There are many reasons your skin can lose its hydration, some of which (e.g., weather) may be out of your control. Unfortunately, even one day of dehydrated skin can change your skin’s health and appearance.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to give your skin a boost of hydration.
At Nourishing Biologicals, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons your skin may be dehydrated, how you can help restore it, and why hydration is important.
What Is Skin Hydration?
Skin hydration refers to your skin’s water content. On average, skin is about 60% water. If this number decreases, your skin can change its structure while losing some essential functions.
Your skin has a built-in barrier that’s meant to prevent water loss. This outermost layer of the skin, made from lipids and dead skin cells, is called the stratum corneum.
When in good shape, the stratum corneum does its job — locking in moisture — the way it should. However, it may become compromised by various factors, leading to skin dehydration.
Why Does the Skin Get Dehydrated?
Skin dehydration may be temporary, such as when you take a long-haul flight. Once you resume your everyday habits, your skin’s hydration levels should bounce back to their original state. However, in many cases, dehydrated skin can be linked to your lifestyle habits.
Your skin may become dehydrated due to anything that zaps water from your body. This can include not drinking enough water, consuming excessive alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and not using SPF protection.
The environment also plays a major role in your skin’s hydration levels. Those who live in cool, dry climates are much more likely to experience skin dehydration. But those who live in tropical climates aren’t exempt. In fact, air conditioning is another potential cause of dehydrated skin.
The products you use on your skin also play a role in skin hydration. Using harsh cleansers or scrubs may disrupt the skin barrier, leading to greater moisture loss. The same can be said for powerful ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and various products meant to target conditions like acne.
Bottom Line: There are various reasons your skin may become dehydrated – most of which are related to lifestyle factors. This is actually good news because it means that bringing moisture to your skin is under your control.
Dehydrated Skin Is Not the Same As Dry Skin
Before we move on to ways to improve skin hydration, it’s essential to distinguish between two conditions: dehydrated skin and dry skin.
As mentioned above, dehydrated skin is caused by lifestyle factors that cause moisture loss. Most of them are preventable. This means someone with dry skin may notice an improvement by quitting moisture-zapping habits while implementing a hydrating skincare routine.
Dry skin is a skin type caused by underactive sebaceous glands, as it has a large genetic component and may be out of your control. That said, someone’s skin type may change throughout their lifespan.
Another key difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin is that the former lacks water, which can be easily replenished. However, for those with excessive dryness, water loss isn’t the problem; instead, the main issue is the lack of naturally occurring oil, also known as sebum.
Managing dehydrated skin requires a different approach than that of dry skin. However, some strategies — such as using active ingredients — can help address the appearance of both dehydrated and dry skin.
Why Is It Important To Have Hydrated Skin?
We know that dehydrated skin can feel tight, itchy, and uncomfortable. But there are many other reasons you may care about maintaining your skin’s hydration levels. Here are five reasons why it’s essential to have hydrated skin.
Improved Skin Elasticity
Your skin’s elasticity refers to its ability to stretch and quickly snap back into shape. Elastic skin tends to look firm, smooth, and supple. However, if your skin’s elasticity begins to wane, you may experience concerns such as laxity, wrinkling, and crepiness.
Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to boost elasticity.
Reduced Wrinkle Appearance
Water molecules can help fill in wrinkles and significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines. However, experiencing dehydrated skin — even for one day — can speed up the appearance of skin aging.
Improved Skin Barrier
Your skin barrier is essential for defending the skin against harsh environmental factors like air pollution. When your skin barrier contains the right amount of water, it can do its job more effectively. The more dehydrated the skin, the less likely it is to protect itself.
Your skin miraculously recycles dead skin cells and reveals a fresh layer of skin through cellular turnover. If your skin is dehydrated, it may lead to dull-looking skin with possible flakiness. Restoring your skin’s hydration may boost its ability to detox.
If your skin is dehydrated, it may ramp up its sebum production to compensate, leading to oily skin. For those who already experience skin concerns such as clogged pores, this may lead to a cascade of problems. Increasing skin hydration can help to keep sebum production in check.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Boosting Skin Hydration
If you’re convinced of the benefits of skin hydration, there are many ways for you to restore your skin’s moisture content. Here are some of our favorite strategies to boost skin hydration.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration shows up in all aspects of your appearance, leading to an uneven tone, a dull complexion, and flaky skin. If you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
To keep dehydration at bay, try to fill your day with healthy fluids like filtered water, herbal teas, and products with high water content.
Eat Healthy Fats
Sources of healthy fats, like salmon, contain free fatty acids. These little molecules help restore the skin’s barrier, ensuring moisture stays locked in — like it’s supposed to. A high-quality supplement can provide similar benefits if getting your healthy fats from food isn’t an option.
Avoid Hot Water
A hot shower feels fantastic, but it can dehydrate your skin. To help keep your skin’s moisture levels in check, cleanse your face with warm water and a quality cleanser, which is enough to dissolve sebum without being overly harsh.
Use a Humidifier
If you live in a dry climate, you can lose vital skin moisture through the environment. Replenish your home environment with those crucial water molecules by using a humidifier. Not only will your skin thank you, but your whole body may also benefit.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
For those with specific skin concerns, such as excessive oiliness, it is intuitive to use oil-stripping cleansers. However, these may actually do more harm than good by compromising the skin barrier — leading to moisture loss.
We recommend using a gentle cleanser instead. Our Miracular Cleanser can gently wash away impurities and set the stage for the rest of your skincare routine. But unlike harsh cleansers, it won’t compromise your skin’s hydration levels.
Use Active Ingredients
Active ingredients are those that have been clinically proven to work. Some active ingredients are ideal for boosting your skin’s hydration levels.
For instance, hyaluronic acid — a long-time skincare favorite — can help increase skin hydration by as much as 130%. The result? Greater plumping, reduced appearance of wrinkles, and higher satisfaction with skin appearance.
You can find an ultra-concentrated dose of hyaluronic acid in our Miracular Face Serum.
Protect With Sunscreen
All your hard work can be undone with excessive UV exposure. If you’re stepping out into the sun, wear a facial sunscreen to help keep your skin’s moisture levels locked in.
Maintain Hydrated Skin With Nourishing Biologicals
At Nourishing Biologicals, we emphasize that dehydrated skin is caused by various lifestyle factors, such as not consuming enough water, excessive sun exposure, and harsh products that compromise the skin barrier.
Fortunately, you can restore your skin’s hydration levels by quitting moisture-zapping habits while using moisturizing skincare products.
Our Miracular Line is made with nourishing ingredients that have been clinically proven to boost your skin’s moisture levels — so you can experience the full benefits of hydrated skin.