‘Tis the season for dry skin. Winter in Canada is cold and dry and not great for your skin. To look youthful, healthy and plump, skin needs to be hydrated. Furnaces and cold winds can strip your skin of moisture. This is especially true for aging skin, as often the moisture barrier that keeps hydration in just isn’t as strong as it used to be. The simple solution? Get yourself a good moisturizer. The key ingredients you need in your moisturizer? A natural humectant and an occlusive agent.

So, what’s a humectant?

A humectant is an ingredient that keeps skin hydrated by drawing water molecules from the air around you to your skin. How cool is that? The most common humectant ingredient is glycerin, often listed as glycerol on ingredients lists. It’s a natural humectant that’s pretty effective and affordable.

Hyaluronic Acid is another naturally-occurring substance which is found in connective tissue in the body. But just like collagen, we produce less of it as we age. It can hold between 600 and 1000 times its weight in water, making it an extremely effective humectant.

Vegan? Be careful when choosing moisturizers with humectant (and other) ingredients. Both glycerin and hyaluronic acid may be derived from animal sources, although you’re more likely to find synthetic, vegan versions of hyaluronic acid.

What does an occlusive agent do?

Well, as great as humectants are at drawing in moisture, sometimes they’re too good. If you’re walking around in very dry air, the humectant doesn’t have any water to pull from and might actually start pulling hydration from your skin. This sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Most moisturizers help prevent this phenomenon by including an occlusive agent as well. These ingredients help create a barrier on the skin’s surface so all that precious hydration doesn’t leave the skin. Look for ingredients like zinc oxide, castor and jojoba oils.

Feeling dry and dull? Come see us for a Freeze Facial and we’ll reinvigorate and refresh your skin. Plus, we can suggest the best serums and moisturizers for your complexion, to keep you looking hydrated all winter long.