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Hydration is a basic tenet of skin health. When moisturized, the skin barrier is strong, and the complexion is plump, smooth, and bright. When dry, the skin barrier is compromised, and the complexion is slack, dull, and prone to premature aging (yes, we’re talking about the early development of fine lines and wrinkles). So, while it might sound cliché, the old adage is worth repeating—hydrated skin is happy skin.

Seeing as the skin is the body’s largest organ, and it protects us from everything we come into contact with throughout our day, including nasty toxins, environmental pollution, and more, it’s critical that we consciously curate our skincare routines to best protect it and maintain it, and hydration is the first and most basic step in that quest.

So, how do you hydrate our skin most effectively? It might sound counterintuitive, but in order to understand skin hydration, you must first understand skin dehydration. It’s like they say, in order to truly recognize something, you have to first be able to recognize its opposite. In this case, that means understanding the difference between dehydration and dryness (because, yes, there’s technically a difference), the causes of skin dehydration, and the products to use to cure it. That’s where we come in. Keep reading to dive into the ins and outs of skin hydration vs. skin dehydration.

The Difference Between Dry Skin and Dehydrated Skin

Although some people use the terms dehydrated and dry interchangeably, many others recognize a difference in between the two words’ meanings. What is that difference? One word refers to a temporary (and fixable) state, while the other refers to an unchanging skin type. Let us explain it further…

Dehydrated skin is temporary. It refers to a lack of water in the skin, and it can be caused by a number of factors, including dry weather, arid environments, lack of proper nourishment, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and using harsh, moisture-stripping skincare products too often. Dry skin is different in that it’s a permanent skin type. It refers to a natural lack of oil, or sebum, produced by the skin.

How to Tell If You Have Dry Skin or Dehydrated Skin

If you’re experiencing flakiness and/or incessant itchiness over the course of weeks and months, it’s likely that you have a naturally dry skin type. With dry skin, people will often notice specific parts of the face stay consistently dry. Most commonly it’s the skin around the mouth and nose and the area that spans across the browbone (just know that having naturally dry skin doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy, glowing skin, too. It comes down to your lifestyle habits and skincare routine (but more on that later).

Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is often characterized by short-term dullness and redness. You will likely feel a sensation of tightness, almost as if your skin is being stretched uncomfortably taut across your face and/or body. If that’s the case, your skin is asking for more moisture, and you can, and should, provide it with moisture in a variety of ways. If you don’t, you’ll likely see the dullness, redness, and sensitivity progress. You might develop uneven, bumpy texture. You might even see premature signs of aging appear, such as sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.

How to Turn Dull, Dry, and Dehydrated Skin into Healthy Hydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin can be fixed quite easily once it’s been recognized. Start by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and getting enough sleep each night. These lifestyle habits are extremely important in preserving and promoting the health of the skin and body.

Also be sure to take a look at your current skincare routine. Make sure that you’re only using exfoliants and other reactive skincare products (like those that contain high percentages of vitamin C or retinol) sparingly, because if you’re using them too often, you could be compromising your skin’s natural barrier and thus losing precious hydration.

Your next step is to incorporate hydrating skincare products into your routine. We like those that contain moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalene, all of which provide and/or preserve moisture in the skin.

Squalane is a derivative of squalene, a moisturizing molecule that occurs naturally in our skin. Due to its exceptional moisturizing capabilities, it’s a star ingredient in many skincare products, including the Wake Up Call Overnight Regenerative Facial. This intense overnight moisturizer also includes glycerin, avocado oil, and other moisturizing ingredients to imbue your skin with deep hydration as you sleep.

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water, keeping the skin plump and hydrated even in the midst of winter. You can find hyaluronic acid, as well as antioxidant-rich kale sprout water and soothing aloe, in Goldfaden’s Mist RX. It’s a super fine face mist that hydrates and refreshes the skin throughout the day.

Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it preserves moisture in the skin. You can find it in Goldfaden’s Detox Hydrating Gel, which is a lightweight moisturizer formulated for people with blemish-prone skin. (It also contains sodium hyaluronate, which is the sodium form of hyaluronic acid and is just as hydrating, and salicylic acid, which is a blemish-fighting exfoliant).

One more thing. Oils trap moisture on the skin, so if your skin is really lacking moisture, consider using an oil-based product as the final step in your skincare routine, because it will secure all of the moisture from the previous skincare products you’ve used underneath. This is why oils are so useful for people with dry skin types, especially. The Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil combines the powers of a number of natural oils, plus free radical-fighting Co-Enzyme Q10 and omega fatty acids to nourish the skin and boost radiance in a big way.

No matter your skin type, know that healthy hydrated skin is possible, and it could be only a few steps away—with healthy habits and proper hydration, that is.

Written by, Kaitlyn McLintock

ABOUT THE WRITER:

Kaitlyn McLintock is a beauty and wellness writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Popsugar, Byrdie, Hello Giggles, Who What Wear, and more. When she’s not writing, researching, and editing, or testing out the latest skincare and makeup products, she’s drinking coffee and spritzing Goldfaden’s Mist RX all over her skin.

 

With your optimal daily regimen identified, it’s time to take your skincare to the next level. Any tried and true skincare regimen demands a shake-up now and then to help us keep your skin GLOWING. We enlisted Dr. G to help us with upping the ante on our regimen.

How can I make my cleanser work harder for even better results at home?

Cleansing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from the applied night regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin (i.e. Alcohol Free). Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to a variety of environmental stressors and pollutants. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many others can wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.

***The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called theacid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands, lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly acidic.

