Is your skin receiving the right message when it comes to hydration? So many factors influence the level of hydration our skin retains. Where do we even begin?
Our skin is our first point of contact with the world; it can hold precious information about how our bodies respond to our immediate environment—both internal and external!
We already know that the UV light of the sun, climate, air quality and seasonal changes are some of the external environmental factors that impact the skin’s ability to perform its complex duties. Add skin type, diet and lifestyle to the bill, and we can only conclude that our skin is owed a debt of faithful maintenance.
Whilst there is plenty we can do to support the natural process of keeping our skin nourished and hydrated from within—plentiful rest, nutrient-rich foods and ample water consumption—a well-considered skin care regimen tailored to our skin type and environment is imperative to supporting skin hydration.
When it comes to ultimate skin hydration, we turn to products that contain Hyaluronic acid for the best results. Read on to discover why you should care about hydration and if Hyaluronic acid is worth adding to your skincare lineup!
Why Hydration is Essential to Skincare
Why should you care about hydration? As a principle part of the composition of our bodies, water is both what we contain and require. Replenishing its frequently expended stores is crucial to preserving a healthy level of hydration in our bodies and, significantly, in our skin.
From a basic cosmetic standpoint, a hydrated complexion looks more plump, healthy and youthful looking. Having an adequately hydrated face will help to improve skin elasticity which will reduce the appearance of wrinkles!
You might not have guessed it, but hydrated skin also helps to combat oiliness! Dehydrated skin produces more oil because it compensates for the lack of moisture. A lot of the time, people believe that the best course of action is to try to dry out the skin (by using harsh drying agents and cleansers on their face), which is totally a common misconception! This often results in a long-term problematic cycle that could have been easily treated with a proper understanding of what the skin needs to stay optimally hydrated.
Balanced skin needs both hydration and oil to bind to each other. If your skin is out of balance with either one of them, you may experience dry skin or compromised skin barrier conditions caused by transepidermal water loss. If you feel your skin is constantly dry despite using good face oils, try adding a good HA serum to your regime to allow good oil and water binding.
Dehydrated skin is also less resilient to environmental irritants. When your skin is fully hydrated, it can fight and flush out toxins more effectively because your cells get the maximum amount of hydration needed to function at their best.
So, with all that said, how, what, and where does Hyaluronic Acid come into the mix?
What is Hyaluronic Acid (or HA)
The phrase Hyaluronic Acid (or HA) may sound a little intimidating at first — like one of those super-intense acid peels that do more harm than good— but the truth is, hyaluronic acid is so natural. It’s produced by our own bodies to help with moisture retention!
Hyaluronic acid (or HA) is a sugar molecule found naturally in our bodies that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid acts as a lubricant for the joints, nerves, skin, and other organs. As a moisture binder, it draws moisture from its surroundings to cushion, plump, and maintain hydration for our body.
Besides giving the skin a smoother and plumper appearance, Hyaluronic Acid is also attributed to accelerating skin repair and strengthening barrier functions. Ideal for all skin types, even sensitive skin types, this lightweight hydrator can be used both day and night to maintain a fresh and dewy complexion.
Multiple Forms of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid can be amazing, but not all hyaluronic acid serums on the market are made the same way—which means they won't do the same job. Below are some key components of a quality hyaluronic acid serum you should be looking for. Hint: the best hyaluronic acid for skin will incorporate a mix of the primary kinds: low, high or multi-molecular HA.
High molecular weight hyaluronic acid consists of molecules of 1,500 kD and is larger, making it unable to penetrate the skin barrier as easily. Instead, it forms a film with the skin's keratin on evaporation, moisturising the skin’s surface whilst improving its elasticity. This film, however, is washed off relatively quickly, offering more of a cosmetic rather than a long-term effect. This type of HA has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can actually be quite nurturing and soothing either way!
Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid makes it possible to penetrate the skin effectively as it consists of molecules of 50 kD and is smaller! They dive deep down, ensuring that water is stored right into the connective tissue of the skin. That said, when using low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the moisture is stored in the skin sustainably, truly addressing fine lines, wrinkles, and skin elasticity through and through. These molecules help create healthy, happy skin in the long term.
