It’s winter time which means there might be snow below you, lingering holiday lights above you, and dehydrated skin all around. It’s the coldest time of year, and your hydration levels have likely plummeted.
The weather and other environmental factors definitely have a hand in water depletion. According to Youth To The People’s Product Innovation Manager, Mercedes Taylor, our bodies go through a process of dehydration called transepidermal water loss (or TEWL). It happens year-round, but some environmental factors can make it worse, like vacationing in Palm Springs or cranking up the heat on high mid-winter. But it doesn’t have to be this way—one key element for preparing your skin to face the harsh winter months is a rich, nourishing moisturizer—namely, the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream—with a few key ingredients.
When creating the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, YTTP turned to the deep history of adaptogens within Ayurveda and looked to how this mushroom has traditionally been used, including for improved sleep. Reishi also happens to be extremely hydrating. Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans which exhibit high antioxidant activity. As Taylor describes, “Beta-glucans act like water reservoirs for our skin, helping to retain hydration throughout the day.” They also help our skin adapt to different climates, so moisturizers with reishi will help the skin remain balanced even in environments that lack consistent humidity.
Rhiodiola helps to combat redness and protect against harsh conditions. It’s an herb that also strengthens the skin and builds up its resistance to stress and fatigue. “Rhodiola rosea contains high levels of antioxidants shown to improve physical endurance for those living at high-altitude in traditional Chinese and Siberian medicine,” says Taylor.
In traditional Indian medicine, ashwagandha, another ingredient found in the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, is sought after for its ability to improve signs of fatigue. Like Rhodiola rosea, it has been known scientifically to protect the skin from environmental stressors when applied topically. “Ashwagandha helps to maintain our skin’s barrier function and fights signs of premature aging,” Taylor says.
Another star ingredient is pentapeptide—great for calming down sensitive and irritated skin. Peptides themselves are found naturally in the skin and comprised of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There are many different kinds with many different benefits but pentapeptides, on top of calming down sensitive skin, have been described as having “botox-like” effects, and are great for reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Squalene is found naturally in the skin’s sebum—but squalane, that’s with an “a” instead of an “e”— is found naturally in olives (plus, it’s vegan). A saturated variation of squalene, squalane is safe for sensitive skin and is much less susceptible to oxidation.
Rounding out the main moisturizing agents, we have the ever-popular shea butter. Its high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins makes it a key cosmetic ingredient for softening dry skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can be beneficial for those with eczema.
Now that we know which ingredients to add to our winter routine, the next question might be about the best way to apply them. Taylor recommends mixing a few drops of Youth To The People’s Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil into your daily Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. “This will mimic those natural lipids, allowing the adaptogens to focus on protecting and hydrating,” says Taylor. There isn’t just one right way to do it—it depends on your skin type and what works best for you. Still have questions? Check out these suggestions.
Written by Taylor Bryant for Youth To The People