How to Winter-proof your skin

How to winter-proof your skin

During the colder and windier winter months your skin can become dehydrated and lose it’s healthy-looking glow. But what are the main causes of dry winter skin and what can help you prevent it? To keep skin looking and feeling softer, smoother, hydrated and protected all season, follow our winter skincare routine and top winter skincare tips.

Winter is the toughest season for your skin. Between blustery wind, low temperatures outside, and heated indoors, your skin is prone to significant dryness, no matter where you are. Battle the cold and treat your skin right by following Voila Pure’s 4 ways to winter-proof your skin!

  1. Moisturize!

Locking in moisture to your skin is crucial during the winter months, when you’re especially prone to dryness. Once you leave the shower or bath (make sure it’s a warm one, not hot that just robs your skin of necessary oils), make sure you apply a rich moisturizing lotion while you are still a little damp. Generally, a thicker body butter on your hands, elbows and other trouble spots will diminish moisture while you sleep.

  1. Invest in a humidifier!

In addition to moisturizing before bed, you may want to run a humidifier through the night. Humidifiers put moisture back into the air and prevents dry skin from cracking during the night. Humid air can also prevent your lips from becoming chapped, and reduces the ability of airborne viruses to cause infection. Since your home is most likely warmed by dry heat produced by a boiler, running a humidifier overnight will allow you to remain comfortable and keep the air moist.

  1. Exfoliate

Dead skin cells are constantly accumulating, and it accumulates during the winter due to dryness, particularly on the hands and face. It is important to exfoliate to clear away those skin cells. Moisture can’t be absorbed into the skin if there are layers of dead skin cells above it, so be sure to add exfoliation to your routine – twice a week should be sufficient.

Exfoliation also helps improve the performance of moisturizers. In the harsh winter weather, you want your skincare products to work in harmony with one another. Moisturizing after exfoliation is a great way to lock-in hydration for your skin.

  1. Cool off

In the coldest winter months, a hot shower can be the most relaxing part of your day. But don’t linger for too long – hot showers can dry out your skin. Extremely hot water will strip away your skin’s natural oils which lock in moisture, resulting in dry skin after drying off. For better skin throughout the winter, try a lukewarm shower for 10-15 minutes. Gently pat yourself dry after every shower and don’t forget the moisturizer!

Vitamins C & A deficiency

Vitamin C Deficiency

You’ve probably heard of scurvy before, the disease that results from a deficiency in vitamin C. Though virtually nonexistent these days, there is another vitamin C “deficiency” that manifests itself in your skin. And though much less serious than actual scurvy, it can still cause your skin to look sad, saggy and unable to heal as quickly as you would like. Though not an actual disease, the beneficial effects that vitamin C has on the skin are so important that when your skin does go without it, there’s no way you won’t notice it.

Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins out there for anti aging skincare because it is so effective at protecting collagen while also facilitating its creation. This means fine line and wrinkle repair are enhanced and overall texture and tone are smoothed and balanced. Vitamin C also helps to protect against photodamage, so people with dark spots and weathered skin can greatly benefit from its use as well.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A , like vitamin C, is used by the body every day, especially in the hair, skin, nails and eyes. But unlike vitamin C, vitamin A is a little harder to come by in our diets due to the fact that it has a pro-vitamin form found in fruits and vegetables, and a fat soluble form found in things like grass fed animal products. While our bodies can utilize the water soluble form of vitamin A, some people’s bodies do so better than others.

Like vitamin C, when it comes to the skin, vitamin A is best used topically. And also like vitamin C, retinol is fantastic for helping the skin stay smooth and firm and bright. Skincare lovers use it for everything from pigmentation to sagging skin, and it comes in a wide variety of products. However, our favorite product type for the delivery of both vitamins A and C definitely has to be a serum. This is due to the smaller product molecules found in serums in comparison to other products and helps these important ingredients better penetrate into the skin and do their good work.

When is alcohol an okay ingredient for skincare?

If you’re into natural skin and hair care, then you’ve probably heard that an important ingredient to avoid is alcohol. The reason behind this is that alcohol can be very drying to both the hair and skin. So naturally, you’d want to stay away from it. But is this always the case? Is there ever an instance when alcohol could be a good thing, or at the very least, a benign thing? Today, we’re going to put these questions to rest, once and for all.

