If you’ve ever seen television commercials for skincare products, you’ve definitely heard at least one pitch for a product that says it will “hydrate your skin.” But what does that actually mean? And why is it even important to hydrate your skin?
To stay hydrated, drink water. Your skin needs water to be firm and supple as well as to feel and seem healthy.
Fortunately, there is a natural barrier around you that keeps water out. The stratum corneum, the top layer of your skin, is made up of corneocytes, or dead skin cells, stacked like bricks. Lipid-containing fats function like mortar. The cellular “brick wall” in your cells keeps moisture inside of them.
The moisture-locking system occasionally does not function as it should, which is the problem.
What Causes Skin to Dry Out?
Lack of the lipids that normally maintain moisture might cause dry skin. A common condition where the integrity of the skin barrier is more likely to be impaired is eczema, commonly known as atopic dermatitis.
Your behaviors, both good and bad, may occasionally result in a drop in the water content of your skin.
- spending time in extreme temperatures
- using abrasive detergents, soaps, and chemicals
- using scrubby sponges, washcloths, or exfoliating items
- Taking extended, steamy baths or showers
- not getting enough fluids
Fixing these issues shouldn’t be too difficult. For instance, you may increase the amount of water you consume daily, take the brief, warm showers, or use less soap as it removes your skin’s natural oils.
There are a number of medical conditions that can cause dry skin, including:
- thyroid condition
- Menopause \sDiabetes
- Syndrome Sjögren
- unsound nutrition
Your doctor can assist you in locating the best therapy if you suffer from one of these ailments.
What Is the Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturizing?
It’s common to use the words hydrating and moisturizing interchangeably. Are they the same, though?
The skin barrier itself is the main focus of moisturizing, according to Cameron. These items function to keep the water within the cell sealed in.
These goods’ components fall into three broad categories:
Humectants like urea, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid take water from the skin barrier and deeper skin layers in order to give moisture.
Beeswax, soybean oil, and lanolin are occlusives that create a barrier to stop water from evaporating.
Shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and coconut oil are examples of emollients that make the skin softer.
Ceramides or other chemicals are also used in the newest moisturizers to rebuild the lipid barrier and stop water loss.
Hydration penetrates the barrier of the skin. Water is infused into the cells to “plump them up,” according to Cameron. Because many products contain chemicals that both moisturize and hydrate, it may often be difficult to discern the difference.
How to Maintain Skin Hydration
You want to draw moisture within and retain it there in order to improve the appearance and feel of your skin. Here are a few techniques to use:
- Shower for no more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time in lukewarm water.
- Use mild laundry detergents, cosmetics, and soaps.
- During the winter, turn on the humidifier.
- Extra water should be consumed all day.
Put on a moisturizer or moisturizing mask if your skin is still looking dry and flaky. Treatments like Hydrafacial can also be really helpful. Be aware of whether you have oily or dry skin before purchasing any skincare products. Cameron advises avoiding items that can clog your pores.
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