The popularity of skincare routines has been on the rise in the past few years, with skincare product sales growing by 13% and peaking at $5.6 billion in 2018. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the industry. For example, when people hear the word “hydration”, they often think it relates to people with dry skin. When, in reality, proper hydration should be a priority for everyone who wants to look healthy — no matter their skin type. So in this article we are going to break down why this is the case.
Benefits of Well Hydrated Skin
Balanced oil levels
It may sound a little counterintuitive to combat oiliness with more hydration. But when you’re properly hydrated, your skin won’t trigger its self-regulating system, which tries to remedy dehydration by producing more oil. Additionally, as excessive sebum is also associated with irritation, acne, and redness in the skin, maintaining well-hydrated skin can eventually lead to fewer breakouts and clearer skin.
Stronger skin defenses
Just like the other organs in the body, your skin needs to be well hydrated to stay strong and healthy. When your skin is hydrated properly, it will be able to fight off external irritants like allergens and pollution, while also more flushing out free radicals that can affect luminosity and resilience.
More youthful appearance
When skin is well hydrated, skin cells are plump and skin elasticity is high. This means that you’re less likely to exhibit signs of premature aging, like saggy or wrinkled skin. What’s more, because well-maintained hydration levels enhance skin cell turnover, your skin will heal faster and look fresher.
Consequences of Dehydrated Skin
Weaker skin barrier
Dehydrated skin means that the epidermis can become compromised. Because this is the skin layer that acts as your “brick and mortar” protection, when the epidermis experiences water loss, its lipid matrix develops gaps. When this happens, you’re far more likely to develop a damaged skin barrier that is vulnerable to germs and irritants. The symptoms include acne, skin sensitivity, rough skin, and rashes.
If you’ve noticed that your skin is looking sallow or discolored, you’re more than likely dehydrated. Recent studies have proven that a lack of hydration can affect the vitality of the topmost layer of the epidermis, thus causing dull skin. When your skin cells are parched, nutrients are not as effectively brought to the surface, and dead skin cells take longer to shed. This is why skin can look flat and patchy.
How to Hydrate Your Skin Properly
Follow an antioxidant-rich diet
Aside from drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, you can help boost your daily hydration and detoxification with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. On top of helping improve skin hydration, these foods can also address other skincare concerns. For instance, it can help in preventing sun spots. This is because foods with lots of antioxidants boost your skin’s defenses against sun damage by up to 20%. To make it easier to include in your diet, you could start by infusing your water with berries or cucumbers, then you could add some spinach and carrots to your fresh salads.
Use a moisturizer and serum
If you haven’t been using serum or moisturizer on a regular basis, your skin is missing out on topical support that can replenish and lock in essential hydration. A hydrating serum like Niacinamide can help protect your skin from environmental stressors while also providing moisture. Meanwhile, a non-comedogenic moisturizer (which can be richer in colder climates and thinner in warmer ones) can act as an occlusive to retain water. Just make sure to apply your products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. So your serum should be applied somewhere at the beginning of your skincare routine, while your moisturizer can be the last step.
The good news is that maintaining well hydrated skin is fairly straightforward so anyone can keep up with it. And while it may take some getting used to at first, with consistent effort, you’ll soon notice that your skin gets stronger, softer, and healthier.