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How to Properly Moisturize Your Skin

by Emily Linehan on March 27, 2020

Moisturizing your skin sounds like a simple step…most people tend to think all it takes is slapping on some cream and you're done! But did you know there is a bit more to the process than that?  If you find yourself asking the questions, “Why does my moisturizer just sit on top of my skin” or “Why does my skin remain dry and flaky regardless of how much lotion I apply?” --- you’re not alone #Emmebabe!

There are many factors as to why you are feeling this way and your moisturizer will not work until you use it properly!

Why is it important to use a moisturizer anyway? The facts may surprise you! While those who suffer with dry skin may benefit from supplemental oil moisture, provided their skin naturally produces very little of it, the real reason to use a moisture is to help prevent water moisture from evaporating out of the skin. 

Our skin is constantly losing water moisture (called T.E.W.L. or transepidermal water loss). The rate of how quickly this happens can depend on the climate you are in. For example, if you live in the desert or are flying in an airplane, the skin rapidly loses moisture as it evaporates quickly. On the other hand, if you live in a more humid climate, this process happens at a slower rate...although it does still happen. 

Technically a moisturizer is not designed to put moisture into the skin but rather prevent water moisture from evaporating off the skin as quickly by decelerating the transepidermal water loss. 

Skin Types vs. Dehydration

First, let’s talk about skin types. Your skin type is what you were born with and has to do with how much oil your skin produces. 

Dry skin types lack oil production which is our skin’s natural way of helping to seal in water moisture. So generally, dry skin types will experience more transepidermal water loss and dehydration than oily skin types.

It  is not uncommon for oily skin to become dehydrated as well. If you suffer from oily skin you may experience excess oil production when dehydrated, as our glands naturally over-produce oil to try to compensate for dehydration. As a result, you are unfortunately left with greasy, tight and/or flaky skin. 

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can happen to both oily and dry skin types. This skin condition lacks water moisture and is usually recognized as feeling/looking tight, crepey, flakey and even itchy. It is not necessarily indicative of how much water you drink, although if your body is dehydrated, your skin will typically follow suit. This condition can be experienced by anyone, which means your skin type can be oily, dry or a combination of the two and still be considered dehydrated. The severity of this condition can come and go depending on your environment/climate/season, the products you are using and certain activities you are partaking in (i.e. airplane travel).

How you moisturize your skin can be a primary contributor to how dehydrated your skin is! This is why I always stress the importance of properly moisturizing your skin.

So how do we moisturize properly to help prevent this water loss? 

Step One: First, you must make sure your skin has water moisture. Although the obvious place for most to get water is from their tap, I do not suggest using tap water, as the pH can be altered due to drying chemicals and minerals. 

As an alternative, I recommend using my Calm Down Toner to remove traces of any unwanted minerals from the face, in conjunction with my Calm Down Toner that contains patented oxygen electrolyte molecules to deeply hydrate the skin.

After cleansing, apply 12 sprays of Calm Down Toner onto a cotton round and wipe your face. This application should leave the skin quite damp, in which you will want to quickly move onto step 2 to avoid losing the water moisture.

Step Two: Use a humectant, as they are incredible at retaining moisture on the skin. Humectants work almost like a magnet --- they are capable of drawing moisture from the environment in a humid climate. However, if the environment is dry, they can also draw out moisture from deeper layers of your skin, resulting in additional dehydration. 

When using a humectant, you will need to be mindful of the technique you use:

  • If you live in a humid climate, this is great news for you! A humectant will keep your skin extremely well hydrated as you are conducting your skin care routine. 
  • For those of you who live in a dry climate, you will need to move quickly while using a humectant to ensure a moisture seal is created to prevent it from evaporating off the skin. 

My favorite humectants: 

  • Skin Quencher Gel - A cocktail of humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol and sodium PCA.
  • Dew Drops Serum - A molecularly balanced hyaluronic acid serum.
  • Firming Peptide Serum - An anti-aging serum boosted with water loving beta-glucan, hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Step Three: It’s time to lock in the moisture you just worked so hard to create! The use of emollient ingredients will seal in the moisture and decrease the rate of evaporation.

Emollients are found in products like moisturizing creams and lotions. They are ingredients like triglycerides, squalane, oils, silicones, and ceramides which create a breathable barrier on the skin to help the skin hold moisture. 

My favorite emollients are HydraLuxe Cream for normal/dry skin types, or Pure Light Lotion for oily skin types.

The key with using emollients is to apply them on your skin immediately after using your humectants --- remember, the goal is to preserve as much water moisture as possible. Time is of the essence!

In a nutshell, the process of how to effectively moisturize your skin consists of: Rinsing with water, applying your humectants and sealing in all the moisture with your emollients, leaving your skin hydrated and glowing!!

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