Sign up for exclusive discounts, product launches, and new stories on The Lab.
Our B-SILK™ PROTEIN builds a lightweight, breathable barrier that keeps potent ingredients like Ceramides, NMF, and HA close to the skin so they can do their work
At Eighteen B, we believe that defending the skin barrier is essential to maintaining healthy skin. The skin barrier always needs reinforcement, but cold weather brings its own unique challenges. Here are five ingredients your skin craves in cool weather.
Do you feel that chill in the air? While you’re pulling out your cool-weather wardrobe, it’s a good time to think about how you’re protecting your skin this season. At Eighteen B, that means paying closer attention to the skin barrier.
Cold weather brings dry air, which in turn can dehydrate the skin. This can cause itchiness, dry spots, tightness, and uneven skin tone. It feels natural to reach for a richer moisturizer this time of year, but texture isn’t the only consideration. What matters most is building a regimen that delivers the right ingredients. Here are five components your skin craves in the cooler months.
The skin barrier is the outermost layers of the epidermis, also known as the stratum corneum. You can imagine the stratum corneum as a brick wall. The “bricks” are corneocytes, made of tiny keratin fibers in an organized matrix, and the “mortar” is comprised of naturally produced lipids like Cholesterol and Ceramides. This “brick wall” is the primary barrier between your skin and the world.
The lipids between the corneocytes are particularly vulnerable in the colder months. A Dutch study on the seasonal effects of lipids in the stratum corneum showed that Ceramides drop dramatically in the winter. The study continued, “The decrease in the mass levels of intercellular lipids and the altered ratios of fatty acids esterified to ceramide 1 are likely to contribute to the increased susceptibility of aged skin to perturbation of barrier function and xerosis (Ed. Note: dry skin), particularly during the winter months.”
Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream and Firm + Replenish Serum contain three types of naturally-occurring ceramides: Ceramide AP, EOP, and NP. All of these have a slightly different molecular structure and work together to support barrier function.
2. Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)
Taking it back to the brick wall analogy, the corneocytes, or “bricks,” produce Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). NMF is a cocktail of hydrating components like Amino Acids, Lactic Acid, Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid (PCA), and Hyaluronic Acid (HA). (Read more about NMF here.)
Ceramides and Cholesterol work to protect the corneocytes from NMF loss, but NMF is stripped away daily by common cleansers and skincare products. As lipids can be lower in the cooler months, NMF is at risk.
You can layer good ingredients on your skin, but they can only do so much if your natural skin barrier is compromised. As Dr. Shari Marchbein recently told the New York Times when discussing the skin barrier (and Lindsay Wray, our Chief Science Officer, referenced in Why We Created a Serum), “If you frost a dry cake, the cake is still dry. If you frost a moist cake, it stays moist.” Our Firm + Replenish Serum delivers a potent dose of NMF to replenish skin’s natural barrier after cleansing and before applying a moisturizer. In other words, Serum replenishes skin’s barrier so moisturizer is applied on a moist “cake.”
3. Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is often bundled into NMF, but it deserves a special shout out for working cool-weather wonders. HA is a powerful humectant, meaning it acts like a sponge, attracting water from the environment into the corneocytes. Of course, cool weather means drier air, so there’s less water to attract. For an at-home hack, apply HA-packed products, like our Firm + Replenish Serum, Revitalizing Hydrogel Moisturizer, and Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream, and sleep with a humidifier.
This is a no-brainer (we hope!) but sunscreen should be an essential part of your regimen, no matter the season. Aside from causing sun damage and premature aging, UV rays are also shown to damage the skin barrier function.
A 2012 study on solar UV radiation and the barrier function of human skin showed that “solar UV radiation poses a double threat to skin by both increasing the biomechanical driving force for damage while simultaneously decreasing the skin’s natural ability to resist, compromising the critical barrier function of the skin.”
5. A Breathable Barrier
Our B-SILK™ PROTEIN builds a lightweight, breathable barrier that keeps potent ingredients like Ceramides, NMF, and HA close to the skin so they can do their work. When applied, our B-SILK™ PROTEIN forms a long-lasting barrier on your skin. It acts as a vital defense against environmental stressors as well as a moisture depot, delivering immediate and sustained hydration throughout the day.
A clinical study found that by replenishing your vital barrier function, B-SILK™ PROTEIN leaves your skin incredibly soft and smooth while visibly firming, lifting, and increasing overall radiance.
See? When your regimen is on point, skin can stay fresh and glowing well past September. Bring on the chill.