Here’s How to Hydrate Your Skin

Here's How to Hydrate Your SkinThe 6 Best Ways to Hydrate Your Skin

Are you ready to learn the 6 top ways to hydrate your skin?

As with the rest of the human body, properly hydrating the skin is essential for our health. The skin is the body's largest organ, protecting our tissues and vital organs against damage and infection. The outermost layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, is like a brick wall that forms the body’s first layer of defense against the outside environment (1). Composed of bricks of dead skin cells (corneocytes) and a mortar of oils, the stratum corneum keeps moisture in and bacteria, viruses, and toxins out. Our skin is more vulnerable to damage and disease when it’s flaky, peeling, and dry.

In this article, you'll learn how to care for your skin to ensure optimal hydration and avoid the drawbacks of dry skin.

Skin Hydration Tip 1: Use an Air Humidifier

During the winter, we spend a lot of time indoors. Indoor air can be very dry during the winter due to heating, with humidity levels frequently below 30%. Several studies have recommended maintaining indoor humidity levels of at least 30-40% to maintain healthy stratum corneum hydration levels (2). An indoor air humidifier is the best way to humidify the air in your home. Consider keeping one in your bedroom and any other room where you spend most of your time.

Skin Hydration Tip 2: Eat Hydrating Foods

Eating hydrating foods is the second most important way to keep your skin hydrated. Eat fruits and vegetables containing plenty of water, but also sugars, salts, and macronutrients essential for retaining that water.

Drinking enough water is essential, but remember that you won’t retain the water you drink if you don’t consume it with food or electrolytes. You’ll simply pee it out. Water follows osmotic pressure created by concentrations of salts and sugars in our cells. Equally important is avoiding substances that can cause water loss, known as diuretics. Beverages high in alcohol content are dehydrating as they have a diuretic effect, causing you to urinate frequently.

Skin Hydration Tip 3: Keep Your Showers Short and Lukewarm

Long, hot showers are great for muscle relaxation, but did you know that they are harmful to your skin? Water over 86°F melts the sebum, an oily, waxy substance that protects and lubricates your skin and hair (3). When you take a hot shower, you wash away the sebum and protective oils on the surface of your skin. Furthermore, high temperatures cause mast cells in your tissues to release histamine, causing redness and itching (4). On the other hand, cold showers are anti-inflammatory and can reduce redness and itching (5).

Dermatologists recommend keeping showers no longer than 5-10 minutes and keeping the shower temperature cooler than the body temperature. This will help preserve your body’s natural oils and reduce the need for moisturizers.

Skin Hydration Tip 4: Use a Gentle Cleanser

Did you know that you increase your chance of developing redness, itchiness, and dry skin by using harsh cleansers? Harsh anionic (negatively charged) detergents like sulfates strip your skin and hair of its protective oils and can actually denature (unravel) the proteins that form your skin and hair (6). When you strip your hair and skin of its natural oils, your body will respond by producing more of these oils, making your skin and hair oilier than ever. Many people have also developed allergies and worsened eczema and psoriasis due to strong ionizing detergents.6 To add insult to injury, harsh detergents also have a high pH and can dissolve biofilms of healthy bacteria that reside on your skin and help keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) at bay, increasing your chance of developing skin infections (7).

For these reasons, it’s important to use mild cleansers like Greenfield Botanics Pure Radiance Every Day Detoxifying Cleanser which are pH neutral and help preserve your skin’s protective oils. Gentle cleansers will leave your skin feeling soft, supple, and soothed.

Skin Hydration Tip 5: Use a Moisturizing Skin Toner

The purpose of a toner is to thoroughly cleanse your skin by removing any remaining dirt, makeup, or oils left on the skin after washing, but toner can be hydrating, too. Greenfield Botanics Peppermint Toner is specially formulated to be hydrating. Aloe vera is the first ingredient in this toner, a humectant–a substance that pulls in moisture from the air to the stratum corneum (8). This creates a softer texture, filling gaps and cracks that make your skin feel rough. Our toner also contains glycerin, which pulls water from the air to keep the skin hydrated and minimize water loss.

Unlike other skin toners, Greenfield Botanics Peppermint Toner doesn’t contain water. Contrary to popular belief, putting water on your skin doesn’t hydrate it. In fact, water strips moisture away from your skin when it evaporates.

Skin Hydration Tip 6: Use a Skin Moisturizer

Using a moisturizer immediately after you bathe will keep your skin hydrated. Better yet, apply a skin moisturizer every morning and every evening.

Believe it or not, moisturizers don’t directly increase the hydration of your skin. What skin moisturizers do is to help your skin retain moisture. Gentle, natural, oil-based products like Greenfield Botanics Face and Body Oil help to lock moisture in, while water-based moisturizers can actually pull it out.

So...what are you waiting for?

Get the skincare products you need to optimize your skin hydration.

Article reviewed by Michal Matyjasik, Ph.D.

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