Ok, so dry skin often upticks during the colder months—this likely comes at no surprise. But dry parched skin is also an indication that your skin barrier function is weaker, allowing for transepidermal water loss as well as increased inflammation.
Now, in the short term a little inflammation can actually boost collagen production. (This is why people recommend gentle chemical exfoliators, like glycolic or lactic acids. They do so by triggering your body’s wound healing response, which often ends up creating more collagen than what’s needed—thus, you get a little boost. However, it’s also why dermatologists are so strict on how much you exfoliate (once or twice a week, FYI), as too much of it will backfire.
So the problem becomes when the skin is subject to long bouts of chronic inflammation: This sort of inflammation is what will cause overall collagen loss in the skin. Essentially, when your inflammation is in overdrive and carries on for extended periods of time, your skin never gets the chance to catch up and replace the lost proteins during its wound healing period.
So if your skin has inflammation flare-ups come winter that stick around, you likely need to be tending to your collagen levels, like A.S.A.P. But it gets worse: With collagen depletion (as well as ceramide, elastin, and hyaluronic acid depletion), your skin barrier function loses some of its power. Creating a little something of a vicious cycle of inflammation leading to collagen loss—and collagen loss creating the skin more vulnerable to inflammation.
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