Today I will share with you what I learned about hydration over the past year. As a pharmacist, I have contact with many products and I have to admit that before taking my degree I never took much time reading the ingredients list of hydration products (overall almost all skincare product), but over the years, I learned that this is important.
If you watch skincare routine videos on youtube, a lot of people use hydrating creams over-hydrating creams and as a viewer of these videos and as a skincare enthusiast (who wants to try everything) I’ve found myself doing the same.
Do I really need to use more than one hydrating cream at the same time? The answer is No.
So what ingredients should a cream have on the list?
It is important that you realize that there are three classes of ingredients that should be on this type of skincare product: humectants, occlusives, and emollients.
Humectants (glycerin, hyaluronic acid, honey, aloe vera, alpha-hydroxy acids) will hydrate by introducing water to the skin, they attract moisturizing molecules from the air. The wetter the environment, more molecules will be attracted – which results in more hydration. Humectants will slow down the formation of wrinkles, by increasing the hydration.
Glycerin, despite being a humectant, has a texture that is not the most pleasant, so hyaluronic acid (more expensive) is more appreciated for having a more pleasant texture and being able to retain its weight in hydration.
Occlusives (beeswax, fatty acids, olive oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly) will seal the moisture in the skin. It sounds simple, but that is its function. Many people shy away from petroleum jelly and mineral oil because of whether or not they are comedogenic, but there are studies that prove their molecules are too large to get into the skin and clog the pores, causing acne. Their main function is not hydration but to seal it.
Emollients (ceramides, butter, vegetable oils, plant-based ingredients – almond, jojoba) are ingredients that soften and smooth our skin. Emollients will leave the skin soft and are preferred by people with dry skin. There are two types of emollients, the oil-based emollients that can leave the skin feeling a little bit greasy, the most recommended for people with dry skin, while the water-based emollients have a more gel-like texture and are the favorites of people with oily skin.
A moisturizer with a good formula will generally contain all the three ingredients on the list. So the important thing is not to use three different moisturizing creams on top of each other, but rather a good moisturizing cream that contains all the 3 ingredients.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the dimethicone. The ingredient that practically all moisturizers have, that it’s a type of silicone. I have been trying to avoid silicones since last year, first because of the texture, that is not my favorite but also because some products with this kind of ingredient, depending on the formulation, tend to cause me acne.
But I have to admit that some of my favorite creams contain this ingredient, in small quantities, but it’s still there. Dimethicone in the formulas is responsible for sealing hydration, it acts like an occlusive.
My advice is that whenever you have the opportunity, test test! The formulations change, even if the product has an ingredient that you usually are not a fan or even that you don’t know anything about!
If you follow this blog , you know that I have oily skin (sometimes combination skin) and that this type of skin needs hydration just like other skin types. I have mentioned it several times, it is possible that you have dehydrated oily skin and that it is due to lack of hydration.
People with oily skin should opt for gel textures and should always moisturize their skin.
There are some practices that we should avoid if we want our skin hydrated. One is to not use hot water when we wash our skin. I had a habit of cleaning my skin before the shower and then removing the cleansing gel while in the shower. Since I stopped doing this I can tell you that I noticed a big difference in my skin. Drying the skin with a towel is another practice that does not benefit you. If you do not like to let your skin dry after cleaning it, then try gently pass the towel on your face with no rough movements.
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