and baby your skin with hydrating, potent ingredients—both topically and internally.*

*If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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