There are so many factors that contribute to the ageing process of the skin – from environmental pollutants and UV damage, to loss of fatty tissue contributing to deeper wrinkles forming. While some of these factors have to do with our body’s natural processes, some factors are much easier to stay on top of. One such thing that could be causing your skin to look much older than it is (and is way easier to fix than you might think) is dehydration. “Dehydration can worsen the signs of ageing by making skin appear dull, dry and tight, [as well as] cause fine lines in the eye area,” explains Archana Pujary, Senior Formulation Chemist at A’kin.
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So, what is dehydrated skin?
Your skin is dehydrated when there is a lack of water in the top layer of the skin. As Archana explains “[this water] forms a critical barrier to the body’s external environment. Skin [becomes] dehydrated when it lacks a protection barrier achieved when using [the right] moisturisers and oils. Overexposure to the sun also increases dehydration.” But, don’t get dehydrated and dry skin confused – “dry skin is a condition that occurs due to lack of lipids and oils whereas dehydrated skin is due to lack of water in the top layer of the skin which forms a critical barrier against the external environment,” she says. While dry skin is generally easier to identify (think makeup flaking off halfway through the day, itching or flaking) it is important to note that both dry and oily skin can be dehydrated. Oily skin generally overproduces oil but can still be lacking water. A quick way to tell if your skin is dehydrated is the pinch test. Gently lift and release skin between your pointer and your thumb, if you notice prolonged wrinkling and the skin doesn’t bounce back as fast as it should, there’s a good chance your skin needs more hydration.
How do we target it?
There are a few key ingredients that work specifically to rehydrate skin and as a result minimise physical signs of ageing. Hyaluronic acid, echium oil and camu camu work together to “infuse skin layers with water, organise layers of the epidermis and seal the outer skin barrier, thereby protecting from external environment,” Archana says. “Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that draws in moisture to the skin, [as well as] echium oil, which delivers moisturising and protection benefits and omega-3 fatty acid to help smooth out fine lines,” she says. Camu camu fruit extract also contains a high percentage of vitamin C, which provides antioxidant protection from the environment. This is important as environmental stressors and pollution are a huge contributor to a loss of hydration in the skin. Ensuring this ingredient has a place in your routine works to combat this, helping your skin to retain that all important moisture.
“The [combination of ingredients] works together to nourish and act as an emollient barrier on the skin, address dehydrated skin and fight against the physical signs of ageing”, such as dull, dry and tight skin, as well as smooth fine lines and wrinkles. When it comes to integrating these anti-ageing game-changers into your routine, they are the most effective in creams due to their ability to “[improve] barrier properties by forming a film on the skin’s surface,” says Archana.
In order to effectively rehydrate and keep moisture locked in, the A’kin Age Defy Smoothing Day Cream has been designed to meet the skin’s hydration needs during the day, while the A’kin Age Defy Firming Night Cream is richer and more nourishing to actively work overnight. These formulas, combined with the A’kin Age Defy Lifting Eye Cream morning and night, allows for hydration and protection of the skin to improve the physical signs of ageing that come from dehydration.
Main image credit @gwenythpaltrow
Could your skin be dehydrated?