Here's Why Hydration Should Be Your #1 Skin Goal (everyday)

Courtesy, Wholy Dose.

Editor: Delanique Millwood, @delanique

Skin Type: Dry

Skin Concerns: Acne, Hyperpigmentation

First, the cold truth: this skin guide is long overdue and for that I am sincerely sorry. But just like all good things, this one is worth the wait.

So let's talk hydration for winter skin. While drinking water is overall good for you and though I personally would have liked to champion my thirst for water as the secret sauce to my skin's hydration, there isn't enough research to prove this theory— both on a scientific front and my very own ambitious tests. Unproven theories aside, there are other winning ingredients that are typically found in water-based skincare formulas that are essential for hydrated skin during cold months, and thereafter. But before we jump into ingredients you should probably be slathering all over your skin day in day out, we need to chat a little on why hydration is one of the most important skin goals for all skin types.

Why hydration is essential for the skin: it just is. As much as I would love to leave it as that, I am sure you have questions. So here is a solid fact: Hydration should be your #1 skin goal because it is nearly impossible to reduce acne, clear up hyperpigmentation or smoothen fine lines if hydration is not at the core of your skincare routine. At the core of it all, hydration is essential to achieve the below.

Boost your skin's elasticity, plumpness, and firmness

Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (not that anything is wrong with either)

Protects your skin's barrier from external environmental stressors (think: pollution)

✨Combats both dryness and oiliness in the skin

Now that you don't need any other reason than the above to rightfully keep your skin hydrated, keep scrolling to discover the ingredients you'll want to keep handy for whenever you need an extra boost of hydration.

1. Hyaluronic Acid

Tooted as the number one humectant that pulls water from the environment to the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) to keep your skin moist, HA is a powerful moisturizer that holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water. What that simply translate to is: HA is able to retain moisture to keep your skin hydrated and nourished. 

2. Ceramides

Unlike HA, ceramides are often overlooked but deserves attention for its ability to rejuvenate the skin's appearance by forming a protective layer to seal in and limit moisture loss. Generally, our skin naturally produces ceramides, however by our 30s we lose about 40% of the skin's ceramides. That's where topicals come in handy, especially when ceramides are combined with glycolic acid which allows for deeper penetration.

3. Peptides

Peptides are amino acids that make up certain proteins needed by the skin, like collagen and elastin. To this day, my most favorite moisturizer is Beautycounter's tetrapeptide supreme cream. Why? the uber hydrating moisturizing cream is packed with glycerin and peptides that stimulate collagen production in the skin to boost firmness and overall provides the most long-lasting hydration. 

4. Glycerin

Works to attract moisture to the skin, the less glamorous but equally, if not more, effective moisture booster is glycerin— an ingredient that is likely already a mainstay in your favorite skincare products that gives you that hydrated #dewy look. 

5. Manuka Honey

An unconventional skin secret for hydrated skin is Manuka Honey. Typically found on your local grocery store shelf,  Manuka Honey, predominantly grown in New Zealand, has the outstanding ability to hydrate, heal, and soothe the skin as it's both a humectant and an antibacterial agent. Good for eczema-prone skin, expect a double win effect: hydration and less irritated inflammation flare ups.

All that to say, apply your topicals and drink hella water all year long for long lasting hydration (AKA: your #1 skin goal).

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