Dry skin happens to all of us. We think we have a routine down pat, but sometimes your skin still doesn’t feel soft and smooth.
So what the heck is dry skin anyways?
Dry skin is when our skin does not retain sufficient moisture and can become rough or even cracked. Dry skin is exacerbated by outside elements like environmental stressors, aging, over bathing, skin conditions, and cold, dry temperatures.
We can improve our skin's texture, condition, and youthful look by simply adding in an effective hydration routine. In this post, we've laid out the most important key to skin hydration (moisturizing in layers, hint hint), followed by some additional helpful tips to help you achieve gorgeous, supple, hydrated skin. Let's get started!
Moisturize in layers.
Layering extra moisturizers on our skin helps build up at dewy softness that everyone craves.
This does not mean grabbing three different lotions and slathering them all on. This simply means to add a "moisturizer" into every step you take to care for your body; i.e., using a hydrating cleanser followed by a hydrating body scrub/exfoliation, followed by a deep moisturizing body cream, and so on.
What are some great moisturizing techniques?
You want to add products to your regimen that really hydrate. Look for occlusives, humectants, and emollients.
Occlusives are moisturizing oils that aid in locking in moisture in the skin.
Humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol help attract moisture. They are water-based.
Emollients, like shea butter and cocoa butter, are naturally moisturizing and add in the smoothing properties to a lotion or cream.
It's important to find moisturizers that contain natural forms of these three hydrators to keep skin plump and healthy.
The absolute best time to moisturize outside of your shower is right after you shower. Your pores are wide open and freshly hydrated from all that water goodness in the shower, and now it's time to lock in that moisture by applying the big guns.
This is where your knowledge of occlusives, humectants, and emollients can really shine as you pamper yourself from head to toes with deliciously hydrating moisturizers.
Try the Freesia Pear Body Lotion--it has an invigorating floral scent that combines all the moisturizing hard hitters like shea butter as the emollient along with luscious oils like argan, macadamia, and avocado as the occlusives.
Use upward strokes to apply moisturizer.
Gravity takes its toll on our skin pulling it down as we age. And though simple upward strokes will not reverse aging all together, at least it does not contribute to the damage done by gravity itself. Upward strokes also ensure we hydrate every pore and every follicle on our way up.
Layers of beautiful moisture!
We don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but this is worth repeating. Layer your moisturizers in the correct order and your skin will reap the rewards. The general rule of thumb is to start with the thinnest moisturizers on the bottom like serums, and work your way up to the oils and body butters. Treat your body like you treat your face. Finally, apply sunscreen as your outermost layer so it can protect that skin and do its part to lock in moisture.
Don't change your whole routine just because the season changes.
Just because cooler temps are on their way does not mean you have to throw your whole routine out the window and start over. The best routines can scale up or down to add in that little extra bit of pampering and hydration when the weather or your environment requires it.
Now that you've got moisturizing down, let's look at a few other tips that will keep your skin hydrated!
Drink lots and lots of water.
Drinking water indirectly hydrates our skin by hydrating from the inside out and assuring that we are not dehydrated. Dehydration pulls water and moisture from our skin to ensure our inside cells have enough moisture to function.
Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, with regular activity, will help keep your entire body hydrated from the inside out. No skin type is immune. Even oily skin can become dry when there is not enough water in your body.
Use cooler water temperatures with showering.
We all know how heat can damage our hair, but we often forget how it can be damaging and drying to the skin. Applying excess heat directly to our skin, like in the case of a hot shower, actually pulls moisture away from our skin. When exposed to hot water, our pores open wide and are still open wide until our body temperature cools down.
This means that moisture will quickly evaporate from open pores, not only while we are in the shower, but also while we are outside toweling off. We've all seen the steam rising in the bathroom. This is an excellent example of what your skin looks like as it is cooling.
If you are going to shower with hot water, at least allow your body to cool down by slowly cooling the shower water down before you get it out.
Use a hydrating cleanser daily, and work a weekly exfoliation routine into your schedule.
Using a hydrating cleanser washes away dirt and debris without harming the natural oil protective layer on our skin.
Exfoliation is the key to healthy, hydrated skin. Exfoliants whisk away dead skin cells, build-up, and unnecessary oils while smoothing out imperfections and making way for happy, brand new cells to come to the surface.
Exfoliating also readies the skin for continued moisturizing and allows your lotions and products to penetrate deeply into the layers of skin that were previously covered by dead skin cells, to create lasting all-over moisture. Try a body wash infused buffer that cleans, exfoliates, and hydrates all in one go.
No matter the weather, we are subjected to harsh, skin-damaging, and aging UV rays through every step of our day.
Simply adding in an SPF of 35 or higher will not only add a moisturizing protective layer, but it will keep those harmful rays away that cause premature aging, skin cancers, and age spots on the skin.
Eat more berries and citrus fruits.
Berries and citrus fruit are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Antioxidants and vitamin C directly hydrate our skin cells and also assist with warding off harmful free radicals that can damage and dehydrate.
Use a humidifier.
Incorporating a humidifier into daily use adds just enough humidity back into a room or environment. When the air gets colder, humidity drops. These cold temperatures actually create the perfect environment for moisture to evaporate faster from your skin.
Adding a humidifier to the room at night will improve the air's moisture quality, which will ensure that your skin stays hydrated. Humidifiers are also incredibly relaxing, a great avenue for diffusing calming essential oils into the room.
Reduce your stress.
Stress actually affects our skin significantly. Not only does stress cause flare-ups in skin diseases like eczema. Dealing with stress and anxiety can actually dry out your skin. Excess stress will make your skin appear dull or lacking in color. Not only can you function better when you have less stress in your life, but your body, and even your skin, functions better with reduced stress.
Get enough rest.
Believe it or not, but our sleep habits affect more than tired eyes. Scientists have found that getting a full night's rest will help your body be more hydrated.
Our bodies produce a specific hormone, vasopressin, while we sleep. Research has found that when you interrupt a night's sleep, there is significantly less of this hormone as well as water in the body compared to a person who slept through the entire night. A full eight hours of sleep will not only help your body get the rest it needs, but it will help you stay hydrated as well.
Hydrated skin is soft and smooth, yes, but most importantly, hydration protects you!
Just like putting on a jacket when it is cold out, if you start to think of your skin care routines as protective layers throughout the process, then you can start to see great results in skin hydration.
And, you can get your favorite scent in your skin care products to boost your mood while you hydrate and cleanse your precious skin.
Each step taken to add more moisture into your skin on every level creates the ultimate in hydrated skin. Hydrated skin is naturally beautiful and healthy. Flaunt it!