Our water-based moisturizer (Hydrating Gel) has quickly become one of our most popular skincare items. But many people aren't immediately familiar with the concept of a water (vs. oil) based moisture. So let's get into it...
We have to start with skincare basics - the difference between moisture and hydration. Colloquially, it seems like they mean the same thing, but in terms of aesthetics & the skin, these are two separate concepts.
- Moisture refers to the oil content in the skin, including oils produced by the skin's sebaceous glands and any oil-based products used topically. You might also notice a difference in your skin's moisture based on consumption of oils through your diet - "healthier" oils loaded with omegas are likely to improve skin health, while trans fats and other more processed oils are likelier to cause skin issues. Your skin type is based on your level of moisture - or oils - naturally occurring in your skin. This is determined by your pore size, since those are the openings in the skin which allow the oil from your sebaceous glands to come to the surface. Small pores mean drier skin, and larger pores mean oilier skin.
- Hydration refers to the water content in the skin, including the skin's naturally-occurring water content stored below the epidermis and any water-based products used topically. You might also notice a difference in your skin's hydration based on your water consumption, though most of the water you consume won't make it to the surface of your skin. Furthermore, we all experience something called Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), whereby we lose water content in our skin due to evaporation and other factors. Fighting TEWL requires both internal & external sources of hydration.
Products that contain both oils and water-based compounds will address both moisture and hydration, but it depends largely on the quality of the ingredients and the relative concentrations of oil vs. water in the formula.
It's likely that most of us are familiar with our skin type - anywhere on the spectrum from dry, normal, combination, to oily - but did you know that your skin type does not correlate to your skin's level of hydration? In fact, 80% of people, regardless of skin type, have dehydrated skin. Signs of dehydrated skin include: itchiness, dullness, fine lines & surface wrinkles, and "shadows" on the face.
Most of the water you drink doesn't make it to the surface of your skin, so the best way to boost your skin's hydration is to use hydrators - skincare products with a jelly-like consistency formulated primarily (or exclusively) with safe & effective water-based compounds like plant hydrosols. You apply hydrators just as you would a moisturizer - by gently rubbing into the face (usually a dime to quarter-sized amount). Most people find that their skin will soak up hydrators faster than moisturizers.
Another common and effective ingredient in hydrators is Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Generally speaking, Hyaluronic Acid helps attract and bind water to the surface of the skin, promoting a plump, radiant, and hydrated complexion. HA comes in different molecular weights, which refer to how deeply they absorb into the skin. Research has shown that low molecular weight HA has inflammatory effects, while high molecular weight HA has anti-inflammatory effects. That's exactly why we opted for high-quality, high molecular weight HA in our Hydrating Gel.
Our bestselling Hydrating Gel formula features:
- calendula hydrosol - anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and vulnerary (pro-healing), this soothing ingredient derived from marigolds is a multipurpose powerhouse in beauty formulations
- white rose hydrosol - anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, antibacterial, this hydrosol is a favorite of mine for its ultra-calming properties - and you'll also find it in all our Toners!
- helichrysum hydrosol - antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (pro-healing), this ingredient is often found in formulas for mature skin.
- aloe vera gel - antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itch, this cooling ingredient is another BB favorite for its broad benefits - you'll find it in our Light Facial Cream, all our Toners & Facial Washes, all our Hair Cleansers, and our Salt Texturizing Spray.
- ginseng extract - another darling of K-beauty, ginseng is an adaptogenic herb known for its strong rejuvenative, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary (pro-healing) and antioxidant properties.
- gotu kola extract - beloved by both K-beauty and Ayurveda, gotu kola is a powerful rejuvenative herb with anti-inflammatory, vulnerary (pro-healing) and antioxidant properties. You'll find gotu kola powder in our Facial Exfoliant.
- Hyaluronic acid - this high molecular weight HA helps bind water to the surface of the skin, promoting lasting hydration and radiance without the downsides of LMWHA.
- geranium essential oil - one of the most universally tolerated essential oils out there, rose geranium essential oil is very soothing and anti-inflammatory, and helps reduce any areas of irritation or redness.
- basil essential oil - this delightfully herbaceous essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial, and works well for a variety of skin concerns.
Intrigued? Learn more about our Hydrating Gel here.
Until next time,