Tip: Going Back to Basics – Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

by Paris B on · 58 comments

in Musings,Skincare,Tips

hydration Tip: Going Back to Basics   Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

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

hydrating serum Tip: Going Back to Basics   Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

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

hydration2 Tip: Going Back to Basics   Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

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! icon smile Tip: Going Back to Basics   Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

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 icon smile Tip: Going Back to Basics   Proper and sufficient hydration heals most skin woes

Paris B

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[ 58 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Hanny
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’m already at the basics: i.e.: keeping skin not oily, and am thinking of venturing out… Quite different from you, PB ehehehe ^.^

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

Good on you. Young people can afford to experiment :P

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Andrea May 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

oh yes! i’m focusing on hydration in recent months…tho going thru a recent bout of pimples thx to Biore sunscreen…my skin really does look better with smaller pores, ‘bouncy’ feel .. quite liking Garnier’s Aqua Gel Essence that you reviewed as a potential dupe to H20+’s Face Oasis… thx for the tip!

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

Oh glad the Garnier works for you! :) I finished up mine such a long time ago, but I didn’t replenish because I just prefered other ones.

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Andrea May 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

ahhaa..coz i simply cant afford Face Oasis at the moment..tho i’m hoping i can find it cheap in Taipei when i go over in July :)

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Andrea May 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

but i might end up getting Naruko products..not sure if you’ve heard of them…the guy from ‘?????‘ created this range of skincare that’s supposedly really good..looking to try the night gels…apparently they sell really well and are very affordable, like drugstore prices!

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Gin May 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hey, excuse me for stepping into the conversation… Andrea I went to Taiwan last dec and I must tell u that taiwan’s skincare are really cheaper than here! U can try payeasy.com.. Buy ur things and pick them up at any 7-11. I envy how convinient the Taiwanese girls could buy their stuffs.
That website is quite messy but u really can get value buys.

Naruko is quite good but personally I prefer hada Labo. Oh, taiwan’s hada Labo is from japan, not china’s stock =)

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Andrea May 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Yes, i’m planning to pick them up at 7-11. If u sign up as member of Naruko Taiwan, u get NT130 for your first purchase, which is pretty nice. I’m currently using the original Hada Labo (from China) but will probably pick up the Japan made one there. Still considering to switch to the red coloured range. So far the original is working alright..but the initial effects have sort of ‘worn off’….definitely will b picking up lots of things from their Watson’s there…. :) thx for the tips

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Gin May 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Haha, u’re welcome~
don’t forget to get the MBD masks! I lugged 3boxes back XD

Ps: am itching to try the red series too!

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for helping out Gin! :D

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I haven’t tried Naruko (sounds like an anime! Oh wait… that’s Naruto right? :P )

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domncroxd
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

*thumbs up* good advice!
domncroxd recently blogged…Preliminary Review- Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF30-PAMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

Glad you approve! ;)

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lyn
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 9:28 am

I had the same recent revelation too and have been treating my skin with more hydration than before. My regime is quite similar to yours. My skin has improved quite a bit and does feel better too. It used to be very dry, flaky and uncomfortable.
lyn recently blogged…News Alert- theBalm Shady Lady Vol 2 &amp 3My Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

That’s great to know this intensive hydration is working for you too! :D I didn’t have flaky skin, but it was certainly dry and all those creams for dry skin just wasn’t helping very much.

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Alexandra May 24, 2011 at 9:33 am

Totally agree with you on boosting our hydration level, which is the basic of everything. I had the same case as you. Moisturisers is insufficient for me, even intensive ones. Changed to oil, ocassionally use a hydrating serum beneath and do a weekly hydrating mask. Definately saw changes on my skin! However for 2-3 times a week, I tried my DIY mask using facial cottons soaked with Hada Labo Lotion and it worked beautifully for me! Skin is supple the morning after. Cheap and easy.
Alexandra recently blogged…My question on Cleansing OilsMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

Nice to know oil works for you :) I haven’t tried using oil moisturizers yet and thanks for the Hada Labo quick mask tip!

