Lemongrass Spa Blog
6 of the Best Winter Skin Care Ingredients
Flaking, redness, cracking and acne are a few problems your skin could be struggling to fight during winter months unless you live in a tropical climate. Low precipitation, dry indoor air heat and hot showers zap moisture from skin leading to these challenges, but you can restore balance and hydration to parched skin, while soothing itchy irritated areas, with a few of Lemongrass Spa’s preferred healing ingredients.
Avocados are known to contain vitamins and fats essential for a well balanced diet, but when applied to the skin, avocado oil has amazing benefits. It is packed with nutrients vital for glowing, youthful skin such as monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Avocado oil penetrates deep into the dermis delivering these nutrients and drawing in moisture, providing long-lasting hydration. As we age, collagen, the main component of connective tissue, breaks down and production decreases; avocado oil is thought to help boost collagen production leading to smoother, younger looking skin. Avocado oil also helps soothe irritations caused by skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
The naturally occurring fat in cocoa pods, cocoa butter (Theobroma Cacao) has been used for centuries for its skin nurturing properties. High concentrations of fatty acids (oleic, palmitic and stearic), vitamins (A, B1, B2 and B3) and antioxidants (vitamins C and E) fight free radicals, which cause tissue damage and increase the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Fatty acids also help cocoa butter penetrate the top layer of skin and helps skin retain moisture. It’s also used for reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Coconut oil is one of the most widely used natural oils in personal care, and it is touted for its ability to do everything from repairing damaged hair to reducing wrinkles to blocking UV rays. While there is little clinical evidence of coconut oil being a beauty miracle, there is plenty of antidotal evidence coconut oil is a master moisturizer and potent antioxidant. Coconut oil is comprised of fatty acids including lauric, linoleic, myristic, oleic, caprylic, capric, stearic and palmitric, and some studies show lauric acid and caprylic acid could both be effective in fighting acne due to antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E and vitamin D, potent antioxidants that protects skin from free radical damage, joins this fatty acid super group. Coconut oil penetrates the skin, making it the perfect vehicle to deliver the benefits of other natural oils and botanical extracts.
Cupuacu (pronounced “koo-poo-ah-soo”) butter is a sustainable fruit butter used in skin care as a plant alternative to animal-derived lanolin and synthetic oils. It is comprised of a triglyceride of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, and two properties credited with cupuacu’s rise in skincare: sterols and essential fatty acids. Sterols, referred to as steroid alcohols, are antioxidants that are essentially vegetable fats, and essential fatty acids are necessary for structural components of cells. Cupuacu butter acts as a natural skin plumper because it penetrates skin quickly, retains moisture and restores elasticity. Its antioxidant make up protects skin from free radical damage and aids in repairing past damage. Interestingly, promising research suggests cupuacu butter absorbs UVA and UVB rays, providing broad-spectrum protection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize cupuacu butter as an SPF; however, it is exciting to think one day this could be a natural sunscreen option.
Fast absorbing and lightest of the oils and butters on this list, grapeseed oil helps balance oil production, making it an excellent choice for all skin types. Grapeseed oil contains a plethora of nutrients including beta-carotene, vitamins C, D and E and essential fatty acids such as palmitic, stearic, and linoleic acid and is believed to restore collagen production, which decreases the signs of aging such as sagging skin and wrinkles. When used in conjunction with other natural, nutrient-rich ingredients, grapeseed oil acts as a carrier delivering nutrients deep into the skin.
Shea butter, one of the most studied ingredients on this list, is a favorite in natural skin and hair care due to its nutrient make up:
- Vitamin A aids in skin protection and healing
- Vitamin D promotes skin cell growth
- Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, protects against sun and free radical damage and slows the signs of aging
- Essential fatty acids to help with skin cell renewal and acts as a skin protector, soothing dry chapped skin
It is also renowned for its emollient and anti-inflammatory properties that sooths minor skin conditions such as sunburns, small wounds, eczema, allergies, blemishes, cracks and bruises. Shea butter can decrease the amount of moisture loss in skin and hair and stimulate collagen production to strengthen skin. It is said the moisturizers present in shea butter are also some of the same moisturizers produced by skin’s sebaceous glands, making it suitable for all skin types. As an added bonus, shea butter could have sunscreen properties (up to SPF 6) due to naturally occurring cinnamic acid.
With nicknames like “skin’s best friend”, “ultimate moisturizer”, “The Tree of Life” and “the pharmacy in a fruit”, it’s no wonder why these six ingredients are our choice for skin care during harsh winter months. Do you have a go-to skin soother this time of year?