Don’t you find that people are forever banging on about how to keep your body hydrated, yet as soon as someone mentions skin hydration – it becomes a case of everyone looking around awkwardly at one another. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here to clarify, what is hydrated skin, how do you know your skin is hydrated and most importantly, how to hydrate it!
What Is Hydrated Skin?
When you start to think of what hydrated skin looks like – you think of plump and dewy looking skin, almost glistening it's smooth texture in the sunlight. While there may be some truth to this, it doesn’t necessarily mean you look flawlessly airbrushed. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you have oily or even combination skin, that your skin is hydrated – in fact, this can be the opposite a majority of the time.
Oily/Combination skins tend to produce more oil due to their skin being DEHYDRATED. This results in the skin working harder to hydrate itself by producing excess oil. Equally, if you have dry skin, this doesn’t mean that your skin is always dehydrated. We will break it down for you a little more…
Difference between dry and dehydrated skin
Dry skin is characterised by fewer oil-producing glands on the face and body. On the other hand, dehydrated skin consists of a lack of water, not oil. So, you can have an oily complexion, but still have dehydrated skin… We know what you’re thinking, it can get a little confusing!
If you think of the difference being dryness refers to a skin type, whereas dehydration refers to a skin condition, it may be a little easier to wrap your head around.
Dry skin will lack oil because it produces less sebum (an oily wax substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands) than normal skin. The lack of sebum means the skin is without the tools it needs to retain moisture and build a strong barrier to protect the skin.
Dehydrated skin does not have enough water. Dehydration is caused by many external factors, but the most common are weather, environment, diet and caffeine consumption…yep, all those cups of coffee could be dehydrating your skin!
So, how do you know that your skin is hydrated?! A good test is to pinch your cheek – if it’s wrinkling with gentle pressure instead of holding its shape, your skin cells are desperate for water. It’s also important to note that dehydrated skins will feel tight, look dull in the mirror and you may notice exaggerated wrinkles – not to mention exaggerated dark circles under your eyes.
In comparison, dry skin may feel uncomfortable, flaky and itchy. The worst areas typically are near the eyebrows and around the corners of the mouth and nose. However, depending on the severity of your dry skin – you may experience it in more or fewer places.
How to hydrate your skin: 5 steps
Now we have established the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. But how do we hydrate our skin properly now? We have created our top 5 steps below…
1. Drinking the correct amount of water
It’s no secret how great water is for your body, but your skin too. According to the NHS you should drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day this equates to roughly 2-3 litres of water per-day, depending on whether you are male or female.
Water keeps your body hydrated, refreshed and helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity, which is why you will find hyaluronic acid in the majority of anti-ageing skincare – but that’s a whole new blog post in itself! People who drink the correct amount of water are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles and they won’t have as many signs of visible ageing as opposed to someone who drinks a little amount of water.
2. Use hydrating ingredients in your skincare
It goes without saying as I’m sure any skincare lover will know that hyaluronic acid is the most hydrating ingredient out there – it plays an important role in skin hydration and maintaining skin elasticity. Hyaluronic acid’s water-binding properties help replenish your skin and also prevent early signs of ageing. To some degree, it can help attract water from the air, but also will help to draw water from the lower layers of your epidermis (this is the top section of your skin, which itself has 5 layers) to the top.
Be aware there are many different molecule sizes of hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate on your skincare ingredient lists). Proverb uses the lowest molecular weight, the most elite version in both our Skin Strengthening Serum and our moisturisers.
Glycerine is another substance addition to keep moisture, that works the same way as hyaluronic acid. It is thought of as ‘less fashionable’, but it still works very well. If you have dehydrated skin then always aim to buy toners, serums and moisturisers with glycerine and hyaluronic acid.
Next up we have ceramides, these are skin-replenishing ingredients, like the cement that supports the bricks of a building. They make up and repair your skin’s barrier, which prevents water loss and retains moisture.
3. Avoiding long, hot showers
If you live in the UK like us, you will know that the ever-changing climate can be unpredictable at times. This results in having to switch up your skincare routine multiple times to adjust to the temperature outside. However, where you can control the temperature, is in the shower.
Ideally, you shouldn’t be allowing your face to become soaked in the hot water – excessively hot water can strip your natural oils from your skin, causing it to feel dryer. Try to hold your head up, as if your nose is pointing to the ceiling so no shampoo or hot water can land on your face.
4. Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier is always our go-to in the winter months for skin hydration. Central heating can be the bane of our skin when it’s a little colder. So, placing a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep is a great way to retain moisturise within the skin and not risk it becoming dry and sore.
This is also great to use if you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, as the water particles within the air will hydrate the skin without you having to even lift a thing.
5. Make sure you wear SPF
It goes without saying, the importance of wearing SPF every day (ideally 50, at the least SPF 30) is paramount. Many people aren’t aware that even in the winter months, just because the sun isn’t jarringly warm – doesn’t, necessarily mean you’re not doing any harm to the skin.
During the summer months, the Sun’s rays use both UVA and UVB, whereas in the winter – it is the only UVB. But what do all these letters mean? Unofficially, the easiest way to remember this is UVA (A for ageing) and UVB (B for burning) – although, this isn’t the true scientific term for this, it’s a handy reminder that the sun will continue to age you all year round. That is, unless you wear SPF.
Your daily morning routine should be: cleanse, tone, moisturise and then SPF last. The ideal amount you should be applying to your face every day is 2.5mls, this works out to be around the size of a 10 pence piece coin.
What Is The Best Moisturiser
Choosing the right moisturiser for your skin can be imperative, but before you even think about that – you will need to understand your skin type. In simple terms, there are emulsion cream moisturisers, balm moisturisers and oil moisturisers. Most on the market are emulsions, a mixture of oil and water, we all typically call it cream. Creams can have more or less water. The more water, the lighter the texture becomes and the less water, the more oil the thicker and richer it becomes.
Dehydrated and dry skins should always have their core emulsion cream moisturiser, ideally with glycerine and hyaluronic acid. Whereas, if you have oily skin, a much lighter emulsion) cream moisturiser (still with hyaluronic acid) will prevent your skin from feeling heavy. Generally, you want to check on the bottle/tube which skin type the moisturiser is designed for.
For example, our Oil Balance Pro Moisturiser is formulated to be light and absorb easily but also to have salicylic acid to help prevent spots and mattifying powders from inside a bamboo stem to ensure you do not shine. It has been made for high performance with antioxidant ingredients to balance, refresh and clear stress oil skin.
In comparison to our Hydration Pro Moisturiser, which is designed for normal to dehydrated skins, enriched with daily moisturising protection with complex amino acids to tone, strengthen and protect dry skin.