Updated: Jan 17, 2019
The skin acts as a barrier to the outside world; protecting our bodies from bacteria, heat loss and water loss. When this barrier is working at its best, our skin looks youthful, full and hydrated. There are many steps that we can take to lock in the moisture and maintain this barrier function.
1. Choose your cleanser wisely.
It is vital that your skin is clean in order for it to be able to successfully absorb your moisturiser. The more build up of sebum and dirt on the surface of your skin, the harder it is for the moisture to penetrate deep into your skin's follicles. Whilst it's important to cleanse effectively, you also don't want to irritate your skin, as this can lead to problems of its own. If you have naturally dry and sensitive skin, you may want to use a gentle cleanser, that does not completely strip the skin of its natural production of sebum. Why not try 'double washing'? Double cleansing is the process of using an oil-based cleanser before a water based cleanser. The oil cleanser helps to break down dirt and oil without completely stripping your face of sebum and the water cleanser helps to further penetrate and clean the follicles.
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2. Eat Water
It's important to hydrate from the inside out. Eating Water is a wonderful way to hydrate and takes the pressure off of having to drink so much. I had set myself a challenge of eating a watermelon a day during my 30-day Korean skincare challenge. Whilst this was a bit ambitious, I definitely noticed how hydrated I was feeling and how supple my skin was. As well as watermelons, why not try celery, cucumbers, berries, lettuce and peaches as alternate water-boosting foods to snack on.
2. Drink Water
You're rolling your eyes at this one because it's the most well known beauty tip and you've heard it 1000 times. But how many of you are getting your 8 glasses of water a day? I love setting myself challenges to drink more water. I keep half a gallon of water on my desk and challenge myself to finish it by the end of the day. As well as this, I try to start my day off with a mug of hot water with just a splash of lemon as a replacement hot drink instead of coffee. There's no better way to hydrate then to drink.
Using the same reasoning as effective cleansing, your moisturiser may not be able to penetrate the skin if you don't exfoliate. I truly believe exfoliation is the key ingredient to beautiful, happy skin. Exfoliating helps to remove dead and dying skin cells from the surface of your skin and also helps to unclog the follicles that are full of dirt and oil. Removing all these excess particles from your skin might be what you need to allow the moisture to really get deep into your skin.
Why not try Korean skincare favourite:
Steam is great for hydration as it increases the permeability of your skin. It helps to bring dead and dying skin cells as well as dirt and oil to the surface of your skin. This helps to unclog the pores and allows your skin to better absorb the moisture from your skincare products. It also increases hydration by helping to soften the skin, which again creates a better environment for moisture to penetrate. Why not buy a steamer for home, instead of paying tonnes of money to get a steam facial? As well as the positive benefits to your skin, it is very relaxing and helps to aid sleep as well as clearing the sinuses.
Toning is such an important step to use after cleansing and before serums and moisturisers. It helps to prep the skin and keep it moist. Think of a sponge. It's capacity to absorb is increased when it's wet rather then when dry. Stay far away from toners that contain these alcohol ingredients: SD Alcohol 40 and denatured alcohol as they lead to skin that is completely stripped of all sebum.
People are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of using a serum before moisturising. They have high concentrations of moisture rich ingredients and help to boost the bounce and youthfulness of your skin. Some great ingredients to look out for include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and glycerin.
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Moisturisers seem to come in all shapes and all sizes. You should first identify the concerns you want your moisturiser to help you manage. The right moisturisers can help hydrate, repair and protect your skin.
Try and avoid face moisturisers that contain perfumes as these can irritate your skin
Use a different moisturising for your face and body. Shea butter, lanolin and mineral oils are great products for moisturising your body but are too heavy for your face and can lead to clogged, enlarged pores.
Apply your moisturising when your skin is slightly damp from using your toner as it better absorbs the ingredients.
Try a moisturiser that has SPF and have the added bonus of protection from UV radiation.
7. Face Masks
To be used once or twice a week can infuse your face with serums and essences. These stay on your skin for 15-20 minutes and the prolonged contact with your skin allows the ingredients to seep deep into the skin. I love to refrigerate sheet masks so that they are cooling and soothing to the skin. With a couple of candles lit in the background, there is nothing better than just allowing the sheet mask to allow you to unwind with a good book.