Low temperatures and colder air cause our skin to become paler and tighter. But do you know what factors affect the quality of your skin in winter and how to take care of it?
Why does skin dry out in winter?
The main reason why the skin becomes paler and drier in winter is due to vasoconstriction of the skin capillaries. Low temperatures cause the small blood capillaries in the skin to reduce their diameter, which causes a decrease in oxygen reaching the epidermal cells. As a consequence, the mortality of these cells increases, resulting in paler skin. At the same time, the sebaceous glands produce less sebum, which makes the skin less lubricated and nourished, resulting in greater tightness and dryness .
On the other hand, the skin’s barrier function is altered, which contributes to skin dryness and irritation. This is because during winter our skin has less moisture and a lower lipid content .
Finally, environmental pollution, which usually increases in cold seasons, has effects on our skin. In a previous post we saw how air particles penetrate the skin, generating oxidative stress that contributes to irritating it.
Sensitive skin and other skin conditions
Sensitive skin and some skin pathologies, such as atopic dermatitis, are more affected during winter.
Image from Jenna Hamra from Pexels
As we described in a previous post, in cold and dry environments, the appearance of outbreaks of inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, but also skin disorders such as acne is favored. These skin conditions, as well as tighter and drier skin, usually lead to an increased sensation of itching.
This constant itching sensation occurs as a consequence of the disruption of the barrier function. On the one hand, in sensitive skin it has been found that there is greater innervation of C fibers, the nerve fibers responsible for the perception of itch, pain and temperature. On the other hand, the activation of sensory neurons in the skin leads to an increase in the release of substance P, which produces a recruitment of immune cells that exacerbate the signs of sensitive skin .
How to care for your skin in winter
To keep the skin in an optimal state, it is recommended to use cosmetic products that moisturize the skin. The use of creams and lotions that contain hyaluronic acid protect the skin, since it has moisturizing properties thanks to its water retention capacity .
Other cosmetic ingredients with moisturizing properties are ceramides, glycerin and sorbitol. According to the American Association of Dermatology, the ideal is to use products with moisturizing ingredients after showering or bathing to prevent water loss from our skin .
Image from Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Finally, to relieve the itching sensation, it is advisable to use products that contain ingredients that reduce itching. To this end, AntalGenics has developed Calmapsin®, an innovative neurocosmetic ingredient that helps maintain the quality of the skin by acting to reduce the sensation of itching thanks to its calming effect on the skin’s sensory neurons. In addition, Calmapsin® improves hydration, by preventing the reduction in the expression of genes involved in the skin’s barrier function, and protects it thanks to its antioxidant action.
- Meyer, K., Pappas, A., Dunn, K., Cula, G. O., Seo, I., Ruvolo, E., & Batchvarova, N. (2015). Evaluation of Seasonal Changes in Facial Skin With and Without Acne. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 14(6), 593–601.
- Wollenberg, A., & Giménez-Arnau, A. (2022). Sensitive skin: A relevant syndrome, be aware. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV, 36 Suppl 5, 3–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.17903
Cover image from Riccardo-789382 from Pexels