Protect, Soothe, and Revitalize Your Skin This Winter!

By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Maintaining a nourishing skincare routine in cold weather is crucial to combat dryness and protect the skin from harsh environmental elements. The skin is our largest and most visible organ; in many ways, skin health tells us a lot about our internal health. For example, easy bruising and dry, wrinkled, sagging skin are signs of increased free radical damage and accelerated aging. In addition to being visible externally, these signs indicate what’s happening internally. Hence, there is a growing awareness that skin health mirrors internal health and human aging.i

Wintertime can undoubtedly affect our skin’s appearance and health, but we can do many things to hold on to our glow. And exclusive, overpriced skincare products need not be one of them. Instead, turn to natural skincare ingredients to create your own summer skincare arsenal of cleansers, lotions, and supplements.

Essential Formulas has several products that enhance skin health and, at the same time, promote improved internal health and help to slow down the process of biological aging.

1. Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus contains highly absorbable, low molecular weight collagen peptides. Human clinical trials have shown that orally ingested collagen peptides increase collagen production, increasing the skin’s elasticity, strength, and hydration.ii Increasing the body’s production of healthy new collagen is an example of reversing aging. This results in noticeable improvements in skin conditions, such as increased moisture and elasticity and a decrease in roughness and wrinkles.iii For example, in a human clinical trial, women who ingested collagen peptides for eight weeks had a 20% reduction in the volume of eye wrinkles, a 65% increase in type 1 skin collagen, and an 18% increase in skin elastin content.iv

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is one of the key ingredients in Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus. HA can absorb its weight in water many times, which explains why it effectively improves skin moisture content. In a 6-week clinical trial, subjects who ingested HA daily exhibited significantly greater moisture content in their skin and visibly improved facial features such as enhanced skin luster, suppleness, and reduced facial skin wrinkles.v

Cherry Blossom Extract is a unique ingredient in Dr. Ohhira’s Collagen Plus, widely recognized in Japan for its health and beauty benefits. Cherry blossom extract has been shown to inhibit glycation, which destroys collagen. Cherry blossom extract also stimulates the production of healthy new collagen.

In an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the skin of the women taking cherry blossom extract exhibited improved elasticity, less dryness, a reduction of skin pores, redness, hyperpigmentation, improvement in the smoothness of the skin, and a reduction of glycation cross-linking damage. Studies such as this indicate that cherry blossom extract improves the underlying collagen skin structure and the visual appearance of the skin and slows down the process of skin damage and aging.

2. Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Living Oils provides a balance of healthy fats with an emphasis on omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), which is deficient in the diet of many Americans. Essential Living Oils is sourced from eight natural plant and seed oils, which makes it a healthy vegan alternative to fish oil supplements.

The fats in Essential Living Oils are essential for the proper architectural structure of cell walls in the skin and help reduce skin irritation and maintain healthy skin barrier function.

3. Kampuku Beauty Bar and Magoroku Skin Lotion.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced skin microbiome is essential for skin health. Dr. Ohhira’s skincare products are formulated with all-natural ingredients combined with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic extract, which protects and revitalizes the skin.

Unfortunately, many skincare products disrupt, damage, or remove the skin microbiome. It is becoming increasingly clear that skin dysbiosis is associated with many skin conditions. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic extract contains various slightly acidic postbiotic metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), organic acids, nucleic acids, and fulvic acids. These weakly acidic compounds help maintain proper skin pH, essential for a healthy skin microbiome. This starkly contrasts other skincare products that disrupt or destroy the skin microbiome.

Also, staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining skin health, and using a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor environment can prevent your skin from becoming overly dry in cold months. Regularly assess how your skin responds to this routine and adjust as needed, considering that individual skin types may vary. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized guidance for optimal cold-weather skincare if you have specific concerns. The products from Essential Formulas highlighted in this article support and improve the skin microbiome while enhancing immune function and overall health.

i Nikolakis G, et al. Skin Mirrors Human Aging. Horm Mol Biol Clin Invest. 2013;16(1):13-28.
ii Asserin J, et al. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301.
iii Inoue N, et al. Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial aging signs in a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study. J Sci. Food Agric. 2016;96(12):4077-4081.
iv Proksch E. et al. Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27;47-55
v Kawada C, et al. Ingestion of hyaluronans (molecular weights 800 k and 300 k) improves dry skin conditions: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2015 Jan;56(1):14-81.