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The AbsoluteJOI
7 Day Skin Care Challenge


The Key Steps for Healthy Skin

Hydration

People with all skin types benefit from good hydration. 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.

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 with water, then lock in moisture with an oil. Your skin is the same and needs water to be hydrated. You apply water when you wash, and products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid further help attract water to your skin. Then when you apply lotions, creams or oils to moistened skin, they help hydrate your skin by sealing it to keep the water from evaporating.

Why Oily Skin Can Be Dry

A lot of skincare for oily skin focuses on reducing shine and oiliness by removing excess sebum from the skin’s surface. The challenge is if you are too aggressive with oil removal, it can leave your skin stripped of its natural oil barrier, which helps holds water in the skin. Neglecting to hydrate 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, even on oily skin. This oil is most like human sebum and helps keep skin hydrated and balanced. When regularly applied, your skin stays well hydrated and produces less sebum. With regular use, non-comedogenic oils like jojoba and rose hip can reduce the amount of oil your skin produces. Cleanse oily skin to remove excess sebum. Use products made with hydrating ingredients like glycerine or hyaluronic acid to attract water to the skin, then seal with non-comedogenic oils or moisturizers to help hold the water in the skin.

Hydrating Normal or Dry Skin

People with dry or normal skin are more comfortable using heavy moisturizers, but there is more you can do to make sure your skin is hydrated. Here are some tips to help your skin.

Avoid Using Harsh Cleansers. Cleansers can strip the skin of its acid mantle the delicate protective phospholipid barrier on the surface of the skin. Removing the acid mantle leaves your skin vulnerable to bacteria and other invaders. Use cleansers that are sulfate-free, which means it does not use ingredients like sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate and ammonium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate. These ingredients are foaming agents that dry out or irritate the skin’s surface. If your cleanser leaves your skin feeling “squeaky clean” or tight and dry after use, find a gentler alternative that doesn’t strip away all your oil. Instead, use gentle cream cleansers and look for ingredients like glycerine which are hydrating.

Use a Hydrating Toner. You may think of toners as the products that that contain alcohol to wipe away all traces of oil. However, these are generally too harsh for skin and leave it stripped of its protective barrier. Instead, look for toners that balance your skin’s pH after cleansing. Your skin has a natural pH that is more acidic than water. After you wash, a toner to bring your skin back to its natural pH level will leave it calm and balanced and ready for your other products. An added bonus is finding toners with hydrating ingredients like aloe or hyaluronic acid to hydrate and attract water to the skin. After washing and toning, you can add other serums or hydrating treatments if your skin needs extra hydration.

Seal Your Skin with a Lotion, Cream or Oil. Toners and serums work to hydrate your skin and infuse it with nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and other skin-loving elements. Using a lotion, cream or oil on top of those will moisturize and seal in all the beneficial ingredients and prevent water evaporation from your skin.

As the seasons change, and the air becomes dry in winter, or humid in summer, your needs to hydrate your skin will change. But in general, you can keep your hydrated by using:

  • Gentle cleansers
  • Hydrating toners, and sealing your skin with
  • Good lotions, creams or oils.

These three simple steps work for most skin types and are all that’s needed to help you get that hydrated dewy glow.

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