As we become older our skin becomes drier and can easily become very dehydrated. This contributes to wrinkling, sagging and the look of tired dull skin. You may notice this particularly around the eyes and neck where there are fewer oil glands. There are many factors, apart from age which contribute to drier looking skin, such as simply not drinking enough water, air-conditioning, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, excess caffeine and more.
In this article I want to focus on another major reason for dry skin, which many do not think about – DISTURBING THE LIPID BARRIER. What on earth is the LIPID BARRIER, you may well ask! The lipid barrier is the layer of natural fat molecules on our skin which provides protection from many things but especially moisture loss.
In other words, the lipid barrier is the skin’s natural oily secretions and it is made up of a complex mix of oils and waxes. Every time you wash your face, hands or body, especially when you use any kind of cleansing agent which more than likely contains SODIUM LAURETH SULPHATE (check the ingredient list on the back of bottles) or other harsh degreasing agents, you seriously disrupt the lipid barrier. Even using water from the tap with it’s many added chemicals, disturbs this precious barrier.
In a previous anti-aging article I explained the benefits of what I call the ant-aging superheroes – glycolic and retinol. I recommend these as a major part of your skin care routine, however I believe you can always go a step further if you are a dedicated ANTI-AGER!
That extra step for those who are at war with wrinkles, is the use of Precious, Natural, high quality plant oil extracts.In my youth I suffered from acne and I would never have dreamed of putting oils on my skin, but as I have aged my skin has cried out for exactly what was its nemesis in my youth. There is so much to be said about oils that it is not possible to cover it all in one article. For now, I want to wet your appetite for this juicy little gift from God and his plant kingdom. In later articles, we’ll explore the best kind of oils for your skin and their many combinations.
You may ask, how do I put this into my retinol or glycolic programme?I would suggest you learn to layer your skincare and read your skin so you can alternate the days you may use certain products. Retinols and glycolic will most certainly sensitize your skin on occasion and this is the perfect time to saturate your skin with oils. I personally use oils everyday under or over my chosen day or night cream. I simply love them and their results!
The oils mimic or support that lipid barrier which is often stripped off as we wash. If the skin is left without a lipid barrier, there can be significant moisture loss, like a bowl of water left outside with no cover. After a time you will see that water level in the bowl significantly drop or even completely evaporate. Now you know why the hands of busy Mum’s, always in water and detergent often look like prunes thanks to continual moisture loss with little or no lipid barrier.
So what oils exactly are an adjunct to your existing skin care programme. I suggest rosehip, rose, jojoba, avocado,sweet almond, macadamia nut, grape seed oil and there are many others that closely mimic the skins natural secretions and support the skin in other ways. You’ll find pure individual oils and combinations available in many retail outlets such as health food stores, department stores and some pharmacies.
They are widely available, however one needs to be careful of the quality of oil which is determined by the actual plant and very importantly the extraction process. Many of the oils are naturally rich in bio available vitamins and essential fatty acids (omega fats 3, 6 and 9) which have wonderful moisturising benefits for the skin. The rich omega fats help to plump up the look of the skin, impart a youthful glow as well as supporting the lipid barrier.
Just a few small drops of these oils everyday and you should see an improvement in the overall appearance of your skin’s texture and radiance. Just imagine having skin that feels like velvet!