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  • Why is hydration so important?

    We’ve all been told that water is important for your skin and we tend to accept this without really understanding why. But hydration is indeed vital for healthy skin and many skin problems may actually be worsened, or even caused, by dehydrated skin.

    What if skin cells do not have enough water?

    Skin cells, like all cells in our body, are made up of water and without water they cannot function properly. If skin cells do not have enough water, the damage will make itself known by turning your skin dry and flaky, making it feel tight and uncomfortable, decreasing elasticity, resilience and firmness, and increasing susceptibility to fine lines and wrinkles. Water replenishes the cells, and makes your skin plumper, more supple, and more radiant. Hydrated skin also ensures a healthy protective barrier. Our protective barrier is there to protect us from the harmful elements in our environment that are often unavoidable – pollution, sun and UV radiation and extreme temperatures, cigarette smoke, dust and smog. Without protection, these environmental factors can exacerbate water loss causing further dehydration.

    Our skin is more prone to dryness in extremes of temperature but keeping skin hydrated is important all year round.

    Make sure your skin remains properly hydrated

    You can take some simple steps to make sure your skin remains properly hydrated. Firstly, wash with lukewarm water instead of hot water. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils which will accelerate dryness and dehydration. Moisturize – this may sound obvious, but many people do not always understand the importance of moisturizing, and moisturizing with a product that suits your skin to lock in hydration and maintain a healthy barrier protection. Barrier protection can also be enhanced by using an SPF, for example, to protect against harmful UV rays that have an extremely drying effect on the skin. Exfoliate, but gently and not too often, to remove dead cells and allow water to absorb more easily.

    The importance of drinking water

    And then there is your diet – we’ve all heard about the importance of drinking water, but why is it so important? We lose water in significant quantities every day, often without realizing, so it is important this supply be replenished. As well as drinking water, you can boost your water intake by ensuring your diet contains certain foods that are great for hydration – fatty fish rich in omega-3 oils, such as salmon and tuna, avocado and nuts that contain vitamin E, olive oil which contains both vitamin E and omega-3, and nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, beetroot, spinach, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes. It is also important to be aware that caffeine and alcohol can have drying effects on the skin by sucking out moisture, to these should be consumed in moderation. And the more active you are, the more you sweat, and the more water you’ll need.

    Can you over-hydrate your skin?

    Well, if you are prone to oily skin then you probably don’t need as much moisturization as someone with dry skin, and over-moisturizing can clog pores and lead to breakouts. The best thing to do is find a light, gentle moisturizer that is suited to your skin type to ensure a healthy balance.

    If you have or are worried about dry skin, the pHformula Hydra Serum is a concentrated product that hydrates the skin at the very deepest surface layers. Recommended for all skin types to intensively boost hydration, the Serum contains hyaluronic acid and a 3D hydra complex that boost collagen and hydration and work away on fine lines and wrinkles.

    For maintenance, pHformula’s Vita C Serum is particularly effective on skin showing signs of photo-ageing (ageing caused by light), dehydrated skin, and fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in the synthesis of collagen mean it is an essential product for skin health, and pHformula’s vitamin C in concentrated form gives skin that extra boost while enhancing skin brightening to a superior level.

    For dehydrated and dry, very sensitive skin, pHformula S.O.S Rescue Oil has been designed to help get your skin back on track. It contains argan, sweet almond, jojoba, sesame and olive oils for that extra hydration boost, and vitamins C and E to give your skin the nutrients it needs. This unique combination of oils and naturally-sourced actives work to infuse the skin with a healthy glow, improve collagen production and visibly firm the skin, all the while providing a natural barrier protection.

    And for all skin types, the pHformula Hydra Gel Mask is a refreshing, moisturizing and calming mask that soothes dry and irritated skin. It is created with Hyaluronic acid – essentially a molecular sponge that ensures extensive hydration; chicory root extract to tighten the skin, increase collagen synthesis, and visibly remove signs of fatigue and dehydration, and fructose, to retain moisture in the skin. The combination of these ingredients strengthens the skin’s natural barrier, reduces water loss, and encourages a smooth and supple complexion.

    Just as you get thirsty, so does your skin. It is important to listen to what it is telling you. Tight, dry, uncomfortable skin needs hydration and care – so keep the thirst quenched for happy, healthy skin.

    Petru van Zyl
    Petru van Zyl

    Petru van Zyl is the founder of pHformula and one of South Africa’s leading skincare therapists with over 18 years of experience to share.

    Petru is also a researcher and author of some of the most acknowledged and influential educational material used and applied in more than 28 countries today.