Skin Hydration | tips, hacks & how tos

Skin Hydration | tips, hacks & how tos

The task of “proper skin hydration” can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are just beginning your skincare journey or you’re an experienced veteran of the routine, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your skin stays properly hydrated and healthy. But before getting started, it’s important to understand what skin hydration is and how it works.

Skin hydration (hydration – water) is the process of attracting water to the outermost layer of the skin. Not to be confused with moisturizing (moisture – oil); the process of lubricating the skin to prevent water from escaping.

While not all skin types may need oil, ALL skin types need water.

Hydrated skin is happy skin. Smooth, plump, youthful and even glowy. Whereas dehydrated skin will feel tighter and duller, will likely have more prominent wrinkles, and may enhance the darkness of dark undereye circles. Skin can get dehydrated if the cells underneath the barrier lose too much water. Dehydrated skin and dry skin are absolutely not the same thing and there’s more about that, here.

How can you tell if your skin is dehydrated?

A good indication of hydrated skin is when you pinch it, does it settle back into place immediately? Gently pinch your cheek or forehead. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch a small amount of skin in those areas and hold for a few seconds. Then let go. 

If the skin bounces back immediately, you're likely hydrated.
If the skin bounces back immediately yet it does feel dry or is flaky, you have dry skin, but you’re likely hydrated.

If it takes a few seconds for the skin to bounce back, potentially even leaving some fine lines as well, your skin is probably dehydrated and your cells are parched for water. 

While this test isn’t definitive, it’s a great way to start. Consulting with a dermatologist or esthetician will help confirm these findings.

PRACTICAL TIPS to increase skin hydration:

Consider employing the following techniques to achieve hydrated skin.

Use gentle cleansers only.

To avoid stripping your skin of its essential oils, wash your face daily with a fragrance-free facial cleanser designed specifically for sensitive skin. And don’t over-cleanse! Cleansing more than twice a day, using harsh scrubs, harsh towels or brushes to scrub-scrub-scrub away, is really bad for the skin. Side note, you generally speaking only need to use a cleanser in the evening, not after waking up in the morning. In the AM, rinsing alone should be perfectly adequate.

Long, hot showers. Don’t do it!

This one hit home hard for us honestly, since hot showers were our way of life. Fact is though that long showers with hot water will again strip, by encouraging moisture to leave the skin. Opt for lukewarm water instead, and ideally shorter shower time too.

Use a hydrating serum IMMEDIATELY after showering.

Instead of completely drying your skin after cleansing, gently pat it dry so it’s still slightly damp, but not dripping wet. Then immediately (ideally within 60 seconds of getting out of the shower), apply a hydrating serum. Doing it this way helps your skin absorb all the goodness you’re applying much more effectively than if skin were bone dry.

Try water-based products.

Not only will a water-based formula help increase skin hydration, it will remain lightweight on the skin as well, making it IDEAL for those prone to acne & irritation. The VREA Cosmetics 4-In-1 Multipurpose Booster Serum could be the water-based serum you apply right after getting out of the shower. The 4-In-1 is like the Capricorn of the skincare zodiac because of its ability to multitask to perfection.

It’s a hero product that delivers a concentrate of actives. Powerful results yet incredibly gentle for use around the eyes. Lightweight with a pleasant texture. Can be used alone as a serum or mixed with other skincare products, even makeup. Does not crumb or pill. Helps makeup last longer. Dermatologist tested & approved for all skin types. Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic & non-acnegenic ingredients. Over time your skin will look brighter, and with the look of fine lines visibly reduced.  

Exfoliate a couple of times a week at most.

An exfoliantor will help remove dead skin cells and residue buildup that can clog the pores, while helping skin better absorb the products following it in the routine. But keep in mind that over-exfoliating can affect your natural skin barrier, leaving the skin dry or irritated. 

Use hydrating skincare ingredients.

There are three types of hydrating ingredients that should be incorporated into your skincare routine: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Using one without the others is like having a violin with no strings. They play together so that TOGETHER, they can deliver the results you’re looking for in the first place.

  • Humectants (I.e., hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea) are substances that bind water into the outer layer of the skin.
  • Emollients (I.e., ceramides, squalane, fatty acids) help with skin barrier function, while also softening the skin.
  • Occlusives (beeswax, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, jojoba oil for acne prone skin) are oils and waxes that form an inert layer on the skin and physically block transepidermal water loss (the process in which water evaporates from the skin).

Use sunscreen.

You’ll actually never hear this enough. Forget the risk of skin cancer, breaking down of the extracellular matrix, premature aging, skin barrier damage and irritation… the exposure to direct sunlight can also severely dehydrate the skin. Dermatologists recommend using about 3 fingers of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to block out about ninety-seven percent of all UVB rays.

Use a hydrating sheet mask once a week.

Ideally twice a week, but hey – at once a week you’re in a self-care-skincare league of medalists. Adding a hydrating sheet mask weekly is a fast and easy way to increase the water content in a way that’s very concentrated. Get your VREA eye masks to do the eye area heavy lifting while you’re at it (eye area, crow’s feet AND top of the cheeks) because they’re packed with hydrating ingredients, 3 different molecule sizes of hyaluronic acid, they protect your skin against damaging blue light & air pollution factors. They are non-slip, biodegradable and formulated with a proprietary technology that optimizes product absorption into the skin. 

Care for a thermal water spray?

You should probably consider it, since the heavy mineral concentrations in thermal water sprays have been shown hydrate skin and support a healthy skin microbiome.

Midway through your day, replish the skin with a few spritzes. We love the Avene Thermal Spring Water.

Revisit your makeup routine.

Most people think “skincare” when hearing of skin hydration, but let’s not ignore the fact that the very makeup we put on virtually on a daily basis, wearing it for hours and hours in a week, can either negatively affect your skin, or… it can help fight the good skin-hydration fight. Which would you rather have? I assume the ladder since we’re sisters here and you’re quite the skincare lover. So! Look for ingredients in your makeup products that will help you in this fight. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene and glycerin.

But for heaven’s sake, please remember that “infused” means nothing. “Peppering” in an ingredient won’t do much for you, the formula would have to carry a more elevated level of ingredient performance in order to go beyond “marketing fluff”.

Oh and.. if you find a makeup product that has broad-spectrum sunscreen protection ideally with physical sunscreen and an SPF of 30 or higher (like our SOLD OUT 4-In-1 Concealer SPF 30), then you really hit the jackpot! 

Use a humidifier and start using it now!

Low-humidity environments inevitably lead to dry and dehydrated skin. More humidity in the air = more humidity in your skin because less moisture will be lost from your skin.

By following these simple steps and using the right products for your skin type, you can keep it healthy, keep it hydrated, keep it plump and youthful and the kind of skin you are proud of. Follow our little VREA journey for weekly tips sent directly into your inbox + get a 30% off coupon when you join the VIP email/text family. This is where you sign up.


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