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What You Know About Dry Skin and Wrinkles Just Scratches the Surface 

 

For years you’ve heard that people with dry skin get more wrinkles than people with oily skin and that the answer to the problem comes in the form of frequent moisturizing. But there’s a better solution: exfoliation. We know that sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out.

 

The outermost layer of skin is mainly composed of dead cells bound together by lipids that act as a sort of glue. Dry skin has more dead cells and less moisture, so naturally, it will look and feel tighter, duller, drier. Here’s where it gets interesting. The thicker layer of dead, dry skin cells makes wrinkles and lines appear more visible.

 

Imagine there is a layer of frost on your windshield and you trace a line in the frost with your fingertip. Write your name in it if you like. You can see it from across the street. But scrape the frost off, and the lines disappear.

 

The concept is similar with the dead skin cells. That’s not to say that you can simply erase wrinkles by exfoliating the outer layers of dead skin. But removing the layers to reveal fresh new cells below diminishes the appearance of lines by reducing their depth.

 

Researchers at the University of Southampton and the University of Cape Town in South Africa, working with colleagues at the University of Stanford in the USA, applied a biomechanical perspective to understanding what causes wrinkles.

 

Dr. Georges Limbert, Associate Professor in Mathematical Modelling in Biophysics at Southampton's Centre for Advanced Tribology and the Biomechanics and lead author of the study notes, "Besides its critical physiological functions as a biochemical barrier, this very thin layer [the stratum corneum] plays a key role in determining the characteristics of skin micro-wrinkles, even in younger people."

 

"As relative humidity drops, this outer layer -- the stratum corneum -- becomes dryer and stiffer," Dr. Limbert continues. "When this happens, the micro-wrinkles at the surface of the skin, induced by facial muscle actions like smiling, become much deeper, larger and, therefore, more visible. This can happen in a matter of a few hours, so the immediate answer -- and one we all know -- is to keep our skin hydrated in order to minimize the creation of micro-wrinkles.”

 

But guess what gets in the way of effective hydration? Dead skin cells. Getting rid of them clears the way for hydrating ingredients to reach into the skin, along with cell regulators like vitamin A and peptides that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers. It’s important to note that as we age, skin’s natural cell turnover slows creating even more buildup, so aiding cell turnover becomes even more critical.

 

 

How do you keep skin free of cellular build-up?

Alpha-hydroxy acids dissolve the “glue” that binds dead skin cells to slough them away. Glycolic is the best known and the fastest acting because its small molecular size means it is absorbed quickly by the skin. Mandelic acid is a gentler AHA that is absorbed more slowly by the skin but has the added advantage of being a melanin inhibitor, so it helps to reduce excess pigmentation. Those two characteristics make it an especially good choice for dark skin tones prone to hyperpigmentation.

 

Vitamin A speeds cellular turnover to bring new healthy skin to the surface. It also spurs collagen synthesis and inhibits the expression of the enzyme that breaks down collagen. It’s powerful antioxidant properties combat the signs of UV-induced skin aging, such as wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and pigmentation.

 

To optimize your results, use a toner that contains AHAs to remove all traces of makeup and oil and sweep away cellular debris, and aids absorption of your corrective serums.

 

When using chemical exfoliation, skin can initially look flaky as the dead cells are loosened. A physically exfoliating scrub can remove flakes and clear surface debris. Vivant’s biodegradable Buffing Grains can be added to any cleanser for an exfoliating boost.

 

 

Recommended Products 

Buffing Grains

Clears cellular debris and encourages cell renewal to immediately reveal a more radiant, glowing complexion. Add to any cleanser for an exfoliating boost. Uses eco-friendly, renewable, and bio-degradable cellulose buffing beads.

 

Cleansing Milk

This gentle, hydrating, luxuriously creamy formula leaves skin feeling soothed, supple, and radiantly clean. May be combined with Buffing Grains for added polish.

 

Skin Nourishing Toner

Antioxidant-rich and ultra-refining for even the most sensitive skin. The gentle formula includes mandelic acid, plus botanical elements to clear and calm, and rosehip oil to moisturize and protect against environmental stressors and signs of aging. Alcohol-free.

 

8% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Serum

This multi-tasking micro-exfoliator targets signs of aging, acne, and hyperpigmentation without irritation in all skin types and tones.

 

Derm-A-Renew

A gentle vitamin A and peptide serum to speed cell turnover, supercharge collagen production, reduce redness, and support a healthy skin barrier. 

 

 

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