Hydration and Your Skin
If you want a firm and dewy complexion, you must pay attention to hydrating your skin. People with dry skin know they must focus on this issue, but it is equally important if you have oily skin. That’s because hydration is related to the amount of water “in” your skin, not the amount of oil or moisturizers “on” your skin. If you follow natural hair blogs, you will be familiar with all the advice to moisturize natural hair, and the steps to first hydrate your hair, then lock in moisture with an oil. Well, your skin is the same and needs ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help it hold onto water, then barrier lotions and oils to seal that water into the skin.
Oily Skin Needs Water Too
A lot of skincare for oily skin focuses on reducing shine and oiliness by removing excess sebum from the skin’s surface. The challenge with this approach is it can leave the skin stripped of its natural water barrier and dehydrates the skin. Neglecting to moisturize oily skin then triggers it to produce more oil to seal in water, which leads to use of more oil stripping products, which dehydrates the skin… and you get the point. That is why many skincare experts recommend using natural oils, like jojoba, on the skin to treat acne. This oil is most like human sebum and helps keep skin hydrated and balanced.
When regularly applied, your skin stays well hydrated and does not need to produce more oil to hold in water. With regular use, oils like jojoba can reduce the amount of oil your skin produces. Oily skin should be cleansed to remove excess oil, then treated with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, then sealed with non-comedogenic oils or moisturizers to help hold the water in the skin.
How to Hydrate Your Skin
While people with dry or normal skin are more likely to use heavy moisturizers, people with all skin types should make sure their skin is hydrated. Here are some tips to help you hydrate your skin.
Avoid Using Harsh Cleansers. Cleansers can strip the skin of its acid mantle the delicate phospholipid barrier on the surface of the skin, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria, and allergic reactions. Use cleansers that are sulfate-free, which means it does not use sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate and ammonium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate. These ingredients are foaming agents that dry out the skin’s surface. If your cleanser leaves your skin feeling “squeaky clean” or tight and dry after use, find a gentler alternative.
Use a Hydrating Toner. Many toners contain alcohol to wipe away all traces of oil. This is generally too harsh for the skin. Instead, toners should balance your skin’s pH after cleansing and should contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which holds water in the skin. After washing and toning, you can add other serums or hydrating treatments if your skin needs extra hydration.
Seal Your Skin with an Oil or Moisturizer. Toners and serums work to hydrate the skin and infuse it with nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and other skin-loving elements. Using an oil or moisturizer on top of those will seal in all the beneficial ingredients and prevent water from evaporating. In short, the trick to keeping skin hydrated is gentle cleansing, hydrating toners, then sealing with an oil-containing barrier. These three simple steps work for most skin types and are all that’s needed to get that dewy glow.
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