When you have dry or dehydrated skin, it's not enough to look for moisturizing products. You need to see if the product is made with hydrating ingredients that will actually get the job done. Let's talk about my favourite hydrating ingredients, so the next time you need a hydrating serum, you won't question if it's going to work.
We have to start with this powerhouse. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient I discovered years ago, and it's one of the single ingredients I always look for in skincare products.
Often found in serums and moisturizers, this acid helps your skin hold onto water, so it will be less dehydrated and more soft, plump, and smooth. Because it improves your skin's water retention, it also smoothes the appearance of wrinkles, which is great for those of us with wrinkles in our early twenties!
One thing to note is that it's best to find products with hyaluronic acid in the top three ingredients. If it's further down the list, it won't be very effective.
Vegetable glycerin, made from the fat of veggies (I know, it sounds so weird!) is commonly found as a base ingredient in all kinds of skincare products. While it has a range of benefits, it's incredibly moisturizing and hydrating.
It works just like hyaluronic acid - glycerin is able to hold onto water, which means when applied to your skin, it can prevent your skin from becoming dehydrated.
Find It: Meow Meow Tweet Geranium Palmarosa Face Toner ($24)
While sometimes used interchangeably with the 'moisturizer' and emollient is actually a type of ingredient that provides a layer of protection for your skin to prevent water loss.
While you'd use hyaluronic acid or glycerin to hold onto water, an emollient offers a layer on top of that to aid in preventing water loss. It seems a little redundant, but if you've ever dealt with dry AND dehydrated skin, you know it's totally worth it.
Emollients are actually a broad category, which is great because it means you can find what works for you and stick with it. I highly recommend shea butter, as it's anti-inflammatory, so dreamy and moisturizing, and it won't clog your pores. But you can also use plant oils like olive (another favourite!), argan, or rosehip, or a thicker butter like cocoa butter. I love using cocoa butter on my body, but I find it's a bit heavy for acne prone skin.
When it comes to skincare, a good exfoliant is vital. Even for dry, dehydrated skin. An exfoliant will clear away dead skin cells, leaving behind soft, bright, and renewed skin.
But harsh exfoliants can do more damage than good, so it's important to use a gentle, chemical exfoliant with AHA's like glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is one of the most effective exfoliants, as it does the job without irritating, and works well for dry, dehydrated, sensitive skin, and specifically for fine lines and wrinkles!
I've recommended two masks with glycolic acid below, because I think it's important not to overdo your exfoliation. Stick with once, MAYBE twice a week, and you'll be good to go!
Frankincense Essential Oil
I love using essential oils in my skincare routines, and frankincense happens to be my favourite. It's incredibly nourishing and soothing, and it's great for dry, mature, acne prone, and sensitive skin. It's basically good for everyone.
Instead of adding undiluted oil to your skin (please never do that!), look for serums, oils, and face masks featuring frankincense.
Unfortunately, frankincense is a very expensive essential oil, which means products that include it will be a bit more expensive than normal. That's why I really recommend the Leaves of Trees Frankincense Argan Oil - it's an incredibly high quality oil that can be used as a serum, face oil, and moisturizer, depending on the severity of your dry skin!
I really hope focusing on ingredients instead of product claims can help you keep your skin soft and hydrated! If you have any favourite hydrating ingredients, I'd love to hear them!