A Good Kind of Wa­ter Re­ten­tion

Our skin is like a reservoir: it has wa­ter, it holds wa­ter, but it can’t re­tain wa­ter. Mois­turis­ers step up to help.

Herworld (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Mois­turis­ers step up to help skin re­tain wa­ter.

Fact #1: The larger the ex­posed sur­face area, the faster wa­ter evap­o­rates. Fact #2: The skin is our big­gest and most ex­posed or­gan. Fact #3: Through our skin alone, we lose about 300-500ml of wa­ter a day. Un­der nor­mal con­di­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to L’Oreal’s re­search in 2007, sun ex­po­sure in­creases wa­ter loss by up to 25 per cent – not through per­spi­ra­tion, but heat. Another 2011 study published in Build­ing

and En­vi­ron­ment, a jour­nal by in­for­ma­tion and an­a­lyt­ics com­pany El­se­vier, says tem­per­a­ture changes in skin called ther­mic shocks – brought on by go­ing from a cold spot (like a mall or the of­fice) to a hot one (out­side) or vice versa – in­crease mois­ture loss, too. This is sup­ported by Clar­ins’ re­search this year: our skin re­port­edly gets up to 17 ther­mic shocks a day, and sud­den changes in hu­mid­ity af­fect and dis­rupt the skin bar­rier (which man­ages wa­ter re­ten­tion), lead­ing to skin dis­com­fort.

That’s why cos­met­ics com­pa­nies are con­stantly re­think­ing mois­turis­ers to fig­ure out how they can help skin re­tain as much wa­ter as pos­si­ble.

Hyaluronic acid (HA), a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring polysac­cha­ride which our bod­ies pro­duce, is still the most ef­fec­tive mois­ture reservoir. Act­ing like a sponge, it holds up to 1,000 times its weight in wa­ter. Mois­turis­ers now give skin more HA and “re­mind” it to make more of its own. Dr Ge­or­gia Lee’s DrGL mois­turiser even has three types of HA in high-, medi­u­mand low-molec­u­lar weight for thor­ough hy­dra­tion of the dif­fer­ent lay­ers of skin; the smaller the mol­e­cule, the deeper it can sink in.

Giv­ing and/or pro­duc­ing HA is one thing. The se­cond part – keep­ing wa­ter in – is harder, as heat and ther­mic shocks dam­age the skin bar­rier. What it needs while it heals is

another bar­rier – some­thing that ce­ramides are very good at pro­vid­ing (El­iz­a­beth Ar­den is fa­mous for its use of ce­ramides; Ma­monde and Sk­inceu­ti­cals use them, too).

For L’Oc­c­i­tane, cal­cium-rich ther­mal wa­ter (like 10-times­more-than-nor­malther­mal-wa­ter rich) works just as well, as it re­port­edly strength­ens the bar­rier, too.

Vichy’s take is slightly dif­fer­ent: when skin loses wa­ter, it’s not los­ing only wa­ter – it also loses min­er­als and su­gar. In­stead of cal­cium, the French brand taps the ben­e­fits of plant man­nose (a su­gar) to re­in­force the bar­rier.

And when all else fails, Eve Lom sug­gests its Ra­di­ance Face Oil. This has hemp seed, Abyssinian and av­o­cado oils for when you need that ex­tra dose of hy­dra­tion and ra­di­ance. - KT

How de­hy­drated your skin is de­pends on how often you zip outdoors from the air­con­di­tioned in­doors, and back.

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