Water is the ultimate treatment for your skin. Here’s why it needs a big gulp:
Recently I met a health expert who said if there was just one thing she could advise all women to do for their skin it would be to drink enough water. That means eight glasses a day, more if you’re sweating a lot.
It’s not going to make your wrinkles and blemishes disappear but water hydrates the body’s cells so if you’re dehydrated it will affect your general health and show in your skin’s condition. As well as plain water, drink caffeine-free teas, fresh juices and vegetable soups.
Your skin’s moisture level varies depending on what it’s exposed to. Wind, dry heat, hot water, sun, drinking alcohol, swimming and using harsh cleansers all dry it out. If you want supple skin it’s vital to retain water levels in the outer layers of the skin. This is where hydrating skincare products come in. Using water-binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, they help replenish the skin’s water reserves and reinforce its protective barrier.
The result is softer, healthier skin that appears plumper and younger. Look out for gel formulas. They hydrate even the oiliest skins without feeling heavy or greasy. For very dry or mature skin, layer them over the top of your usual serum/cream for an extra hit of hydration.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask, $58 replenishes lost moisture with a potent combination of hyaluronic acid, glycerine and its star ingredient, fountain plant extract. This drought-tolerant botanical helps increase the production of humectants (substances that attract and hold water molecules). The idea is to apply a thin layer of the mask at night after gently cleansing. Keep it on for five to 10 minutes, then remove the excess with a tissue leaving a thin layer to continue doing its work while you sleep. Use once or twice a week.
MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel $85 is created using MAC supercharged water technology so it’s ultra-light and hydrating. I like to apply this five minutes before my makeup to plump up my skin. It’s ideal for oily skin.
Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Gel $90 irrigates the skin with a blend of hyaluronic acid and katafray extract from the bark of a Madagascan tree that has, among other benefits, the power to boost the skin’s moisture barriers and keep it hydrated in any climate. This is a rich formula that suits those with very dry skin.
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief $89 contains ingredients derived from sugar that maximise the skin’s ability to attract water from the environment. It’s a lightweight gel that has all the benefits of the original Moisture Surge but works harder and lasts longer. It’s also oil-free.
Geoskincare Hydra Gel $43.92 is an all-natural option ideal for sensitive skin. A calming aloe-based gel, it also contains chamomile, calendula and green tea.