Hydration - How Skin Deep Does It Go?
We’ve all heard the saying that a human being can go 3 days without water. What you probably haven't heard is that 60% of our bodies are water. Putting that in context it would seem vital for bodily function to keep drinking that H2O. Water is the single most important chemical in all living things and it abundantly contributes to the life of a cell through hydration. This is where we start to understand the importance of cellular hydration for our overall health, but also for the largest organ of our body, our skin.
What is cellular hydration you ask?
We can look at our cells as cute little munchkins that contain the essence of life with its many functions. They essentially need to be watered, fed and rested to operate efficiently to protect from cellular damage and degeneration.
Well how does this play a part in our skin health?
Cellular dehydration is a chronic process that hugely impacts your skin cells ability to operate imperative functions, mainly cellular turnover. This means your skin can’t shed its outer layer often enough to stay healthy and leads to skin ageing, dullness, congestion and vulnerability to environmental stressors.
What causes dehydrated skin?
Different factors can affect the hydration levels of your skin such as
- Bodily dehydration
- Dry or cold weather
- Artificial changes in temperature (think A/C and radiators/fans)
- Too hot or cold water
- Incorrect skincare
Wait, wait, is dehydrated skin the same as dry skin?
Actually there is a big difference between the two. Dry skin is a skin type which can be transitional or genetic, generally lacking or having a weak layer of lipids (natural oils like sebum) that protect and maintain the skin barrier function. Think flaky and/or tight skin.
Dehydrated skin is more a result of internal/external factors and is existent in all skin types. Dehydration causes the skin's moisture barrier to malfunction as a result of poor cellular function. To put it simply, the cells are thirsty. Dehydrated skin can look like dry skin, it will also present with dullness, lacklustre tone and increased lines. Oily skin can present dehydration through breakouts as the cellular activity is imbalanced.
Ok now how do i know the difference?
There are a couple of hacks to determine dehydrated skin. You can take a portion of your facial skin in between your fingers for a light pinch and see how fast it bounces back. The slower the process is a good indicator of how well you're hydrated. Another tool is looking at the absorption of our skincare products. How fast they absorb and whether you still feel you need more to quench your skin. Noticing a change in appearance such as increase in lines, sunken look, dullness and even increase in dark under eye circles.
Ok great now what do I do, drink more water?
Well, yes and no. While drinking good quality water and hydrating drinks is extremely essential and beneficial for everyday life, a little extra tender love is needed for our skin externally. This is where the role of high-quality, expertly sourced cellular skin hydrating products come in. There is no way around it because we all need some form of skincare and it's beneficial to make the right choices by understanding what our skin needs. It’s important to remember that skin changes regularly but it’s essential to keep up with the hydration requirements on a cellular level for optimum skin function.
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