H-2-OH! Humble water is now the star of the skincare world.
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, dermalogica.com.au
Water Fuse Hydro Dew Drop Moisturizing Serum, $57, DR JART+, sephora.com.au
Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream, $56, L’OCCITANE, davidjones.com.au
The Water Cream, $99, TATCHA, mecca.com.au
Water Sleeping Mask, $40, LANEIGE, sephora.com.au
Waterburst Hydrated Glow Moisturizer, $71, GLAMGLOW, mecca.com.au