When the words "hydrated skin" come to mind, they can connote even complexion with a radiance that emanates like a model in a beauty commercial. Essentially, the two words refer to the water content of one's skin and its importance, especially in the face of dehydrated or dry skin.
Dehydrated and dry skin are seemingly synonymous; however, that is not the case. Dehydrated skin is the condition of having a lack of water in the skin, whereas dry skin is a skin type that lacks natural oils, such as sebum.
Hydrating the skin goes hand in hand with moisturisation, as hydration adds water to the skin, and moisturisation entails using products to seal the added water. Gone are the days of dull, wrinkly and itchy skin, as well as the complicated measures to solve them. Hydrated skin is just around the corner; follow these eight steps and have a gander at the recommended products to be on the right path.
Drink a sufficient amount of water
The journey to hydrated skin begins internally, and it is only fitting that water is at the centre of it. The recommended daily intake of water is eight glasses, but there are differences in opinion around this recommendation. The goal is to keep the body hydrated, and swapping out the occasional sweet beverage for water is right on.
Eat foods rich in water
There are a variety of fruits and vegetables that not only tick this box but are low in calories and come packed with vitamins that aid in nourishing your skin. Foods rich in water include cucumbers, which are 95 per cent water; tomatoes; apples, with over 80 grams in water; and lettuce, which not only hydrates but helps strengthen bones. There are so many water-rich foods that can be incorporated into meals, making the strife for hydrated skin less taxing. Overall, a healthy diet correlates with a healthy body, and the skin will boast its results.
Skin vitamins, like vitamins D, C, E and K, can help, too. Also, collagen and hyaluronic supplements are useful in keeping the skin texture firmed and beautiful.
Use hydrating skincare products
The keyword is "water-based". When hunting for hydrating products, it's important to read the ingredients as some culprits cause dehydration in the skin.
Be wary of ethanol, menthol and fragrances, both synthetic and natural. These ingredients can wreak all types of havoc on the skin, ranging from dryness and irritation to stimulating a surplus in oil production at the base of the pore, resulting in clogged pores and oilier skin.
Hydrating ingredients include glycerin, which is widely incorporated in many skin care products because it is a humectant that draws moisture from the air to the skin's surface. Products with glycerin include:
- Paula's Choice: an electrolyte-filled moisturiser, ideal for oily skin;
- Aquaphor Healing Ointment: an all-rounding moisturiser that protects against cold weather; and
- CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser: an affordable cleanser that offers 24-hour hydration.
Other hydrating ingredients are ceramides and panthenol that replenish the skin's barrier and provide moisture to the skin's cells.
Tone down the hot and long showers
Long, steamy showers are one of the best and easiest ways to unwind; however, they're not doing any favours for the skin. As conflicting as it sounds, the skin's barrier is threatened under the use of hot water because it strips the natural oils off the skin, leaving it dry. It's best to keep the temperatures warm to lukewarm to maximise the skin's hydration levels.
Treat yourself to face masks
Face masks are a beneficial bonus to a skin regimen that leaves the skin looking full and bright. One can opt to make their own face mask or purchase a ready-made formula.
Popular ingredients in homemade face masks include: honey, coconut and vitamin E oils; Epsom salt; aloe vera; and avocado. These ingredients remedy a wide range of skin problems, namely excessive oil, acne and, of course, dry skin. On the other hand, ready-made face masks include the aforementioned ingredients with a few added acids and antioxidants that do a great job of revitalising dehydrated skin for any time of the year. Recommended products are:
- Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask with Vitamin C: a citrus and berry blend, considered to be an "overnight concoction";
- Artis Phantom Silks Skincare Primer Sheet Mask: soaked in hyaluronic acid, this mask is for any time of the day and helps alleviate wrinkles and hastens wound healing; and
- Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask: also known as the 'reset mask', the chestnut extract aids in exfoliating the skin while the vitamin C extract cares for the skin barrier.
Consider a humidifier
Frankly, there probably isn't enough moisture in the average home's atmosphere, and a humidifier is the best way to boost the moisture in the air. Humidifiers are more frequently recommended than air conditioners because they prevent the skin from drying out and help alleviate allergies and improve sleep quality.
Don't slack on the sunscreen
It's time to drop the SPF 15 because it is no match for the effects of sun exposure. Sun exposure dehydrates the skin and greatly affects its elastin and collagen, which function to provide elasticity and strength. Any threat to these proteins can cause premature ageing.
To maximise sun protection, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are labelled as such to help with identification. Recommendations include:
- Neutrogena Ultra Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55: known for its lightweight feel that doesn't clog pores and it's also water-resistant;
- La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen: comes with chemical and mineral formulations and comprises of vitamin E and herbal extracts; and
- Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40: a sheer, mineral sunscreen with strong antioxidants such as green tea.
8. Use water sprays when applying make-up or just on the bare skin
During your make-up application, you can spray your favourite water spray after each make-up step to set and hydrate your skin. Please note, make-up won't help to cover the dry and dehydrated skin, which is one of the most common mistakes that women can make.
The process of attaining hydrated skin may seem demanding on the one hand while being reasonable on the other. Depending on the number of changes required to encourage moisture retention, the journey will differ; hopefully, the steps and recommended products add a touch of simplicity.