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Nikki May 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

Great tips! It’s true, each time I needed an instant “moist booster” I go for hydrating masks and you know how much I love Gel moisturizers!

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

Yeah! In our tropical weather, we tend to forget that we could get dehydrated too! :D

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Cynthia May 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

I definitely hands-up for this!! I am sticking on this regime for more than a year now and my skin’s are really much better. Hydration definitely reduce redness on face, heals my scars faster and yes..My foundation/ bb creams stay on my skin longer than usual. :)
Cynthia recently blogged…Review- Kevin Beautymaker Aquamarine Hydrating LotionMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

Yay! Great to know you’re doing the same and seeing good results :D Having great skin is the foundation of great makeup ;)

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plue
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

hydration is the key to everything! i use whitening serums instead of hydrating serums, as my skin isn’t that dry to begin with.

oooh, i always had this question, moisturizing and hydrating, are both the same, or it’s different? i remember reading somewhere saying moisturizing is to put in “oil” into the skin, while hydrating is well, putting back “water” into the skin. what do you think?
plue recently blogged…Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting SerumMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

I’ll be honest, I don’t know :P But Viva Woman has an article on this that might help.

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plue
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

thank you!
plue recently blogged…Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting SerumMy Profile

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ksuan May 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

Great post, Paris – and well-written, succinct and clear :)

Definitely in total agreement with all that you’ve said. My skin thrives far better on a daily dose of Clinique Moisture Surge!
ksuan recently blogged…Preliminary Review- Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF30-PAMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thanks Ksuan :) Rediscovering all my gel creams is making my skin so happy and toing toing!

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Kahani May 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

This is so odd. I’d just picked up a tub of Face Oasis on discount and have been slapping it on and in the morning now my skin glows (in a good, non greasy way). I keep forgetting how great this stuff is for my skin. =)
Kahani recently blogged…Mondays Lust List- Five things I want this summer Mostly blushMy Profile

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

I remember I picked up a whole set of H20+ Face Oasis (including face wash and eye cream) in HK at the price of less than 1 tub locally! Its great stuff!

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Stacey
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

Hi Paris!

Great tip!

How do you alternate between all these different range ie whitening, anti-aging etc?

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ParisB May 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thanks Stacey. I alternate treatments depending on my needs (and depending also on whether I have a product I’m test running at the time). If I come across a new whitening product, I sometimes try it on as I have pigmentation and I would like it reduced; but I usually always have an anti-aging serum/cream because I’m not getting any younger :P

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maggie May 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

great post! in fact i’ve been switching to ‘hydro’ skincare almost 3 years now. never look back :) my skin is oily/combi and none of the oil-free or any products that claim to improve my skin problems worked. but most of the SA did told me about hydration is important to combat skin oiliness .yet they never intro me to their full line of hydration products but direct me to their oil free stuff.so, i chosed my own line and went full force on concentrating to only address skin hydration.

like you said, my skin improved! and getting way lots better :)

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Thank you Maggie! The reason brands don’t push their hydration products is probably because the hydration line is usually the cheapest of the lot! LOL Its better for them to push us treatment products which cost more. But we know better now eh? ;)

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Jessl May 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm

My SA told me that before .. but I wasn’t that convinced . After reading your post ; I am now going to hydrate my skin more !! Thanks for the post!!

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Hehe… Give it a go. You might be surprised! ;)

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shusheshe
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I’ve been trying out the gel creams lately…unfortunately I probably will go back to the cream ones, for the daytime at least. Gel creams have the tendency to react badly to the BB cream or foundation (as in causing the foundation to flake).

