Lightening & Brightening skincare should reflect that the skin is challenged by transition from cold outdoors to warm indoor temperature in winter. The range of brightening skincare products is overwhelming - and reading the INCI lists essential. Traditional plant extracts have a renaissance in natural skincare. They target all aspects of skin repair such as dull appearance, sub-clinical inflammation aggravated by weather changes, patches of redness and oiliness at the same time, overall uneven skin tone. It is the combination of actives contained in the plant extracts as well as the levels of the extract used that deliver clinical results. Some of the plant staples to look for in your products are listed below: For Extra Hydration Lupin - for skin hydration and improved barrier function Lady's Smock - rich in amino acids and helps skin recovery (re-epithelialisation) Anti-inflammatory Actives Borage - anti-inflammatory, capillary dilating compounds incl. gamma-linolenic acid Centella asiatica - alleviates fragility of capillaries and facilitates re-epithelialisation Anti-pigmentation Shiitake mushroom (contains kojic acid) - prevents melanin formation and collagen breakdown, astringent Mulberry root - brightening, tyrosinase inhibitor reduces melanin synthesis Grape (contains resveratrol) - strong antioxidant, prevents melanin formation and transfer and last but not least Licorice root used in my signature Anti-Ageing Serum '4' - brightening, tyrosinase inhibitor reduces melanin synthesis - also anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (contains saponins, flavonoids) and
Skin responds to our emotions and stress has a negative effect on the skin condition. It compromises our immunity for a long time and is frequently reported as a trigger of acne, dermatitis and eczema. Increased concentration of cortisol in our circulation can reduce integrity of the skin barrier and slow down renewal of the upper skin layer, the epidermis. This leaves our skin more vulnerable to the external environment and prone to redness, dryness and scaling and, in the long-term, more lines and wrinkles. Change your skincare to protect your skin in Winter. Tone down the active ingredients and exfoliation, leave peels and microdermabrasion for Spring. Change your moisturiser to a richer cream with a lower SPF and more hydrating, occlusive ingredients (plant oils, shea butter). Use a richer cleanser and nourishing masks.
Stratum corneum, as many of you will know, is the top-most layer of the skin and for a long time it has been thought to be only a "passive shell" that holds in all the more important organs. Nowadays we understand that this wonderful and smart layer protects us from the environment, senses what’s around us and also gives away information about our own well-being. It shows very well what is going on inside - whether we are in love, embarrassed or chronically ill. Stress and Ageing of the Face - The prestige skincare brand Estee Lauder have looked in the past at what role day-to-day psychological stress plays in skin ageing and how our skin reacts. Taking Care of Dry Skin in Winter - Topical for this time of the year, much research is still devoted to dry and sensitive skin. Primarily the Dove brand (Unilever) and Nivea (Beiersdorf) are looking into the worsening of winter dryness - tightness and redness that people with dry skin experience in cold weather. Glycerol and urea are beneficial, although my favourite is hyaluronic acid. Olive Oil in Skincare is Not Beneficial - Olive oil is a staple ingredient of many natural and organic skincare products. Research from the University of Sheffield shows that, although it opens up our skin to