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Home/Blog/How to Hydrate Skin

How to Hydrate Skin

By Jill Levy

February 28, 2023

How to hydrate skin

Even if you employ a daily skincare routine, many of us get frustrated with the results. It’s hard to be happy with the way your skin looks if it’s occasionally dry, dull or sensitive, which is why skin hydration is so important. With loads of serums, moisturizers and beauty routines (such as the new trend called skin cycling) available, it’s difficult to know what really hydrates skin versus what’s a waste of your money and time.

In this article, learn how to hydrate your skin from the inside out with help from a healthy diet, moisturizing ingredients, as well as supplements and other tips. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation. 

What Is Skin Hydration?

Skin hydration refers to the amount of water or moisture present in the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum. When the skin is properly hydrated, it feels soft, plump, elastic and supple. 

Adequate skin hydration is important not only for making your skin appear healthy, bright and youthful, it’s also essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier, which promotes overall healthy skin. 

When the skin is occasionally dehydrated, it can appear dry, flaky and itchy, and may even develop fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, it's essential to take steps to keep your skin properly hydrated to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin.

How do you hydrate your skin and help to keep it in tip-top condition? As explained more below, many factors play a role in skin hydration, including how much water you drink, the foods you eat, how you clean your skin and which products you apply to your skin’s surface. Your age, hormones and genetics can also impact how hydrated or oily your skin normally is.

How to Help Hydrate the Skin 

1. Drink Lots of Water

How can you keep your skin hydrated? First, make sure you’re not dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Other beverages that help meet your needs for fluids include coconut water, herbal teas, fresh pressed juices and bone broth.

2. Eat Hydrating Foods

Aside from drinking water and other beverages, you can stay hydrated by eating foods with a high water content. Hydrating foods include: watermelon and other melons, cucumbers, oranges, leafy greens, tomatoes, and most other fresh fruits and veggies. 

3. Lather on Moisturizer

How can you help to hydrate your face overnight? Both morning and night, it’s crucial to apply a moisturizer to your skin, including after bathing, showering or washing your face. A good quality moisturizer helps to keep the skin hydrated by replenishing the skin's natural oils and minimizing water loss. 

Look for moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients and occlusives that provide optimal hydration in different ways.

  • Humectants attract moisture to the skin, such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid and urea.

  • Emollients help to soften and soothe the skin, such as shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba oil.

  • Occlusives seal in moisture, such as petrolatum, mineral oil and beeswax.

  • Aloe vera contains properties that help to hydrate and soothe the skin.

4. Use a Gentle Cleanser + Don’t Over-Wash

If you have dry or sensitive skin, it's best to avoid soaps that contain drying ingredients or only use them sparingly when needed. Look for mild, fragrance-free soaps that are designed for sensitive skin and those that contain moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, ceramides and coconut oil.

Wash your skin once or twice per day (morning and night) to prevent too much oil from being removed. Try to avoid taking long, hot showers, which causes the skin to lose water.

5. Exfoliate

Exfoliating can help to remove dead skin cells, but it's important to do so gently. Avoid using harsh scrubs or over-exfoliating (such as every single day), as this can negatively impact the skin's barrier and lead to dryness.

6. Avoid Drying/Irritating Products

Harsh soaps and cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. Ingredients that are commonly found in soaps and other products that can dry out your skin, especially if used in excess or on a regular basis, include:

  • Sulfates

  • Fragrances

  • Alcohol

  • Triclosan

  • Salicylic acid (may be okay for oily skin, but too harsh for dry skin)

7. Be Careful Not to Burn Your Skin

Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and dehydrated. Opt for warm or cool showers instead, or try taking brief hot showers when it’s cold outside. 

Sun damage can also dry out your skin, so don’t spend too much time in direct sunlight without Sun Protection Factor (SPF) on.

8. Apply Hyaluronic Acid

One of the best ways to hydrate your skin is to apply ingredients directly to clean skin that help lock in water. Hyaluronic acid just does that: It keeps water held in your skin, plumping it and reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes or wrinkled, dry or crepey skin. You can use hyaluronic acid once or twice daily on clean skin under thicker moisturizers and lotions. 

9. Look for Products with Antioxidants

Antioxidants, especially when combined with a healthy diet and collagen supplements, can support healthy skin elasticity because they help promote healthy skin volume.

Look for skin care products with ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extract, resveratrol, coenzyme Q10 and niacinamide, which support a healthy skin barrier.

10. Use a Moisturizing Face Mask Each Week

Many hydrating face masks are available that can help moisturize your skin and promote a healthy skin tone and texture. Look for masks that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or honey which aid in moisturizing the skin.

Be careful not to over-use masks or other products that contain kaolin clay and charcoal, which are ideal for those with oily skin.

11. Get a Humidifier

How do you help to hydrate dry skin? A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help to keep your skin hydrated. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom close to your bed, and also in your office or home where you spend lots of time.

12. Don’t Smoke

Smoking can damage your skin's collagen and elastin fibers, leading to premature aging and dryness. Quitting smoking can help to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin, plus it benefits the rest of your body, such as your lungs and immune system, in many other ways, too.

Additional Skin Protection

1. Wear Sunscreen Every Day

You’ve heard it before, but wearing sunscreen really is one of the best summer skincare tips. In fact, dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen year-round, including in the winter.

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to your face that has an SPF of 30 or higher in order to guard against the sun's harmful UV rays.

2. Take Collagen Protein Supplements

Collagen is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin, helping to fight the loss of skin’s volume and the appearance of fine lines and crow's feet. While collagen itself does not directly hydrate the skin, it does help to retain moisture and promote overall skin health. Our bodies' own production of collagen decreases due to natural aging and other factors.

Therefore, increasing your collagen intake through diet (collagen-boosting foods plus foods high in collagen) or supplements can help give your body the building blocks to make its own collagen and improve your skin’s appearance, such as crow’s feet and skin tone.

We recommend these Ancient Nutrition collagen products:

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