Water consumption is very important for hydrating the skin. It’s worth noting that the skin is the last organ to receive nutrients after the internal organs have taken what they need. It is very important to build a healthy skin barrier to enable absorption and retain hydration. When the skin is depleted of water, these are some of the ways it shows up:
- Uneven texture
- Sensitization — redness and/or discomfort
- Fine vertical lines on the forehead and upper lip
- Lack of brilliance/glow
- Overproduction of oil and/or congestion
- Appearance and feeling of tightness
Dehydration differs from “dry” skin in that dehydration refers to a lack of water, whereas “dryness” refers to a lack of oil. In fact, dehydrated skin is often also “oily” skin, as production of sebum is our body’s attempt to compensate for a lack of water.
Some causes of dryness are:
- Intrinsic aging (aging from the inside)/thinning of the skin
- Sun exposure
- Wind, cold or harsh weather conditions
- Dry climate/ seasonal changes
- Diuretics (caffeine, alcohol, medications)
- Over-exfoliation or over-cleansing
- Improper use of topical products
- Hot water, steam, or saunas
Sustained lack of hydration in the skin can result in DNA damage due to increased susceptibility to external aggressors.
There are many treatments and gadgets that claim to treat dehydration. Any treatment you chose to use should do the following:
- Improve the barrier function (i.e., improve the absorption and retention of water)
- Increase dermal density (i.e., build collagen) to prevent TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). Simply put, strengthen the skin’s barrier.
Jumpstart and Replenish
Jumpstart and replenish hydration reserves with any of these professional treatments. These treatments are offered in spas, skincare clinics, and by your trusted esthetician. Make sure your skincare therapist does a thorough consultation and intake to provide a treatment plan just for you. One size doesn’t always fit all for skincare. Here are some options your skin care therapist may want to use:
This is a procedure which combines both infusion of topical products as well as exfoliation. Mechanical or chemical stimulation activates the basal layer, while thickening and smoothing the epidermis. This usually involves microdermabrasion, dermafile, dermaplaning or AHA/BHA – chemical peels coupled with a hydrating mask.
Regular Hydrating Facials
Regular hydrating facials should include a hydration component.
Microneedling is a technique where multiple tiny, sterile needles are used to puncture the skin and cause physical trauma. This trauma prompts the dermal, a deeper layer of the skin, to rebuild. Vital skin-health serums (even blood plasma) can be infused into the skin during this process. Some of the skin benefits of this treatment are stimulating collagen production and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. A brighter skin tone and ultra-moisturized skin are all achievable through this procedure!
Oxygen Infusion Facials
Oxygen infusion facials are said to help improve blood circulation to the face, which can help skin look bright and plump. Calm acne. Oxygen is known to accelerate wound healing and may also kill certain bacteria. Therefore, places with low levels of oxygen, such as airplanes, can cause skin issues.
Planes have low humidity, dry cabins, and recycled air that can dehydrate and increase oil production and contribute to acne in all skin types.
LED Facial Treatments
LED facial treatments are among the latest tools developed in the ongoing battle against aging and wrinkled skin as well as acne. Red and blue lights are typically used in LED skin treatments. Experts believe that red LED light acts on cells in the skin known as fibroblasts, which play a role in production of collagen, a protein that makes up a large part of the connective tissue and helps the skin recover when it’s harmed. The blue light works more so on acne prone skin.
Designed to focus on your individual skin concerns, LED lights target everything from rosacea, inflammation, and fine lines, to hyperpigmentation, sagging skin and acne.
Additionally, here are some ingredients you should pay attention to for barrier support in the skin. Pay close attention to the ingredients contained in your lotions and potions. Choose products based on ingredients and how they address your skin and not based on price point or because your friend uses it.
- Fatty acids
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Linoleic acid
- Sodium PCA
- Growth factors
- Physical SPF
- Universal hydrators:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Sodium Hyaluronate
- Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)
- AHAs & PHAs — encourage hydration through cell turnover)
- Drink 8-10 cups of water daily
- Omega 3
- Increase electrolytes
- Mix chlorophyll or spirulina with water for better cell absorption
- Supplement where necessary
- A balanced diet
- 7-8 hours of sleep each night
Home Care Advisory
- Avoid over-cleansing and over-exfoliating
- Use growth factors to improve skin density (lessening TEWL)
- Use moisturizing ingredients (oil) in combination with hydrating ingredients (water) to mimic the skin’s natural moisture barrier
- Protect skin from free-radicals with antioxidants and SPF