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How To Hydrate Skin: 9 Tips For Boosting Moisture
1/04/20238 min read
Dry skin happens to the best of us. But don't worry, you can keep your skin looking and feeling better with these nine tips on how to hydrate skin.
But before we dive into the tips, let's look at why hydration can make such a big difference in your skin’s appearance.
Table Of Contents
Why Your Skin Needs Moisture
When your skin is hydrated, it looks more youthful, feels softer to the touch, and helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming. Plus, when your skin is hydrated, it's better able to fight off the bacteria that can cause acne.
If your skin becomes too dry, it’s more prone to irritation and inflammation. Dry skin can also cause itchy patches, flaking skin, and rashes.
What Dries Out Your Skin?
Now that you understand why it's essential to keep your skin hydrated, let's look at some common causes of dry skin. These factors can all leave your skin feeling drier than normal:
- Extreme temperatures
- Dry air
- Harsh ingredients in your beauty and skincare products
- Being in the water for too long
- Dehydration in your body
- Skin conditions such as eczema
Symptoms Of Under-Moisturized Skin
No matter what is causing your dry skin, here are some symptoms you might notice.
Before you spy anything visually wrong with your skin, you may feel an annoying itch. This is commonly the first sign that your skin needs extra hydration and moisture.
Often, the itch intensifies at night, and sometimes your dry skin may feel so itchy that it’s hard to get comfortable.
As your skin dries out, you may start to see dry patches on areas of skin exposed to the air, such as your arms and legs. These will be rough and scaly in texture.
The patches can vary in size and color, but you'll notice a difference in how they look and feel compared to the skin surrounding the dry spot.
Dehydrated skin will lack its usual glow, leaving your face and body looking dull and tired. You’ll also commonly notice dark circles under your eyes due to how thin the skin is in this area. Even if you’re getting enough sleep, these circles can persist.
Dry skin is likely to cause cracking, particularly in areas of the body with a lot of movement. This includes your hands, feet, and knuckles.
The cracks can become deep and painful if you ignore them for too long. In some cases, they may even bleed if you're not careful. Also, open wounds (like these cracks) are prone to infection, so it’s important to keep them clean and contact your doctor if the problem persists.
If your skin feels more sensitive than usual, it’s likely lacking moisture. This can make it more prone to irritation and redness when exposed to the sun or chemicals in skincare products.
How To Hydrate Your Skin
So, how do you make sure your skin gets the moisture it needs? Read on for nine tips on how to hydrate your skin.
1) Apply A Moisturizer
One of the best ways to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy is to apply a moisturizer immediately after getting out of the shower or washing your face.
But you don’t want to slather just any moisturizer all over your body. Instead, look for products with gentle ingredients, like coconut oil, niacinamide, jojoba oil, and shea butter to help lock in moisture.
Botanical ingredients are also great, such as aloe vera and cucumber extract. These allow the healing power of nature to take over, calming your skin and restoring its glow.
2) Run A Humidifier
Dry air and dry skin go hand in hand. To hydrate your skin and make it look more radiant, try running a humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time.
Humidifiers fill the air with extra moisture so that your skin can take in what it needs. This simple step will greatly impact how moisturized your skin is at all times.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping your home's humidity levels between 30% and 50%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the air so you know how much more moisture you need to add.
3) Drink Plenty Of Water
We know how important it is to drink enough water, but how does it help keep your skin hydrated?
Simply put, when you don’t drink enough water, your body will use what’s available for other essential functions. When that happens, less moisture is available for your skin cells, which can become dry and brittle.
So how much should you drink? The recommended amount is six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But the amount of liquid you need can vary based on your weight, health, and activity levels. A doctor can help you set a personalized goal.
If you’re having trouble drinking enough water during the day, try adding flavor with fresh fruits and herbs. These additions can make it taste more interesting and encourage you to stay hydrated.
4) Use Good Shower Hygiene
It's important to keep your skin clean, but staying in the shower or bath too long can dry it out. Also, hot water is incredibly drying, so keep your shower temperatures on the cooler side.
You can also avoid over-washing by using soap sparingly and only where needed (for example, on your feet, armpits, and groin). But no matter where you wash, always choose a gentle cleanser with moisturizing power.
5) Apply Sunscreen
The sun’s UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin. In addition to leading to wrinkles and age spots, unprotected exposure to the sun can cause dehydration.
One way to prevent this is to apply sunscreen every day, even when you’re not heading outdoors for long periods. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
6) Take Care Of Your Skin’s Natural Barrier
Your skin tries to protect itself from the elements by having a natural protective barrier as the top layer. This barrier can help keep your skin moisturized and prevent dehydration.
But sometimes, your natural barrier gets damaged. To help keep it intact, avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing your skin too roughly. Instead, always opt for gentle options when caring for your skin.
7) Pay Attention To Your Diet
What you eat can affect how hydrated your skin is. For example, overeating sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation, while fatty acids found in foods like avocados, almonds, and walnuts may help keep your skin soft and supple.
When making changes to your diet, consider adding foods high in water content, such as cucumbers and watermelons. These naturally moisturizing foods can help hydrate your skin from the inside out.
8) Pick The Right Products
As we mentioned earlier, harsh chemicals can dry your skin out quickly. Look for products with hydrating ingredients from a company you can trust, like Bodewell.
Whenever you try a new product, do a patch test first on a small area of your skin to ensure it won’t cause any irritation. To do this, simply apply a tiny amount of the product to an area of your skin and wait 24 hours to ensure you don't react negatively.
9) Watch Out For Irritants
Skincare products aren't the only things that can irritate your skin and dry it out. Things like salt, chlorine in swimming pools, and even the wind can all take a toll on how hydrated your skin is.
The laundry products you use can also be a problem. Since your skin comes into close contact with your clothes and linens, the residue from your detergent can cause it to become dry and irritated.
Once you've identified anything in your environment that could cause dry skin, take steps to minimize your exposure. Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all list of irritants, so you may need to do a little detective work if nothing is getting rid of the dry patches.
Skin Hydration For The Win
Don't let dry skin weigh you down! With these nine tips, you now know how to hydrate your skin. Get ready to see how beautiful (and moisturized!) your skin can look with a few simple changes.
American Academy of Dermatology Association John Hopkins Medicine MedlinePlus The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)