Winter skin care - moisture and skin lipids

Soft, supple and comfortable—there’s nothing quite like the good feeling of moisturized skin after a facial, but you can’t seem to get the same results at home… 


The moisturizer is usually the first thing we look to, but in order to find your skin’s balance—not too dry and not too oily—the entire regimen should be assessed. A well-balanced morning and evening regimen, that supports hydration and target’s your skin’s needs, will help keep the lipids balanced and support optimal anti-aging, clarifying and brightening benefits. 


What are Lipids?

Lipids play a vital role in how our skin looks and feels, are critical to the effectiveness of our serums and treatments, and make-up about 10% of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin). This delicate balance of fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides contribute to healthy skin functions and protect from other environmental threats (allergens, irritants, and infection). Our lipid balance can be disrupted by many things, primarily UV damage and our environment, hormonal shifts, natural aging, and using the wrong products for your skin.

When the lipid balance is off, the skin does not regenerate properly and dead skin cells are held to the surface instead of being shed. Dehydration begins to settle-in and enhance discolorations and fine lines, roughens texture and increase breakouts. Fatty acids also assist with reducing inflammation in the skin and help with healthy immune responses to bacteria, fungi and viruses. Skin that lacks proper moisture and hydration has a greater chance of experiencing an inflammatory skin reaction, like dermatitis. 


Fatty Acids for Skin Rejuvenation

Knowing that our skin is composed of cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids, here are the natural and supplemental types of fatty acids that can be beneficial for different skin types. Choosing the right combination of fats to apply on the skin is equally important as consuming beneficial fats from fish, nuts, and seeds, and eating plenty of vegetables. 

  • Cholesterol—Quenching occlusive moisture.  
  • Cermides—Lipids that increase hydration in the skin and are beneficial for all skin types. Alternative ingredients include glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 
  • Omega-3—High in alpha lipoid acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA), regulates oil production and contributes to skin elasticity. 
  • Omega-6—Linoleic acid nourishes skin without feeling too heavy and is highly beneficial for individuals with oily skin or acne. 
  • Omega-9—Oleic acid types benefit balanced to dry skin types and tend to be occlusive. 


  • Rich Fatty Acids—Cholesterol, Tallow, Lanolin, Stearic Acid, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (Glycerin and Stearic Acid), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil and Glycerin)
  • Moderate Fatty Acids—Olive, Safflower, Sweet Almond, or Jojoba Oils, Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Non-Occlusive Lipids—Hemp Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Glycerin, Ceramides


What Combination is Best For Your Skin

All skin types need fatty acids to encourage healthy skin functions and keep skin supple. Balanced or normal skin types may get enough hydration from a balanced regimen. Fruitzyme Conditioner, Opti-Renew Complex and Sun Protectant contain beneficial hydration from vegetable glycerin, palmitic acid and safflower oil, in addition to other plant oils. In the fall and winter months, additional moisture and hydration can be added with soothing shea butter and sweet almond oil found in Beta-Carrot Cream.

Combination to oily skin types benefit from ceramides and the linoleic acid content in most omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Excess oil production creates an imbalance of oil content on the skin—essentially, there’s not enough “good” fats that help with the shedding of dead skin cells. Cellular buildup contributes to an increase in breakouts and acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid and retinol, can dry the skin and cause dehydration. Incorporating Clarifying Lotion or Ultra Hemp into a daytime routine gives the skin lightweight, oil-free hydration that won’t cause breakouts. During winter months, Rest-N-Restore can be added to a combination to oily skin regimen to boost hydration. In some cases, the quenching hyaluronic acid in Rest-N-Restore is all an oily skin type needs to encourage healthy skin functions.   

Dry skin types need a combination of hydration and omega-9 fatty acids to help with year-round moisture and overall healthy skin. Phyto-DMAE Cream and Regenerating Cream both use stearic acid, a type of cholesterol, with other beneficial fatty acids. Advanced Recovery Cream is formulated with more free fatty acids that deliver a different moisture balance than the others. Finding the right type of moisturizer for your skin may be a trial-and error process, or you can consult with a skin care professional to help you choose the right balance for your skin’s needs. 


Need to find the right balance? Ask a professional. 

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 A. Kendall, M. Kiezel-Tsugunova, L. Brownbridge, J. Harwood, A. Nicolaou. (Set. 2017) Lipid Functions in Skin: Differential effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cutaneous ceramics, in human skin organ culture model. BBA Biomembranes (1859)9B, 1679-1689

S. Verdier-Sévrain, MD, F. Bonté, PhD. (May 2007) Skin Hydration: A review on its molecular mechanisms. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (6)2, 75-82

E. Held, S. Sveinsdottir, T. Agner, (1999) Effect of Long-Term Use of Moisturizer on Skin Hydration, Barrier Function and Susceptibility to Irritants. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 79: 49-51