When you start your skin journey with us, true skin hydration is always one of our first goals. A healthy skin is always a hydrated skin – but more than that, hydration underpins the ability to treat all other skin concerns effectively.
We all start out with dewy, bouncy, young skin, never feeling the urge to get a moistuiser on quickly before our skin cracks and tightens after our shower. However, after the age of around 25, dead cells no longer self-exfoliate as well as when we were children. Dead cells build up and these dead cells, which are still attached to the epidermis (surface of the skin), are smaller than the living cells underneath. This imparts that tight, dry feeling and leaves you with the perception of dry skin. Usually your skin is not ‘dry’, it just has a build up of dead skin cell, which prevents the skins ability to absorb hydrating ingredients. Most people will put a moisturizer on it, and the oils in the product break the dry, tight tension. We might think we are moisturized, but we are just greased. As the dead skin layer gets thicker, we perceive we need a thicker moisturiser.
In fact, the very word moisturizer is a misnomer invented in 1962 to sell and market beauty creams. If properly formulated, creams can be excellent delivery systems for lipid carrying nutrients, but water is not one of them. Creams can maintain hydration levels, but only if the skin is in hydration homeostasis already.
The importance of the skin matrix
The matrix of the skin is that jelly-like fluid, mostly hyaluronic acid, sugars, salts and chondroitin sulfates. Real hydration is when this matrix is thick and bouncy by virtue of intercellular water retention bound by essential fatty acids. As we age, this matrix of the skin gets thinner and thinner. The skin can become chicken-like and loose.
Hydration must be addressed from both the outside and the inside, as we will discuss below. Approaching the skin from both sides maintains water homeostasis, which kind of “kick-starts” all systems we enjoyed in youth into acting normal again.
Inside. The only way to really address a thinner matrix is consumption of water and taking essential fatty acids orally. Sea buckthorn and evening primrose oil are our choices of essential fatty acids for many reasons.
Outside. The epidermis (surface of the skin) is another matter, but it must be maintained at the same time. First, we remove the excess dead skin build up with exfoliation and this can be done with different forms of enzyme exfoliants or different acids, depending on skin condition, age, sex and ethnicity. In salon we use professional strength exfoliation, which is always a good place to start, you can then maintain by exfoliating at home once a week. Once this is done, the acid mantle must be reestablished daily by using the proper homecare products that imitate the acid mantle. This is nature’s natural moisturizer and is the replication of the two secretions we are born with: water from the sudoriferous gland and sebum from the sebaceous gland. Together, these secretions blend on the surface of the epidermis and form the biofilm—the acid mantle.
The role of exfoliation
We love to exfoliate. You have probably been having exfoliation treatments, microdermabrasion and peels at beauty salons and skin centres for years. These treatments are great in moderation and on the correct skin the results are almost immediate in texture improvement and brightening of the surface of the skin. However, over exfoliation can rob the skins waterbank. Therefore we must always feed the new cells with the nutrients that they require and recognize. Our choice is beta glucan, essential fatty acids and hylauranic acid. All ingredients that hydrate and heal new skin cells resulting in plump and juicy skin
Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is power. Allow us to give you the knowledge, apply it to your lifestyle and you will reep the many rewards of a hydrated and healthy skin .