If your skin’s feeling dull and dry, it’s probably in need of some extra hydration. Skin hydration is key for a radiant complexion and maintaining the natural barrier that protects against harsh external elements. For a naturally glowing and healthy visage, make sure you’re taking good care of your skin and providing it with the nourishment it needs to stay hydrated all day. We’re here with some need-to-know tips to help you achieve healthier, smoother, brighter and more hydrated skin.
What Is Hydrated Skin?
Hydrated skin is exactly what it sounds like — skin that has absorbed enough water. Hydrated skin can function at its best and appears smooth, radiant and evenly toned, giving you a glowing complexion rather than skin that’s dry, dull and flaky.
The Importance of Skin Hydration
Just as you feel parched when you don’t drink enough water, your skin can also need its thirst quenched sometimes. Skin hydration is essential for beautiful looking skin, but it also plays a vital role in the skin’s primary function, protecting against microbes and the elements. If your skin becomes dehydrated, it can, in turn, become weak and prone to splitting, cracking or inflammation, which can increase the risk of infection.
The skin has three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The outermost layer of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum, and it’s this layer that’s responsible for protecting the skin against exterior elements such as the weather or your surrounding environment. Keeping this outermost layer of skin hydrated improves elasticity, makes it more resilient and helps it do this important job.
Hydrated Skin vs Moisturised Skin: What’s the Difference?
A common misconception is that hydrated and moisturised skin are the same thing.
There’s actually a key difference between the two: dehydrated and dry skin are lacking in different areas. While dehydrated skin needs water, dry skin lacks oil. To keep skin healthy and radiant, you need to give your skin both of these things.
How Do You Know if Your Skin Is Hydrated?
According to Healthline, the following are all common symptoms of dehydrated skin:
– Dark under-eye circles
– Sunken eyes
– “Shadows” around the face
– Increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What’s the Best Way to Hydrate Skin?
There are several day-to-day things you can do to get healthy, hydrated skin and the radiant complexion you’ve always dreamed of. Here are our top tips.
1. Drink More Water
This is an obvious one, but it’s always worth a reminder — the best way to hydrate skin is to drink a good amount of water. A 2015 study showed that drinking enough water may be as effective as applying a topical moisturiser to the skin, so if you know you could improve your daily water intake, it’d be a sensible place to start.
2. Use a Gentle Cleanser
Harsh cleansers can strip the skin of natural oils and moisturising factors, leading to drying, cracking or redness. If your skin is dehydrated, try switching your cleanser to something gentler that doesn’t contain chemical exfoliants.
3. Try Water-Based Skin Hydration Products
If your skin feels dehydrated despite regular moisturising, you may be using the wrong products. Water-boosting skincare products like lightweight gel creams can add moisture and keep it locked in, so they may be a better fit for your skin than a thick cream moisturiser. Products containing hyaluronic acid are great for skin hydration, so keep an eye out for these next time you’re shopping for skincare.
4. Eat Water-Rich Foods
Another easy way to hydrate from the inside out is eating lots of water-dense fruit and vegetables such as peaches, watermelon, beetroot, celery and spinach. Filling your diet with foods rich in water and antioxidants can help make your skin more supple and healthy. For an extra boost, you could also add more foods containing hyaluronic acid to your diet.
5. Use a Skin Hydration Serum
If you’re in desperate need of extra skin hydration, think beyond your usual moisturiser. A hydrating serum will take your skincare routine to the next level and can be used day and night between cleansing and moisturising for smoother, plumper and more hydrated skin.
6. Make Sure You Exfoliate Regularly
Did you know that skipping the exfoliation step of your skincare routine can prevent your skin from absorbing the hydrating products you’re applying? By regularly removing dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, your favourite products will be better able to do their job. Exfoliate at least once a week and apply a water-attracting skin hydration product straight after.
7. Use a Heavier Moisturiser at Night
Don’t get rid of your heavier moisturiser when switching it out for a gel cream, as it’s perfect for nighttime use. Using a heavier moisturiser is the best way to hydrate skin at night, keeping moisture locked in so it won’t evaporate while you sleep.
8. Apply Moisturiser to Damp Skin
After cleansing, gently pat your skin and leave it damp rather than completely dry. Applying moisturiser to damp skin is a simple way to lock in moisture and aid skin hydration.
9. Don’t Forget Your Neck
Do you often forget to extend your skincare routine past your face? Here’s a reminder to moisturise your neck and chest, too, as these areas can also require extra skin hydration. Remember, skin is the body’s largest organ, so you should treat all of it with care.
10. Try Not to Over-Cleanse
Cleansing should be done once in the morning and once before bed. Any more than this, and you risk stripping your skin of its natural oils and moisturising barrier agents. If you have to cleanse your skin more than twice, remember to apply a light moisturiser afterwards.
11. Remember Your Sunscreen
Applying sun protection factor (SPF) daily not only protects your skin against UV rays but also aids skin hydration by forming a physical barrier on top of the skin that locks in moisture.
12. Treat Yourself to a Face Mask
The best way to hydrate skin during a pamper session is with a face mask or sheet mask. Face masks are packed with hydrating ingredients to keep your skin moist and plump.
13. Invest in an Eye Cream
You’ve probably wondered how to get rid of under-eye bags, but did you know that dark circles aren’t the only potential issue with the under-eye area? The skin around your eyes is so thin and fragile that it requires extra care, which is where a good eye cream comes into your skincare routine. A soothing gel-cream will provide an instant dose of moisture, preventing the skin around your eyes from drying out.
14. Avoid Hot Showers
Regularly taking long, steamy showers can undo all the hard work you’ve put in to get hydrated skin. Hot water can strip your skin of moisture, so consider turning the temperature down the next time you jump in the shower.
15. A Humidifier May Help
The best way to hydrate skin in winter may well be investing in a humidifier. During the colder months, the air in our homes becomes very dry from having the heating on full-blast, which negatively affects skin hydration levels. A humidifier increases the humidity in the air, saving you from a tight, itchy face, chapped lips and cracked hands.
16. Refresh with a Facial Spray
Add instant moisture to your face with a hydrating facial mist, which is perfect for spraying on just before applying moisturiser. As well as being great for skin hydration, you’ll love the refreshing boost it gives you.
17. Make Some Changes to Your Makeup Routine
Some makeup products can be tough on dehydrated skin, so you may want to make a few changes to your makeup bag. Try introducing water-boosting ingredients such as glycerin, squalane and hyaluronic acid for improved skin hydration.
18. Try a Skin Rejuvenation Treatment
If you’re struggling to get healthy, hydrated skin, no matter what products you try, you may consider skin hydration therapy. This non-invasive aesthetic treatment can provide deep hydration for up to nine months, improving elasticity and skin texture.