I’ve had a bit of revelation in the past month or two. I’d realized that proper and sufficient hydration is truly one of the key factors to heal most skin problems.
My skin troubles these days are dry skin, slightly enlarged pores, occasional breakouts and pigmentation; all of which also result in dull skin. I was on an anti-aging skincare regime, and then on a whitening skincare regime… and they were only treating one problem or the other, and when one problem was treated, another flared up. I got fed up. So, I went back to the most basic of all skincare regimes – simply keeping my skin well hydrated.
And to my surprise, I started seeing results.
After about 2 months, my skin texture has improved, its stopped looking and feeling dry, pigmentation is a little less obvious and pores are smaller. I am also loving the Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate for lines (I gotta rave at you another time) hence I will not comment on the line reduction (and there was). I do believe however that keeping skin well hydrated will also help with any problems with fine lines. Here’s what I’d been doing for my skin.
Drink lots of plain water
We can’t just depend on creams and moisturizers to hydrate our skin. We need to hydrate from inside out and here’s where water comes in. During this time I was running my experiment, we were experiencing a heatwave here, and I was feeling under the weather. So I was consuming quite a lot of water regularly. More than the requisite 8 glasses a day (I personally think I need more than 8 glasses to be well hydrated). It helped hydrate my body from the inside and prevent too much moisture loss in the dry hot air and the dry air-conditioning environment. I say plain water because that’s really the best. Drinks with sugar or caffeine don’t count as they can further dehydrate your skin.
Use a hydrating serum
Serums are much lighter in texture and absorbs more quickly into the skin and a good serum will penetrate the skin more effectively. I was using a hydrating serum (Estee Lauder Hydrationist or Vichy Aqualia serum) in the day under my moisturizer, and at night, I was using either serums or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I find that using a hydrating serum helps boost my skin moisture level and helps my skin hold and retain moisture better too.
Use a light hydrating gel cream
The thing about having slightly dry skin is that you are then handed all these heavy creams to address the dryness in the skin. I was using these creams, but the dryness was persisting. So on a whim, I set all my creams aside and went back to using a hydrating light gel cream which everyone will recommend for those with oily skin. Pish I say! Worked beautifully for me!
There are loads of such gel creams in the market – Biotherm Aquasource, Vichy Aqualia Thermal, Clinique Moisture Surge, H20+ Face Oasis and here’s one to look out for – Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream (coming soon in June/July 2011). All these are light on the skin and very hydrating so you can even use them as a quick mask. Layered over a hydrating serum, I find that they help my skin retain moisture better and therefore the skin looks more supple.
Use a hydrating facial mask or sleeping pack
Using a hydrating facial mask helps with intensive treatment. I like putting on a mask after exfoliating the skin and I use either a sheet mask or a cream based mask (like the Clarins Hydraquench mask or Vichy Aqualia Thermal cream masks) It helps intensify hydration and its also relaxing. If you are lazy, try a sleeping pack like the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX. Its a gel cream you apply and then go to sleep in so you don’t have to wash it off. A gel cream moisturizer works as a sleeping pack for me too.
Skin looks much better and makeup goes on better too
The 2 months of following this self created skin hydration regime delivered results. My skin looks much better and pores are less visible. Suddenly, foundation was slipping on without accentuating lines or flakiness or pores, and I didn’t have to use very much. I had a couple of spots, but kept at the moisturizing and they went away quite quickly without leaving any marks. Skin heals faster too, and pigmentation was less visible with my skin plumped up with moisture. I noticed this because I use less concealer. I walk around bare faced on weekends, and any redness in skin was reduced and it just looked markedly better. I was pleased as punch!
Whilst I’m not saying we shouldn’t be using specific skincare to address specific concerns, I am saying that going back to basics and keeping and maintaining well hydrated skin can sometimes be the answer to your skin woes. It most certainly answered mine!
If you have tried anything like this with any great results, do share your experience. Or even if there aren’t any great results to share