First, it’s important to understand that there are different kinds of alcohol used in skincare products. You can divide them into two groups: fatty and non-fatty. Non-fatty alcohols include ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, and their main use in private label skincare formulations is to help other ingredients penetrate into the skin. Which doesn’t sound so bad, right? Not so fast! See, these alcohols are very strong solvents, and they are extremely drying to the skin. And that “dry” feeling is indicative of something more than just moisture loss going on. It’s an indication of a disruption in the skin’s very important acid mantle. Which is NOT something you want to be messing with! You want to avoid stripping away your acid mantle at all costs, as skin is at its happiest when the acid mantle is balanced and continually supported to act as the first line of the skin’s defence.

Fatty alcohols include ingredients like cetearyl and cetyl alcohol. These guys are a bit misleading because their textures are actually waxy rather than liquid, and are used in skincare formulas to act as emollients rather than solvents. Where the non-fatty alcohols get busy enhancing ingredient penetration, stripping away that acid mantle and causing dryness, fatty alcohols get to work basically doing the opposite- helping the skin hold onto moisture. Fatty alcohols are also used to help the overall texture of a product so that it feels nice, smooth and creamy when you apply it.

Now, there are a couple alcohol outliers that don’t fit into either of these categories, but still need to be mentioned. The first is benzyl alcohol. While not a fatty alcohol, it’s also not the same as the non-fatty solvents. General consensus on this ingredient is somewhat conflicted and can simply come down to personal preference. In large amounts it can be irritating to the skin and is even listed as an allergen in the EU. And at the same time it’s generally used in natural skincare products as a very important preservative that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and contaminants. In the age of more and more people requesting “preservative free” skincare formulations, it’s important to remember that with any formula that includes water, there must also be a preservative. Why? Because water breeds life. And you don’t want a bunch of stuff growing in your lotion! So, when it comes to benzyl alcohol, as long as it’s used in small and appropriate amounts, it’s generally regarded as an okay alcohol to use for natural and organic skincare products.

The second alcohol outlier might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but as a natural skincare manufacturer that deals with a large amount of natural ingredients every day, we felt it was important to include it here: botanical extracts! Remember that alcohol is a solvent, which makes it the perfect medium for extracting the beneficial properties of plants that we want to put on our skin. And it might sound obvious, but there’s no way to get rid of the alcohol from the extract. You’ve got to use it all, which means that, even though it will be a very small amount, botanical extracts will add a bit of alcohol to the skincare product they’re a part of. As long as the alcohol used in the extract is of good quality, this really isn’t a problem and shouldn’t cause any undesirable results the way using non-fatty alcohol solvents in a formula does.

Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of what kinds of alcohols are found in natural skincare products, what they do, and which ones are and are not worth using. In short, stay away from non-fatty alcohols like ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. You can smile and know that your skin will be okay when you see ingredients like cetyl alcohol. Recognize that benzyl alcohol is an approved preservative for natural formulas. And know that all your favourite herbal extracts, though extracted in (quality) alcohol, are actually great for your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

One of the most popular and effective anti-aging skincare ingredients in the skincare world is hyaluronic acid.

It has a remarkable ability to hold up to 1000x its own weight in water, which turns it into an ultra-hydrating and skin plumping substance perfect for everything from dehydration to wrinkles, fine lines and sagging. Unfortunately, many sources of hyaluronic acid are animal derived, which then runs the risk of potentially having purity issues, not to mention ethical ones. Which is why here at Voila Pure we use botanical hyaluronic acid in all our hyaluronic acid formulations!
While this alone, coupled with hyaluronic acid’s fantastic water-holding abilities, makes it a seriously phenomenal skincare ingredient and thus all our products that contain it (like our hyaluronic acid serum – soon to be launched) equally as great, we knew there was more we could do. We knew we could take it to another level…so we did!
Introducing our Preservative Free Hyaluronic Acid Serum! All the fantastic and wonderful benefits of our regular hyaluronic acid serum, minus the preservatives. Why is this such a big deal? Well for starts, not everybody is cool with preservatives, even if they’re classified as natural. Some people want things super-pure, and while that’s understandable, it’s not always easy to do! So, needless to say it took us a while to figure out how to make a truly stable and effective preservative free serum for our customers. But we did it!
Thanks to a non-GMO maize carbohydrate, our formulation team has cracked the code and we are beyond happy to finally offer such an awesome new product to our customer base. With other supportive ingredients like our amino acid blend and panthenol, the anti-aging and moisture retaining abilities of this serum are worthy of some serious praise.
Finally, the skincare world has a natural, organic and preservative free serum that delivers the full spectrum of hyaluronic acid without anything else getting in the way.

