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How To Improve Skin Hydration

April 13th, 2020

How to improve skin Hydration levels

A friend called me recently to give her advice on how to improve her skin hydration levels as it was feeling dry and lacklustre, Firstly I needed to establish if her skin was dry or dehydrated to be able to advice how to improve her condition.

Dryness is not the same as dehydration both are itchy, scaly, dull and can be sensitive. Dryness is a skin condition whereas dehydration is a skin characteristic below is a brief explanation of the differences.

  • Dry skin is a skin condition, these skin types are genetic, they lack enough lipids, skin will be flaky in patches and feel dry all over the body not just the face, dry skin becomes worse in colder months. In most cases it will also be dehydrated and a dry skin rarely suffers with breakouts.
  • Dehydrated is a skin characteristic which can be experienced by anyone at any time, these skins lack enough water, skin can appear oily in patches and feel tight but breakouts can be experienced.

Combating dehydration is a three-pronged approach considering the main three points Environment, Diet, Skin Care 

Dietary Factors 

Drink More Water 

There is not enough evidence to support drinking water directly improves hydration levels within the skin. But what does happen is that water is absorbed by the bloodstream, filtered by the kidneys and the remaining stores will hydrate the skin cells. Water hydrates the body overall it will not specifically target what you want. The same as trying to spot work specific body areas for fat loss will not work it has to be fat reduction overall.

Caffeinated beverages and sodium drinks will not count to water intake per day, the minimum requirement of water per day is 2litres and this will increase if you exercise or lose water through sweat.

Eat Water-Rich Foods 

For those that don’t like drinking water increase by consuming high water content foods, my personal favourite watermelon contains 92% water but also contains vitamin A, B6 and C, antioxidant and amino acids. Amino acids are particularly important as they are the building blocks for protein. Collagen and elastin are the two major proteins for skin. Beta carotene contained in watermelon is an antioxidant which helps with immunity, skin, eyes and the prevention of cancer.

High water foods include grapefruit, strawberries, melon, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce

Sodium Intake 

Limit high sodium foods such as fast food and pre packed meals these will naturally draw water from your body, which will lead to dehydration, limit your sodium intake as much as possible if you want your skin to have a dewy complexion 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Fatty acids have an abundance of amazing benefits for our skin not only do they promote good gut bacteria to help prevent skin complaints they reduce skin stress and have age management benefits these little nuggets of skin goodness could have a blog dedicated to them as they are an important source for good skin hydration.

Your skin has an invisible barrier once this is disrupted through internal and external factors it loses its ability to hold water - the invisible barrier is there to retain water and repel oils. When you have a bath and the palms of your hands and soles of your feet go crinkly this is because the natural barrier is not on those areas - picture your skin if the natural barrier was missing from all over - not a pretty picture!! So, with that in mind how do you protect this invisible barrier. 

Fatty acids are what help the skin barrier retain water, omega 3 can be found in salmon, flax seeds, chia oil, fish oil etc but supplements will produce better results and an improvement will become noticeable between 6-12 weeks.

What can Skin products that contain omegas do for my skin? 

  • Reinforce skin’s surface.
  • Increase hydration and retain water.
  • Calm signs of external stressors.
  • Eliminate flakiness and dehydrated skin.
  • Deliver antioxidants for anti-aging results

The Juliette Armand Caviar range contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which have powerful antiaging properties, smoothing lines and wrinkles, toning firming and brightening the complexion.  It has useful moisturizing effect for restructuring the skin. Improves tissue elasticity and preserves barrier function by compensating fatty unbalance that occurs during ageing

Environmental Factors

Heat 

High temperatures will only dehydrate your skin. Keep showers and baths at a warm temperature instead of face meltingly hot, reduce the time spent in the shower or bath.

Direct heat sources such as blow heaters and wood burners really zap the surface layers of skin of any superficial moisture. During the colder months I always switch clients skin care routines to accommodate the climate. Summer months can play havoc with dehydration and lighter water-based products are prescribed to combat dehydration.

Humidifiers can help to add moisture back into the air to protect skin from drying and becoming dehydrated. 

Skin Care 

Cleansing

The correct cleansing medium is of paramount importance this is the first step, if used correctly will prevent excess water loss and surface dehydration. Incorrect choices will impair the barrier function leading to skin complaints such as dehydration and breakouts.  Clearing the dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin will allow the active ingredients in the serums and moisturisers penetrate the surface layers of the skin more easily to allow for correct function and improvement of the skin cells.

Serum and Moisturiser 

Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of your skin, which keeps any moisture locked in, preventing it from evaporating. Incorporating a water-based Humectant rather than a rich oil-based product will improve hydration stores Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most effective humectants and it is able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, hyaluronic acid is one of the main ingredients found within the Juliette Armand skin care range.

Moisturizers contain two types of ingredients that work together to help the skin. 

  • Occlusive Emollients - (Lanolin, petroleum based) form a protective seal over the skin; 
  • Humectant Emollients - (Urea, Glycerine, Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid) act like a sponge to pull in hydration to the outer skin layers.

Face Masks and exfoliators can be incorporated into homecare routines once the non-negotiable fundamentals are in place, cleanse, serum, moisturiser and SPF

Regular Facial Treatments  

Once a month chemical peels are one of my favourite quick pick me ups with long term benefits chemical peels will balance, repair skin structure, skin surface and seal in moisture.

Lactic acid and Mandelic Acid improve the skins natural moisture factor and keep the skin hydrated. These AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) activate the skins rejuvenation process, increase collagen and elastic production, hydrate the skin and enhance the penetration of active ingredients. These milder chemical peeling agents not only breakdown the bonds between the cells to speed up cell renewal they hydrate and increase the formation of ceremide’s improving the function of the skin.

Mandelic Acid is a perfect choice for skins with dehydration and breakouts as it has an anti -microbial action which helps to prevent further breakouts.

To read more on AHA’s and BHA Chemical Peels check the Blog Here http://www.skindeep-clinic.co.uk/blog

 

 

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