H-2-OH! Hum­ble wa­ter is now the star of the skin­care world.

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

Scan the in­gre­di­ents list of any skin­care prod­uct and you’ll likely see wa­ter (or aqua) near the top — chemists have long used it as a sol­vent to help ac­tives prop­erly dis­solve. But de­spite wa­ter be­ing around since lit­er­ally the be­gin­ning of time, it’s re­cently be­come the hot new star of skin­care for­mu­las. But why? “Sen­si­tive skin seems to be flar­ing up ev­ery­where, and one of the main causes of skin sen­si­tiv­ity is de­hy­dra­tion,” says Emma Hobson, ed­u­ca­tional man­ager for Der­ma­log­ica and the In­ter­na­tional Der­mal In­sti­tute.

Thanks to harsh cli­mates and in­tense prod­uct reg­i­mens, our skin is re­ally, re­ally thirsty, and lack­lus­tre be­cause of it. “Wa­ter is es­sen­tial to the health of skin; it af­fects ev­ery­thing from plump­ness to the look of fine lines and wrin­kles and over­all skin ra­di­ance,” says Vicki Tsai, founder of Tatcha skin­care.

But be­sides just aes­thet­ics, a lack of wa­ter in the skin is of­ten the sign of a greater prob­lem: a com­pro­mised bar­rier. “If we can re­duce de­hy­dra­tion in the skin, we can also af­fect the cas­cade of events that can oc­cur from wa­ter loss, such as ir­ri­ta­tion and sen­si­tiv­ity,” says Hobson.

So how does wa­ter ac­tu­ally come into play, see­ing as our skin is wa­ter­proof? En­ter hyaluronic acid (HA), wa­ter’s right hand. HA is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring sub­stance that keeps our skin cush­ioned and has the crazy abil­ity to re­plen­ish mois­ture (a study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal Of Tox­i­col­ogy showed that just 1g of HA can hold up to six litres of wa­ter). But the real magic lies in HA’S abil­ity to find the per­fect amount of wa­ter the skin needs (too much is detri­men­tal).

These new aqua-en­hanced prod­ucts are boosted by teeny-tiny HA mol­e­cules that can pen­e­trate the epi­der­mis, bind­ing with wa­ter to supremely hy­drate, in­stantly im­prov­ing the ap­pear­ance of fine lines and giv­ing skin a plumper, smoother tex­ture. “When the skin is hy­drated, it’s health­ier, it’s pro­tected and it func­tions at an op­ti­mal level,” says Hobson.

Calm Wa­ter Gel, $73, DER­MA­LOG­ICA, der­ma­log­

Wa­ter Fuse Hy­dro Dew Drop Mois­tur­iz­ing Serum, $57, DR JART+,

Ul­tra Thirst-quench­ing Cream, $56, L’OC­C­I­TANE, david­

The Wa­ter Cream, $99, TATCHA,

Wa­ter Sleep­ing Mask, $40, LANEIGE,

Water­burst Hy­drated Glow Mois­tur­izer, $71, GLAMGLOW,

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