If skincare products were enough to attain a healthy youthful skin, most women these days would have near perfect skin, considering the billions of dollars worth of skincare sold each year. You need more than skincare to achieve a healthy, firm and wrinkle-free skin. Let's quickly talk about the problem before listing solutions. There are a few factors that cause aging such as environmental factors, stress, high sugar intake, and most of all; water loss. This blog is dedicated fully to the latter.
Prevent water loss like your life depends on it. I want you to visualize a plum that's juicy and full of water. When it's completely dehydrated, it turns into a wrinkled prune. That is the easiest analogy that I want you to think about when you think of aged skin. It's all about WATER! Curious how to maintain adequate water levels in your skin? Not the easiest endeavor, but it can be done. Here is what you need to know:
1- Avoid the sun. I love getting my dose of natural Vitamin-D and the great mood the sun affords me along with it. But I keep my exposure to 15 minutes or less, per day. I love analogies, so here we go... Think of prolonged sun exposure the same as leaving roasted veggies in the oven heat too long. what happens? the excess heat depletes the moisture in the vegetable making it crispier or even burnt. Sunscreen may prevent you from getting sunburns, but it doesn't prevent dehydration.
2- Use a humidifier. You may be thinking that when being indoors, away from the sun, your skin is better able to maintain its water content. Not so fast! Air conditioners and heaters dry out indoor air significantly, leaving the skin dehydrated. Humidifiers need to be bigger in larger spaces and need to run around the clock to maintain moisture levels in the air, especially in the cold winter months.
3- Apply your skincare immediately after the shower. An ideal routine would start with an alcohol-free toner, essence or facial spray, a Hyaluronic Acid serum, another little spritz, then your moisturizer, and finish off with sunscreen. If you suffer from dry skin, press on a good quality oil or balm. Keep in mind, oils and waxes are mostly designed to trap the water in the skin. So your routine is incomplete if it doesn't start with a water based-product. Additionally, do not use Hyaluronic Acid Serums, unless they are followed by a generous application of a water based product. Otherwise, the Hyaluronic Acid sponge-like molecules soak up the water from your skin, leaving it dryer than before. So make sure to make these products work for you, not against you. For further information on this topic, please check out my HA blog here.
4- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. All the above is really just a supplement to the internal water intake. Our bodies are designed to deliver all essential elements to the vital organs first, leaving the skin last on the priority list. This means that if you drink insufficient amounts of water, your skin will start looking like that prune we talked about earlier.
5- Avoid over-exfoliation. Most skincare brands want to impress you so quickly to keep you coming for more, so they incorporate exfoliating and skin renewing ingredients in several products, including cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, etc. That's the fast way to see some type of quick impact on the skin by revealing a glowing complexion. But that's only applicable for skin types that have layers of dead skin built up. If you use a full skincare routine daily, most likely you are unknowingly layering a number of exfoliating agents, and any texture you see, could be due to your skin being over stimulated pushing up healthy cells to the surface, that aren't yet ready to come off. On top of that, too many people are using Retinoids, peels, scrubs, twice to three times per week... My head spins as I type this up, having known so many people who completely damaged their skin following these ill-advised recommendations. When you're in your twenties, you don't see the impact as much. You may struggle with some acne which is often blamed on hormones. But the real impact accumulates over time and starts showing up in your thirties and forties... Using a peel should be a rare event. I reach for an enzyme-based peel (no granules) about once every two weeks. That's usually when I start feeling texture on the surface of my skin, hence the need to smooth it out. There are only so many dead cells your skin can produce. Once removed, you are simply irritating live skin that isn't yet ready to be peeled off, as well as disrupting the skin's natural balance, causing dryness, dehydration, acne, redness, sensitivity, and a number of other skin issues.
Now, being the skincare junkie that I am, as I am sure you are if you are reading my blogs, I will quickly list my water based faves that any and all skin types can use:
1- Agent Nateur Holi (Water) Pearl and Rose Hyaluronic Toner: on a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 25. LOVE LOVE LOVE this product! It'll set you back $88, but I find it worth every cent. It beautifully combines Hyaluronic Acid, Minerals, Antioxidants, Pearl, organic proteins, Lavender, Cucumber in an infusion of Rose water. This obviously is more than a toner. I consider it a serious anti-aging player that delivers a quick boost, soaking all that goodness into the skin as soon as applied.
2- Taïla Vayu Illuminating Toning Mist Another cult favorite that's in perfect alignment with the Beauty Doctrine's principles, especially that of simplicity. We adore everything that Taïla stands for, a NYC brand with roots in AYURVEDA [ANCIENT BOTANICAL MEDICINAL SCIENCE FROM INDIA], made with 100% natural formulations, using organic, wildcrafted, or biodynamic ingredients. In short; simple, natural, effective! The mist has 8 mighty ingredients, each carefully selected to boost your skin with optimal hydration and glow. Let's touch on a few. Organic Rose Water is one of the best plant waters out there, promising a multitude of skin benefits for all skin types especially combination, oily and those suffering from acne. We call it nature's brightener and re-balancer around here ;). Another supercharged water is Ocimum Sanctum, otherwise known as Tulsi Water, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, electrolytes and minerals. This powerhouse is known to pack anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal benefit making this product a must-have for acne prone skin. However, this mist is perfectly suitable for all skin types with soothing Cucumber and Aloe Vera, and hydrating Glycerin. What's not to like!!!
3- Arcana Sulis Mineral Replenish Mist: A precious formulation designed by a brand that morphed ancient folk remedies into modern creations, packaged into earth friendly vessels. What a treat for the health and environmentally conscious consumer! This mist is an amalgamation of fermented minerals, plant waters, hydrolyzed pearls and plant extracts that deliver way more than you'd expect from a spray mist. This is a must have for those who take their skincare seriously!
4- Caudalie Grape Water: This consists of a single ingredient that's packed in antioxidants and plant sugars helping soothe and maintain hydration in the skin. I resort to this when my skin is feeling extra sensitive or after using a peel [ A very rare occurrence]. It delivers an immediate calming effect. It won't disappoint and goes for a mere $18. Find it here.
We're reviewing and testing products daily, so check back often for updated lists of our top picks. And whatever you do, please don't be spraying Evian on your skin. It's been known to oxidize and dehydrate skin. Simple water can't get absorbed into the skin. Otherwise, you'd be perfectly moisturizered by the time you leave your shower.
Stay hydrated y'all!