⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲ 🐳🐳🐳🐳🐳🐳 💦⛲ The HYDRATION EQUATION. ⛲💦 ⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲⛲
Humectant + Moisture (water) + Occlusive = plump, toned, even skin.
Yes, that's it! The secret to skin that bounces back when you poke it, that's free from fine lines, that's elastic and toned, that's comfortable and is the best version it can be.
If your skin is dehydrated it's unlikely you'll ever feel completely happy with your skin. Hydration provides a cushion which gives a smooth appearance. Hydration isn't just a single step like an active or even a moisturiser. It's more of a way of looking at your skin and understanding where it's at. And then finding the right products and technique for getting the moisture into your skin and making sure it stays there!
I've covered the difference between dryness and dehydration in another post (link in comments) but mostly everyone can benefit from having a good plan for hydration. So let's look at the individual components of the hydration equation 👁️👁️👁️
🐳🐳🐳💦💦💦 HUMECTANTS. 💦💦💦🐳🐳🐳
🐳 These are products that help to hold water within the skin. The most obvious example is HA. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally occurring within the body and comes in various forms: powders, gels, serums, etc. You are probably aware that it can hold up to 1000x it's own weight within the skin. You can find out a ton of stuff online about how it works if you want to get into the mechanism of it. But the essential thing to remember is that one drop of 2% HA serum can hold about 20 drops (roughly 4 skins) of hydration within the skin.
🐳 Another common humectant is Glycerine. It has the advantage of being even more gentle and good value so it's found in many products. Products containing Glycerine will help to hold onto hydration.
🐳 The Ordinary also offers Marine Hyaluronics which functions in the same way as the HA serum, although it's not as clear how to calculate the amount of hydration it holds. In the absence of a clear directive on this I would judge a *dose* to be the standard TO 3-4 drops.
🐳 HYDRATING TONERS/ESSENCES These are mainly Korean or Japanese Beauty products that are formulated with humectants to hold the water within the skin. Some are more concentrated and you only need to use a small amount but the moisture needs to come from elsewhere. Some are watery. These are the products that are most closely associated with the 7 skins method.
🐳🐳🐳💦💦💦 MOISTURE 💦💦💦🐳🐳🐳
🐳 H2O. WATER. Aqua. Yes, that's what hydration means: Water content within the skin. It fills your cells, lubricates the tissues, helps actives to penetrate and helps products to do their job more effectively without sitting on top of the surface of the skin. Water can be just that: the water that gets into your skin from cleansing or bathing. Thermal water sprays. Water-based hydrators. And yes, tap water. The only issue to consider is the hardness/softness of the water where you live (London has particularly hard water, I had to be careful using tap water on my face when I lived there). You can check your water hardness online.
🐳 ROSEWATER. The best Rosewaters are pure distilled rosewater. Rose petals are soaked in water and then distilled (boiled and the steam is collected) which yields a very pure product. These Rosewaters are food-grade and often available in Middle Eastern or Turkish grocery stores. Or sometimes in the baking section of large grocery stores or speciality shops. Make sure there are no other added ingredients like sugars etc. Sometimes there is a small amount of preservative added and is listed as an ingredient. That's fine for most. There are also *beauty* type Rosewaters that have added ingredients, sometimes glycerine (ok) or perfumes (not great). I generally avoid these anyway as they are more expensive and don't really offer any additional value. The beauty of rosewater is that it's cheap and you can splash it with abandon without counting the pennies. Sometimes Orange Blossom water is for sale alongside Rosewater. Personally I use both interchangeably but some people with sensitive skin can find Orange Blossom more likely to cause reactions.
🐳 OTHER HYDRATING PRODUCTS: - Aloe Gel, available from healthfood stores or fresh from a plant! - Hydrating mists - Hydrating face masks (sheet masks) - Face gels and jelly-type moisturisers
🐳🐳🐳💦💦💦 OCCLUSIVES 💦💦💦🐳🐳🐳
🐳 Occlusives are products like creams (emulsions) and oils that seal in the hydration. After you've got all that hydration into your skin you don't want to let it escape!
🐳 MOISTURISER: your moisturiser probably has occlusive properties (unless it's a gel or very light). But there is no general rule for knowing how well it's doing its job, you have to evaluate that for yourself. Some people need a really thick heavy cream to hold onto hydration, others don't.
🐳 OILS: a great way to make your moisturiser more water-resistant is to use oils. Again, there is no definitive rule that will cover every oil and face cream so the best thing to do is to experiment and observe your own results. Oils can be layered before, after or mixed into creams. Find what works best with the products that suit your skin.
🐳 EMOLLIENTS: these are creams with hydrophobic (water-resistant) ingredients. Rather than sink into the skin they sit on top and create a barrier. This is the ultimate way to prevent TEWL (trans epidermal water loss). However, by definition these creams will be thicker and more likely to block pores. These products are also more likely to contain ingredients that are less environmentally friendly, such as mineral oils and paraffins. But if your skin is dry, as well as dehydrated, these can be a godsend because they mimic your skin's natural barrier.
🐳🐳🐳 PRODUCTS THAT ENHANCE HYDRATION BY SUPPORTING BARRIER FUNCTION: - Face creams. Not every moisturiser will add hydration but most face creams are emulsions (an oil suspended within a water formula) which will help to keep water within the skin. This is why aqua is listed as the first ingredient in most face creams although they don't actually provide much moisture - the water is in the formula to suspend and deliver the oils.
- Barrier support formulas like the TO Amino Acids. This type of product helps to enhance the skin's function and help it to retain hydration within the skin. Niacinamide is also known for barrier support, as are ceramides.
That's a lot to absorb!
💬 What's in your hydration wardrobe? What have you tried? What do you want to try? What results have you had? What was the lightbulb moment for your personal hydration journey? Feel free to add any relevant links to your favourite hydration tips!
💙💙💙 Have a great day! 💙 Heidi 💙💙💙
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