Retinol is a cell communicator

As you consider adding retinol to your beauty regimen, you might ask yourself, “What does Retinol do to help my skin that other ingredients don’t?”

In truth, retinol, which is also known as Vitamin A, is a cell communicator that can help damaged skin cells return to their normal function.
When skin is exposed to the UV rays of the sun and it absorbs free radicals, this attacks healthy cells and steals electrons from molecules in order to try and stabilize themselves. Retinol interrupts this process by attaching itself to damaged cells and communicating with them, helping them to act like healthy cells again. This allows those cells to retain more healthy collagen and elastin, which keeps wrinkles from forming.
Retinol is not only a cell communicator, but it also helps your skin slough dead cells and create new ones, which in turn creates new collagen. Over time, this can prevent stubborn cystic acne and eczema, and also lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as the new skin cells that are created fill them in.

Why you need vitamin C

Why you need Vitamin C in your Summer (& Winter) skincare regime.

Well, perhaps not for our skin. Sweat, sunburn and air-con can all wreak havoc on your face in the summer months. But luckily, there’s a super ingredient out there to solve all your skin’s woes. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin from UV damage, stimulates collagen production, and lifts away dark spots revealing bright and glowing skin.

Why is vitamin C essential for skincare?

Vitamin C protects the skin from environmental factors by reducing free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules which cause cell damage. When trying to stabilise they try to attach to other molecules (your skin cells) and this causes damage ie. oxidisation. Anti-oxidants protect and slow this oxidisation. Free radicals can come from pollution, sunlight, smoking and alcohol.
Vitamin C is one of the essential skincare regime ingredients as it stimulates collagen production, firms the skin, targets uneven skin tone and is one of the most powerful antioxidants for overall skin health.

What does it do for the skin?

Vitamin C protects the skin, protecting cells from the environmental damage which causes aging.
The antioxidant is not naturally produced in the body – so eating and applying topically is how your skin will see the benefits of Vitamin C.

Benefits of Vitamin C:

  • Reduces formation of free radicals – which cause cell damage
  • Prevents collagen breakdown – which causes aging
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis – which slows down with aging
  • Evens-out skin tone, reduces age spots & brightens
  • In can also reduce acne.

Should I use Vitamin C in conjunction with any other products?

Combining Vitamin C with Vitamin E greatly increases its effectiveness.
Combining Vitamin C with an SPF also creates a greater effect for both products. Vitamin C boosts the efficacy of your SPF, plus Vitamin C can oxidise on the skins surface and SPF helps slow this and therefore you maximise the effect from the Vitamin C.

Do you need it particularly in summer?

Vitamin C is beneficial in summer but also all year round! Remember to use an SPF in addition to Vitamin C.

Is Vitamin C best applied as a serum, cream or mask?

A serum or paste would always be our first recommendation as they penetrate into the skin more easily and are typically more active formulations.
Moisturisers and eye creams are also beneficial. Mask or cleansers and wipes are beneficial for an instant radiance boost but you don’t get the long term benefits in the same way as a serum.

Is there a good time of day to use it?

You can use Vitamin C morning or night depending on your skin and routine. If you are using a potent Vitamin C in the morning we recommend using an SPF afterwards. If we are recommending Retinol for evening use, we will recommend the Vitamin C is used in the morning. Otherwise you can use Vitamin C overnight while your skin is repairing. Depending on your skin’s tolerance you should be able to use every day – if you experience any stinging then decrease frequency and build up to daily.

What should I look out for when buying Vitamin C products?

  1. Stable formulation – it can be a challenge to stabilise Vitamin C in skincare, as it’s sensitive to air, heat and light. We only use Vitamin Stay C 50 which is much more stable than Ascorbic Acid.
  2. Fragrance free product – fragrance can cause irritation.
  3. Highest percentage isn’t always the best, particularly if your skin is sensitive or acne-prone. Do not be tempted by an over-loaded Vitamin C product. This can cause a drying/irritating effect to the skin. Over-loading will not produce a better result.
  4. Packaging – Vitamin C oxidises when coming into contact with air, so we use only airless pump packaging which maintains the products efficacy for longer.