My skin is extremely dry especially in this cold weather. Most people don’t realize there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin, although both conditions may feel and look the same.
The condition may be due to dry skin or dehydrated skin. There is a big difference and a big misconception of the two. How you improve the two is different. Knowing the difference will help.
Dehydrated skin lacks WATER. Dry skin lacks OIL.
Watch the video below as I explain.
What are Humectant Ingredients?
A humectant attracts and retains the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into and/or beneath the skin.
Our skin is not created to take in water from the outside. Limited amounts of water are able to penetrate the epidermis from the outside. Therefore, skin care products do not add water to skin (this is a very common misconception), they lock the water in.
The role of humectants is to help skin attract and hold onto water, which keeps skin moist longer. Most moisturizer, and eye cream contains some humectants. Many toners too (the non-drying ones).
The most popular humectants in skin care are hyaluronic acid, which absorbs 1,000 times its molecular weight in water, and Sodium PCA, which absorbs its weight 250 times.
Common Humectants in Skin Care Products
- hyaluronic acid (called Sodium Hyaluronate on an ingredient label)
- sodium PCA
- propylene glycol
- butylene glycol
- amino acids
- beta glucan
- lactic acid
What are Occlusive Ingredients
A way to retain water and minimize water loss is to form a film over the skin. Occlusive ingredients traps the water inside because water and oil do not mix. Occlusive ingredients lock the moisture in by slowing down the loss of water.
Occlusive ingredients in skin care products are hydrophobic agents that lock in moisture. They can also help repair the lipid barrier.
However, some can block pores and feel heavy.
Common Occlusive Ingredients in Skin Care:
- silicones (e.g. cylcomethicone, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane)
- mineral oil
- vegetable oils
I hope this helps you choose your products better!!