A great idea to make your cleanser work even harder is to mix it with your physical scrub. By mixing these products together you maximize on the effectiveness of both and also save a step in your regimen.  Using a facial tool or brush with your cleanser can also help deliver better results.

Is there one texture of cleanser that’s best to use for a deeper cleansing treatment?

Texture is highly dependent on skin type and personal preference. When choosing a cleanser it is important to pay attention to ingredients. While some people prefer a cleansing balm, pay attention to ingredients, as these balms can be heavy and are not for every skin type. If you’re not sure where to start, try a gentle cleanser appropriate for all skin types. Our most popular cleanser is a gentle gel based cleanser, ‘Pure Start’. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose, stay clear of astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout.

Should exfoliation always come after cleansing?

We believe exfoliation should always be the first step of a regimen. On non-exfoliation days (we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times per week depending on skin type) you can simply cleanse or use a targeted acid based cleanser (AHA Clarifying Wash). We recommend exfoliating first so that the exfoliation vehicles (crystals or acids) are able to remove and lift the dull, dead lackluster skin then the cleanser can wash it all away.

What’s the best most effective way to exfoliate?

Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired. If you are using a scrub (manual), you can cleanse after, which will ensure all the crystals are removed. Our Doctors Scrub’ is an exfoliator that cleanses and aids in cell renewal by polishing away dead surface cells, leaving skin brighter, clearer and younger-looking. Formulated with line-filling Hyaluronic Acid, whichdelivers long-lasting hydration, Seaweedto nourish and Organic Red Tea Extract to provide antioxidant protection.

 

How can I use a mask to best effect? Should I layer them or is targeted masking a good idea? How often should I use a mask?

This is dependent on skin type and desired results. Look for multipurpose masks, which treat and soothe or hydrate. A purifying mask (Facial Detox Mask) works to draw out dirt and pore clogging debris to reveal skin that looks clear and appears flawless. These types of masks can be used all over the face a few times a week (for oily, acne prone skin), a few times a month for dry and sensitive skin or as a spot treatment whenever you feel a breakout coming.  In clarifying masks look for ingredients, which soothe and calm such as Zinc Oxide, exfoliate and unclogs pores, such as Sulfur and a natural astringent to draw out oils such as Camphor.

We created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask to take the guesswork out of masking. This mask is a triple-tasker, which mimics the most popular facial treatment in our dermatology practice. A botanical-rich treatment mask, Skin Balancing Mask features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin. This mask exfoliates, treats and hydrates all in one.

Is there a way of applying my serum and moisturiser to boost their efficiency? Any techniques or additional tools?

Serums should always be applied first and left to dry. If you are using two types of serums apply the targeted serum first and then the overall antioxidant or Vitamin C serum over it. Moisturizers are then applied over the serum. Applying serums, moisturizers and oils while the skin is a little damp can be beneficial for holding moisturizer on the skin. Massaging skincare products is also beneficial and will help with circulation and blood flow.

 

Any tips to boost product performance in any of the steps – for example, damp skin vs dry skin, massage technique, mixing more than one product together, leaving on for longer than usual etc.?

  • Mixing cleaners and exfoliators
  • Applying serums, moisturizers and oils to damp skin
  • Facial massage
  • Warm showers in the winter NOT hot (as they will dry and strip the skin)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, the conversation inevitably turns to “What are you grateful for?”. We all want to feel thankful and be full of gratitude, but in our modern, plugged in, checked out giant world we are constantly striving to find happiness, meaning, and gratitude. The brain controls happiness and a sense of calm and well being with its intricate symphony of hormone balance involving cortisol, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Not only do a balance in these hormones make you feel better — they also make you look better. With just a few small adjustments we can all look better, feel better and truly feel grateful.

When you feel happy or grateful this is what happens

Blood flow is optimal: This can occur due to the fact you’re not stressed out which can bring on sweating, redness or a dull pale complexion. Even blood flow means a clearer and more even-toned complexion.

Production of endorphins: Endorphins strengthen the skin barrier, have antioxidant properties and may help wounds heal faster.

Production of serotonin:  Serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone, has been shown to help promote immune health-think getting sick less this winter and not feeling down or depressed.

Lower cortisol levels: Cortisol the ‘stress hormone’ can cause excess creation of sebum which can lead to breakouts, high blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, lowered immunity and the inability to burn fat. Cortisol is 23% lower in people who feel gratitude.

Laughing turns off the production of cortisol. Recently a study found that children laughed an average of 300 times per day, while adults averaged around 20 times per day.  Laughing also produces dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the ‘feel-good’ and ‘calming’ hormone. Laughing also relaxes muscles in the body, releases endorphins, decreases stress, increases blood flow and can help with pain reduction.

Of course, all of this sounds easy but let’s get real, it’s not always so easy.  We are busy, stressed, sleep-deprived, hormonally challenged, sometimes depressed. An easy way to jump-start into practicing gratitude is starting small.  Below are a few ideas we find helpful.

How to create gratitude?

Self-love: take the time to do something nice for yourself, your body and your brain. Be grateful for all the parts of you. This could be taking a bath, working out, stretching, telling yourself something positive in the mirror, taking a walk.

Express gratitude: Express your gratefulness to a friend, work partner, or family member. Do something nice for a stranger on the street, volunteer at a homeless shelter during the holidays or anytime, all these good deeds are considered gratitude.

Keep a gratitude diary: make a list of all the things you are grateful for, this can be as simple as ‘waking up in the morning’ to as detailed as your family, children, job, etc. Thanks to Oprah this became a worldwide trend.

We are grateful for you, our reader and loyal brand enthusiasts.  The Happiest of Thanksgiving from our family to yours.