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Hey healthy skin lovers! Let’s go back to the basics and learn the 3 most crucial steps on achieving a healthy glow and lasting resilience.
Skin hydration and skin barrier protection equals to the oil-water balance of the skin. Learning how to achieve this balance is a key and crucial factor of the 3 step approach to healthy, glowing skin.
There are mainly three basic steps for achieving healthy and glowing skin. The first step is to use a regular and proper cleanser according to your skin type and condition. The second is weekly gentle exfoliation. The third is hydration and skin barrier protection.
Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin Barrier
Firstly, we will clarify the difference between dry vs. dehydrated skin. Dry is a skin type that one is born with. This skin type lacks oil production naturally, vs. dehydrated, which lacks water. Any skin type can feel dehydrated, even oily. A sign of dehydration is when your skin feels tight and flaky, plus absorbs products quickly.
Causative factors of dehydration can be internal or external. Lack of moisture in the air is one of the main reasons. During the winter months, we tend to spend more time indoors under a dry heat that dries the air. Using a humidifier is essential to protect the skin’s hydration level. Wind and cold temperatures will also have drying effects on the skin. If you live in a dry, desert-like climate, similar to Nevada or Arizona, especially in the summer, with no sign of a water drop for months to come, the air gets extremely dry. As a result, the skin can constantly feel dry, even if it has enough moisture and oil. This is due to the water evaporating from the top layers of the skin and leaving it dehydrated.
Internal factors for dehydration: not consuming enough water or hydrating foods; stress, smoking, alcohol, and excessive caffeine consumption. Our bodies consist of 70% water, an essential nutrient for our daily function. Internal dehydration can lead to fatigue and other health conditions besides dehydrated skin. Apart from water, consuming fresh watery fruits and coconut water can benefit the body’s and skin’s internal hydration.
Products that we can use topically to supply the skin with healthy hydration are various toners and hydrosols, hydrating serums, and moisturizers. Those products are usually infused with hyaluronic acid, tremella mushroom extract, glycerin, honey, seaweeds, and algae extracts. These ingredients bring water hydration into the skin or help the skin attract water to it.
When the skin is well hydrated, it appears plump and radiant. Fine lines and wrinkles appear smoother. Addressing skin hydration in both ways externally and internally will result in the most effective and lasting results.
Skin Barrier Protection
Barrier protection is what moisturizes and protects the very top layer of the skin. This step brings occlusions and moisture to the skin’s surface by applying topical creams, balms, and oils. Barrier protection works synergistically with the step of hydrating the skin. After applying a hydrator that brings the water element into the skin, it is necessary that we lock in that water by applying a moisturizer, balm, or oil. This step will prevent the water from evaporating from the skin and act as occlusion and protection to the top layer.
Dry skin types love balms and “heavier” moisturizers. By heavier, I mean those that are thicker, denser, and contain higher amounts of oils and butter in them. Since this skin type lacks oil production naturally, a combination of hydrating toner or serum and a thicker cream will work best to keep the skin soft and plump.
Oily skin type produces excess oils naturally, so we need to keep this at a balance. If we only use water-based products, such as hydrating toners and serums, the skin might start to over-produce oils to compensate. Therefore a light moisturizer or a light-absorbing oil-based serum will work best over a hydrating toner.
Normal skin type might fluctuate between dry and oily skin depending on the climate change. In the dryer months I would suggest a denser moisturizer or a balm on top of a hydrating product. Wet, humid climate, lighter moisturizers, and oil serums.
Combination skin type should follow the steps of the oily skin type mentioned above.
Well nourished, balanced and protected skin barrier is a key to a healthy and radiant skin.
We are often bombarded with many great and effective products on the market, not knowing which one to choose. Understanding your skin’s behavior and learning about these three basic steps will guide you to what works best for your particular skin type and condition. This is crucial to create a balanced, radiant and supple skin.
Once you are confident in the basics of your own skin, targeting other issues the skin might be experiencing will come much more manageable and effective.
The three basic steps for achieving healthy and glowing skin according to your skin type:
- Best face cleansing methods for each skin type
- The key to youthful skin barrier is balanced hydration
- Exfoliation brings smoother and brighter skin complexion
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