Guest Post: This week I have a guest blogger on Sweet Inspovation: Frannie is a biochemistry professor and Rodan+Fields consultant. She’s highlighting Rodan + Fields products while she talks about the science of skin hydration. She’s also giving away one Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum ($108 value) to a lucky reader! One way to gain an entry is to post a comment on which regimen addresses your primary skincare concerns. She’ll also randomly pick five comments to get a free minifacial in the mail. Good luck! Giveaway closes December 10th at 6pm CST. Read on for all the Sweet Deets!
Guest Post Introduction | Say Hello to Frannie!
Hi everyone! Kendra has kindly allowed me to take over her blog for a post and giveaway this week, so I thought I should introduce myself. My name is Frannie and I am a biochemistry professor by day and skincare enthusiast by night. In my day job I do research, publish, and most importantly, teach about the ways your body interacts with food, supplements, and different treatments. I was drawn to Kendra’s blog when it first started because I loved how it focused on finding the ‘best’ products and really tested their claims. That’s the kind of information I love, and I wanted to add a little bit of the scientific theory behind how the products work. For this guest post, we thought you might enjoy a little primer on how moisture affects the health of your skin.
One more thing – I mentioned that I am always on the lookout for the best products, and about a year ago I was introduced to Rodan + Fields skincare products. The products cleared up acne that other premium brands couldn’t touch, and a couple of months ago I decided that I needed to represent Rodan + Fields because I truly believe in the science and integrity of the brand. While the skincare science I am writing about today is applicable to many different brands, I will be highlighting the Rodan + Fields products and publications that can help you achieve your best skin. I also am giving away a full-size bottle of one of my favorite Rodan + Fields product that is at the cutting edge of hydration technology at the end of the post. Read on for more info!
How to Combat Dry, Winter Skin with Rodan + Fields
The Science & Signs of Dry Skin
When winter hits, especially here in the upper Midwest, you might notice a change in your skin. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- Your skin starts to lose brightness. You feel like you look dull and tired.
- With the change in weather, your normally well-behaved skin starts to flare up with pimples.
- Your skin becomes angry and irritated. Every little thing seems to cause a reaction!
- Your skin becomes flaky and makeup just can’t cover up the scaly texture of your skin.
These are all totally normal reactions to dry skin (aka dehydrated skin). When the weather changes and we have heaters and furnaces pumping our lives full of hot air, it becomes hard for our skin to stay hydrated. In order to understand why this occurs and what we can do about it, you need to understand a bit about the structure of our skin.
The top layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum, and it’s made up of dead cells that form a barrier to the elements. Below that is your basal layer, which contains actively dividing cells. Those two make up your epidermis. Below that is your dermis, which is much more complex and contains the connective tissue that gives your skin its elasticity and resilience.
Your stratum corneum is the first place to show signs of dry skin. The dead cells start to separate and peel away from each other, which creates ridges and ‘flakes’. This changes how your skin reflects light and snaps back into place when stretched. In extreme cases, this damage happens so quickly that the basal layer is not able to keep up with replacing the cells that are damaged, and you get painful cracks and irritation in the damaged areas. Additionally, dry skin gets worse with age. Why? Three reasons:
- Your basal layer stops replacing cells so quickly, and as a result your stratum corneum becomes thinner, making it easier for moisture to escape.
- The keratin and collagen in your dermis also starts to break down, and it loses some ability to retain moisture.
- Finally, as we age our circulation declines, which makes it difficult to feed and nourish our cells from the inside.
I talk about these things as though they only happen in the very old, but we actually start losing 1% of our collagen per year after the age of 25, with a rapid decline after menopause in women. Skincare is actually most important when we are young!
At this point, people often ask me if their skin can be hydrated by just drinking enough water and taking extra-long showers. Unfortunately, neither of those options provide a complete fix. Drinking water will certainly help, but it can’t stop breakdown of your stratum corneum and dermis with age. Submerging your skin in water can actually be damaging to the stratum corneum. Anyone who has spent too long in the bathtub can tell you that! Luckily, there are a variety of topical treatments to help with skin hydration.
Moisturizers that Combat Dry Skin
The three major categories of topical moisturizers are occlusives, emollients, and humectants.
Occlusives provide a barrier on top of your stratum corneum, and they can prevent water loss. Common occlusives would be petroleum jelly, coconut oil, or olive oil. While some people swear by occlusives, others (like myself) can’t use them because they lead to breakouts. One place your might want to use an occlusive is on your hands if you have a job that requires lots of hand washing. During the winter, my hands take a beating, and an occlusive like Rodan + Fields hand treatment really helps.
Emollients can permeate your epidermis. They often contain ingredients that can help to repair cracks and holes left by damage to the stratum corneum, and they can be very good at delivering ingredients that can increase cellular turnover (like Vitamin A) and protect skin against oxidative damage (antioxidants) within the epidermis and dermis. Small soluble peptides can also be embedded in emollients to increase the regenerative properties of the product. Emollients are typically made of non-comedogenic oils and lipids that do not clog pores. Rodan + Fields has several emollient-based moisturizers for different skin types. Here are a few of my favorites!
Humectants are a class of ingredients that bring water into your dry skin. They do this by binding with the water in the environment (think: humidity in the air) and holding it against your skin or permeating through the top layer of your skin to deliver the water internally. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are very common humectants, and they are actually naturally found in your skin, so they aren’t likely to cause inflammation or reaction. One problem with humectants is that they can transport water OUT of your skin as well as in (called trans-epidermal water loss or TEWL), which is problematic. As a result, they often have to be paired with an emollient or occlusive ingredient to slow that process. This is where Rodan + Fields has really made scientific advances in humectant technology. They developed a new formula called the 3-dimensional-3-polymer (3D3P) matrix that helps to prevent TEWL without emollients or occlusives. They recently tested this matrix against another glycerin and hyaluronic acid containing product on the market and found that it came out ahead. They published their results in the Clinical, Experimental,and Cosmetic Dermatology journal. This is an absolute gamechanger for people like me who are prone to breakouts and sensitive to pore clogging ingredients. Rodan + Fields has this matrix in two of their breakout products: The Active Hydration Serum (AHS) and the Active Hydration Bright Eyes Complex (BEC).
Active Hydration Serum Giveaway
I have been using the AHS since August, and it does a great job of hydrating my skin without causing oiliness or clogging my pores. Since I’m so excited about this hydration technology, I’m providing one Active Hydration Serum for Sweet Inspovation readers to win. I’ll also randomly pick five comments to get a free minifacial in the mail. You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter giveaway Kendra has organized for us. Additionally, if you want to talk to me about how Rodan + Fields can help you get your best skin, I would love to help you find the products that you love. Everything is clinically tested and has a 60-day money back guarantee. I really believe in this company and hope to make a believer out of you, too. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I’ve also been using the Bright Eyes Complex since it became available to consultants. It does a fantastic job of depuffing my tired, overworked eyes (too many late nights lately!) in a short amount of time. If you’re interested in this product, it can be purchased standalone or paired with our very popular Lash Boost in a gift set (while supplies last). Check out that shiny eye-lash curler!
Don’t forget to tell me your Rodan + Fields color on which regimen addresses your primary skincare concerns in the comments below, which is one way to gain an entry to the Giveaway!
Thank you for reading!
FTC: This post is not sponsored by Rodan + Fields. Sweet Inspovation and its agents do not endorse or have an affiliation with Rodan + Fields. This post may contain affiliate links.