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Do they? I didn’t notice that… They work fine for me but then I do use sunscreen so maybe my sunscreen acts as the base already :)

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Julia May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I use Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera gel every morning and night, and the Hada Labo lotion sometimes, too, and while my skin does feel a bit better, after several months, it’s still not MUCH better. :(
Julia recently blogged…The quest for pale foundation – part 1- Maybelline Pure Make-upMy Profile

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Keep at it girl! It will take a while… and don’t forget to take in more water too :)

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Denise
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

This is such a good post! In a world where companies keep on dishing out so many products made to address each and every single concern out there, going back to hydration is really important. Thanks Paris!
Denise recently blogged…Manic Monday at the Post OfficeMy Profile

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm

You’re welcome Denise! I’m glad you found this post helpful :) We tend to get so caught up that we forget the basics… and this is a timely reminder! ;)

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DiamondsnDuds May 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I go agree. The most basic of anything is always to get the skin hydrated, I learnt that a few years ago. I like to use a water sleeping mask and if you have a steam room at a gym, I tend to slap on some gel which has hyaluronic acid before heading in for about 10-15 mins, it works a charm! It doesnt work in a sauna room though as a sauna is dry heat!
DiamondsnDuds recently blogged…20 off in Covent Garden this Thursday 2 December 2010My Profile

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for the steam room trick! Now I know what to pack with me when I have access to a steam room – oh and some oil treatment for the hair too! ahhh… ;)

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s May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I agree with you! I’ve always used gel creams as I personally feel my skin absorbs them better than thicker creams where they somewhat ‘sit’ on my skin! Serum wise, the Biotherm Source Therapie one doesn’t only hydrate your skin but shrinks pores too! Since using this I haven’t gone back to my pore minimizers! Methinks hydrated skin = no more pores lol =) xx
s recently blogged…Review- Garnier 2 in 1 Tinted Eye Roll-on FairMy Profile

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Wow the Biotherm serum sounds good! I think its true – the more hydrated our skin, the less obvious our pores are which is great – we save money buying pore minimizers and primers! haha…

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Jo May 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hey babe, I just want to thank you for posting these tips. I’ve been having the same problems as you (which I suspect is partly due to stress too) and I’m at my wit’s end as to what to do to make it better. I will certainly try out all the hydration tips! ;)

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

You’re welcome Jo! I hope these help you and your skin! But stress is always awful for skin so I hope your stressful period ends soon.

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Sweetspring May 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Agree with the hydration theme!

I’m using Taiwan’s Naruko’s hydrating serum (aqua cubic complex), LOVING it. Always look forward to slathering it in the morning and night before my light creams.its really dehydrating in the office environment and I feel that this gel-like serum locks moisture in. It kinda also serves better because I feel weird applying creams right after toner, its like something is missing :D

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Ahh… All this talk about Naruko! I have to take a look! Enablers everyone!

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Lisa May 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Great post. Works the same for my skin. Getting back to hydration basics. Nowadays I’m keeping things very much simpler than my younger days. A great hydrating toner and a simple lotion. On days when I need more, I will add oils (eg kiehl midnight recovery or dr alkaitis etc) into my night care regime depending on my skin needs.

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ParisB May 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Hehe so many of us are doing the same thing! Playing and experimenting but going back to basics at the end and then we wonder why our skin looks so much better now! :D

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Issa May 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I think I must try that gel moisturizer after I finish using up the rest of my skincare…. thanks for these tips!

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ParisB May 28, 2011 at 12:56 am

You’re welcome! If your current skincare work you don’t really have to change you know :)

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lavender May 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Great tips Paris! Glad that your back to basic regime works. As far as I can remember, I always see you with great and radiant complexion.

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ParisB May 28, 2011 at 1:36 am

Aww thank you! :) do give this a go too and see if it might help with any problems you might have. Who knows if this might be your cure! ;)

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espenine May 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I agree with you on this. Hydration solves my pore and acne woes better than any acne busting treatment product because somehow when the skin is well hydrated, it can fight acne better on its own and lesser chance of scarring. I dunno what is the mechanism inside the skin that causes this but whenever I get break outs, I step up on skin hydration.

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Donna May 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I agree that moisturizer is the key to healthy skincare. I’ve tried a lot of very expensive moisturizers and I’m allergic to a lot of things. I have found that eb5 is a really fantiastic choice for me. This moisturizer is inexpensive, soaks right in, does the job, and I don’t react to it. All for a fraction of what I was paying at the department stores! They are now carrying it in WalMart, which is nice and convenient, too.

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