If you’re anything like me (booked and busy) you probably like your daily routines to be short and simple. Twelve step skincare is great if you have the time and money, but it doesn’t take that to have great skin. There are really only a few steps that are absolutely essential for all skin types:
- Treating/Hydrating (Serums, Toners, Acne Patches)
- Moisturizing (Creams)
- Protecting (SPF)
Where Moisturizing Happens in Your Routine
Hydration/Treatment and Moisturizing can sometimes mistakenly be clumped into one. For example, serums and toners usually work to target a skin issue (acne, redness, hyperpigmentation). These aren’t always moisturizing, but are usually hydrating. Most times treatments come in water-based vehicles whereas moisturizers typically work to lock in hydration (usually oil based). A good rule of thumb is using the watery products first and follow up with the thicker, oil based ones. As a cosmetic chemist, I like to cleanse first and follow up with a serum targeting my acne prone skin, and add a thick moisturizer (with SPF in the AM and without in the PM) to lock in my serum and active ingredients, as well as protect.
Role 1: Hydration & Occlusion
Your skin is constantly losing water, which is technically referred to as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The water in the deeper layers of the skin works to hydrate the skin cells and keep them plump, or shall I say thic (et. al J. N. Kraft, BSc, Skin Therapy Letter). That water evaporates often, and for those of us with dry skin, more often than usual. So hydrating is super important for dry skin, but for normal skin (by normal I mean the skin type, what even is normal lolll) hydrating is good to add additional water, preventing dryness.
Almost all moisturizers contain ingredients that lock in water, helping to stop water loss, known as occlusives. These work by creating a hydrophobic (water-hating) barrier on the skin (et. al J. N. Kraft, BSc, Skin Therapy Letter). Studies have shown that products containing occlusives like petroleum jelly, in concentrations lower than 5%, can reduce TEWL by a GOREGEOUS 98% (et. al J. N. Kraft, BSc, Skin Therapy Letter).
How is Hydration Measured?
- You might be asking, “how do you even quantify the amount of water in the skin?” but it's easier than you might think. Researchers use many instruments, but two are used the most. The first is a Corneometer, which contains a probe that measures how much water is in the skin, using a small electrical current (although it’s a bit more complicated than that) (et. al Barkat Ali Khan, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology).
- The second is called a Tewameter (or as I like to call it, the TEWL tool, hehe). This one also has a probe attached with small sensors inside that measure how much water is in the air that blows over the skin, calculating water loss instead of just water content (et. al Barkat Ali Khan, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology).
Role 2: Protect Your Skin Barrier
Your skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin which protects you from outside elements that might cause harm (germs, harmful bacteria, illness). It must be protected at all costs! We believe that when you feel good, you do good, so a healthy skin barrier and microbiome really is one of the most important contributors to a healthy body and life.
After all this information about moisturizers, we bet you’re craving the perfect moisturizer that provides hydration, occlusion, and skin barrier protection, huh? Ha, lucky you, we will be launching JUST that very soon. We have developed a moisturizer that works to do all of the things mentioned above, and more! Our biomimetic (aka mimics the biology of the skin) Liquid Skin moisturizer contains ingredients like shea butter (occlusive), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3 for sebum control), and most importantly the MULTI-Hydrating Complex with amino acids, lactic acid, and ceramides (similar to moisture in skin cells). This combination is sure to meet all of your skin’s moisture needs, times like 1,000. Be sure to sign up for our waitlist to ensure you get YOUR hands on it first!
Written by Alayna Bouie, BSPS, MSPS, founder of Shereen Cosmetics
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AS MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TO TREAT, CURE, PREVENT, OR DIAGNOSE CONDITIONS OR DISEASES; AND IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW TREATMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS.
Visio SCAN® VC98, Corneometer MPA 5 and Tewameter MPA 5 - Researchgate. www.researchgate.net/profile/Shahiq-Uz-Zaman/publication/281314255_Visio_ScanR_VC98_Corneometer_MPA_5_and_Tewameter_MPA_5/links/55e1488e08aecb1a7cc6435e/Visio-ScanR-VC98-Corneometer-MPA-5-and-Tewameter-MPA-5.pdf.
Kraft, J. N. Moisturizers: What They Are and a Practical Approach to Product Selection. www.beauty-review.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Moisturizers-what-they-are-and-a-practical-approach-to-product-selection.pdf.