More water anyone?
I hope you have haven't suffered too much loss during the recent crazy floods? What chaos it was! As I trudged up the Dee Why river to pick the kids up after work, the water was so deep it came over the tops of my Wellies (gum boots to you Aussies). I'm happy to report that thankfully The Glamour Garage remained unscathed, as did our little unit in Dee Why.
Whilst thinking about all that water, I was reminded of the important role that water plays in our bodies and especially in our skin.
Did you know that on average our bodies are made up of 60% water, that is why it is essential for us to keep our hydration levels up.
Sometimes however, no matter how hydrated our bodies are or how much water we drink, our skin can still become dehydrated and this is largely due to external factors such as UV exposure, pollution and topical applications such as some toners and cleansers that can strip the natural barrier of our skin and lead to TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss).
When the skin becomes dehydrated it feels dry and flakey and shows up all the things we don't want it to such as fine lines, wrinkles, pores and scars. It also makes the skin more sensitised and reactive causing redness, irritation and dilated capillaries. Our skin can also become dehydrated if you have a sensitive skin type due to vasodilation creating excess heat and evaporation, resulting in a vicious circle of increased sensitivity and therefore, increased dehydration.
A dehydrated skin can also be more prone to congestion and breakouts because the receptors in our skin report that it is dry and our body tries to fix it by stimulating our sebaceous glands to overproduce oil. The oil then mixes with the dry skin cells and forms perfect little plugs in the follicles called comedones or blackheads.
As we age and become more exposed to UV light, the production of the natural moisturising factors found in our skin such as PCA & Hyaluronic Acid (humectants capable of retaining 1000 times their weight in water) start to slow and the skin becomes less plump and firm.
How can we prevent this?
Drink plenty of water. We should have at least 2 litres a day, extra if you drink coffee, alcohol and exercise.
Don't use harsh cleansers and ingredients that strip the skin such as soap, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES), SD alcohols, too much tea tree, witch hazel or other astringents.
Don't OVER exfoliate the skin with scrubs, AHA, BHA's or Retinoids. Exfoliation has it's place but there is a balance.
Don't cleanse in water that is too hot but if you do, cool the face afterwards with cool water.
Use topical hydrating ingredients on the skin such hyaluronic acid, cucumber extract, aloe vera.
Seal in the moisture with a good day cream with and SPF and/or night cream.
Here are some IMAGE SKINCARE products I recommend to help.
Although we may feel that we have seen enough water in the past week to last us a lifetime please remember that water is essential to all living things and crucial for healthy glowing skin.