Multi-molecular weight hyaluronic consists of both weights, which makes it possible to achieve different effects on the skin. A mix of these molecular forms can deliver what we really want from a hyaluronic acid serum: a super-hydrating powerhouse that can make us look great in the moment and can make our skin healthier and younger-looking in the future, too.
The Ultimate Hydration Protocol
Skin hydration is, of course, more than just the use of HA products. It should consist of a well-rounded regime! Here’s what we feel is the ultimate hydration regime for all skin types:
Step #1: Cleanser
A clean canvas is crucial if you want your skincare products to work their best. Hence, a cleanser should come first.
Pure Tincture tip for a deeper clean (something we practice in all our facial treatments): Try double cleansing! Double cleansing is a method that involves washing your face twice. First with an oil-based cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup, and then again with a foaming cleanser to ensure a deep clean.
Step #2: Toner
Once your skin is clean and dry, the second step in your routine is to apply toner. The purpose of a toner is twofold: First, to remove any oil, dirt, or residue that remains after cleansing, and secondly, to prepare your skin for the more concentrated treatments, like serums, that you’ll be applying later in your routine.
Step #3: Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Serum*
Serums are one of the most essential parts of your skincare routine and should always follow your toner. When considering the best serum, you'll want to choose a hydrating serum that provides moisture and shields against environmental aggressors like pollution.
*See below for our tip HA product recommendations
Step #4: Facial Oil (optional)
Be sure to apply moisturiser in the form of oil, lotion or cream after the HA Serum to ensure that moisture stays on the skin and does not get absorbed into the atmosphere (HA goes into the atmosphere if the air is dryer, for instance. Think air-con atmospheres!). Next among your skincare routine steps is applying face oil! If you have oily skin, you may be wary of putting oil directly on your skin out of fear of breaking out. However, if applied properly, using a facial oil can actually help keep your skin balanced since hydrated skin often produces less oil than dehydrated skin.
Step #5: Moisturiser
Unsurprisingly, moisturiser is one of the best skin care products for dehydrated skin, and it's important to use it morning and night. Choose a lighter moisturiser for daytime and a heavier cream for nighttime.
Step #6: Sunscreen
We know you know it, but we’ll say it again—wearing sunscreen every day is a vital aspect of any daily skincare routine. Get your morning face routine order right by applying sunscreen daily after moisturising. It's particularly important to wear sunscreen when you have dry skin because harsh UV rays can cause further damage, making your skin drier, stressed, and unbalanced. Be sure to reapply it often when you're outdoors in the sun.
Step #7: Eye Cream
If you have dry skin, it's also essential not to forget your eye cream. Make this the last step of your routine, sweeping a tiny bit under the eyes and below the brows. The skin around the eye is some of the most delicate on the body, so it needs a little extra care.
Pure Tincture’s Recommended Hyaluronic Acid Products
The Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200 is one of our absolute favourites. With a silky and lush texture that spreads easily over the skin, Hyaluronic Acid works to plump and soothe the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines. It contains a whooping 200mg in the bottle. It has proven its worth by soothing many of our client's skin, and we like to recommend this frequently as we know it works so well. It contains 0.75% of low molecular HA.
Award-winning OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum delivers intense moisture while protecting and rejuvenating the skin with antioxidants. It also contains seaweed to combat early signs of ageing and vitamins and minerals to fortify the skin’s barrier further, leaving you with smooth and radiant skin. Formulated with three organic seaweeds and multiple molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid, this product works well with all skin types.
The Organic Pharmacy’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum found in the Expert Serum Kit. It features a pharmaceutical formula that targets dehydration and can be layered under other expert serums from this set. Plump and hydrate skin with this triple molecular weight 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum that smoothes fine lines while improving the skin’s natural protective barrier to lock in and retain moisture. This light yet intense corrective formula is clinically proven to reduce the number of wrinkles by 30%* and boosting skin’s hydration by 22%**. Suitable for all skin types and it has won the prestigious Pure Beauty Award London 2020.
In determining the right components of your skin care regimen, it is vital to select a hydrator that responds not only to the specific needs of your skin type, but to the effects of your daily environment. It is also important to consider your own preferences for texture and skin-feel. For some, a serum or a concentrate with low-to-medium viscosity–or a light, fluid lotion–may be appealing. Others will find gels, or richer creams and oils, to be more favourable. All formulations are available! The choice is yours.