Nothing increases facial lines and wrinkles like dehydrated skin. All the anti-aging actives in the world, even those mentioned in my previous post, do not have as immediate and dramatic effect on the look of skin as well-hydrated skin has. Skin becomes less moist as we get older. In order to keep skin healthy and maintain dewy youthfulness, we must correct this dryness.
When I first started using Retin-A every night, my skin became incredibly dry – it pealed constantly – which was great for uncovering new skin cells, but not so good to look at. I tried several moisturizers and oils to counteract the dryness, but they did not really help. Stopping using the Retin-A was not an option because the known anti-aging benefits are too compelling, so I had to determine a better method of moisturizing. After trial and error and research, I found the solution to keeping my skin always well hydrated: Applying moisturizers in layers.
To hydrate skin after cleansing or after applying Retin-A at night, I apply a hyaluronic acid (HA) – based serum. HA is a humectant megastar ingredient that carries 1000 times its weight in water into your skin. I then apply a moisturizing cream that has an occlusor as a primary ingredient. An occlusor is an oil, butter or wax that stays on the surface of your skin and locks in the moisture from the humectant. Examples are dimethicone, mineral oil, shea butter and beeswax – just to name a few.
It is very important to use the occlusor after and on top of the HA especially in dry air – your heated home, or in arid climates.
Without the occlusor, water molecules will be pulled out of your skin and released into drier air – very bad for your skin’s health and appearance. If your climate is humid and moist, this step becomes less urgent.
Here is my routine when I am staying in very dry air for a period of time: I apply my HA serum, then mist my face with water and apply the occlusive moisturizer immediately on top.
This is also an excellent moisture boost for anytime you’d like your skin to have an infusion of water. There really is no substitute for well-hydrated skin. These extra steps I describe here are well worth it for glowing healthy skin.