Your skin in winter
Dry skin is short on moisture in the outermost layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. This can cause cracks in the skin surface.
Wintertime is often a time when your skin becomes drier. This happens because humidity tends to be lower in winter which reduces the water content of the stratum corneum. Winter winds tend to make the situation worse, as do heaters and sitting in front of a fire.
Dry skin can become itchy, prone to infections and it can look and feel rough and dry.
What is niacinamide?
AKA Nicotinamide or Vitamin B3, this ingredient is a bit of a blockbuster in skincare. It can be taken as an oral supplement (with evidence to support prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancer) or put in skincare.
How does niacinamide help dry skin?
Niacinamide has been found to help in combating dry skin and improving stratum corneum barrier function, thus reducing trans-epidermal water loss or TEWL. Niacinamide increases the skin’s own production of skin barrier lipids, such as ceramides.
The exact chemical methods through which niacinamide combats dry skin and TEWL, is not completely understood. But we do know that niacinamide is a precursor of the essential coenzymes called NADP or Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate and NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. These essential coenzymes, active in every single cell of the body help to make lipids and proteins in the skin but also help with healthy cell metabolism.
How much should I use?
The evidence does vary but we see the best results from using it at a concentration between 2 and 5% once or twice a day.
Is there anything else I can do for dry winter skin?
Sun protection! UV damage from UVB and UVA rays causes inflammation and exacerbates skin dryness. Look for a broad spectrum UV product.
Less washing! Soap and hot water dry out the skin more. Use lukewarm, not hot water. No soap!
A humidifier in winter might help
Rug up, stay warm and stay hydrated!