Why water-based skin care could be the answer to your dry skin woes

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Why water-based skin care could be the answer to your dry skin woes

Announcing that h20 is the secret to hydration is like telling the world that Harry Styles was the most handsome member of One Direction: it seems painstakingly obvious, right? (Please, don’t fight me on this, you know I’m right). But in the era of oils and balms, sometimes we need a reminder that at its core, moisturising is about, well, literal moisture. Luckily, water-based skin care is completely committed to the hydration game – after all, what provides moisture better than actual h20? It’s like when you’re really thirsty: juice could quench you, and an iced latte would be damn refreshing, but they’re never going to hydrate or nourish quite like the real thing. Well, your skin feels the same. We spoke to Emma Hobson, Dermalogica’s Education Manager to get the info on the water-based formulas making a splash in the skin care space – drink up.

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What exactly is water-based skin care?

“Water based skin care means a formula that is an ‘oil in water vs. ‘water in oil’ emulsion, or even a product that is completely oil-free”, Emma explains. “This category of products was created to be exceptionally light in texture [and]  absorb rapidly into the skin [with] the main feature being hydration properties”, she tells us.


How do water-based formulas differ from oil-based ones?

It all comes down to texture. “Oil-based products are richer”, says Emma, “They supplement lost skin lipids (oils) and therefore help to protect the barrier of the skin. Water-based products are used on skin [that’s] lacking moisture; hence [their] key function is to supplement lost moisture preventing dehydration”, she says. Aka if you have dry skin, but hate heavy creams, water-based skin care could be the one. 


Will drinking literal h20 instead give me the same results?

“It’s not as easy as thinking that by drinking extra water your skin will be hydrated”, Emma explains. “It certainly helps, but it’s more complex than that. Hydrating products contain key ingredients called humectants, which very importantly ‘bind’ and ‘lock-in’ moisture, [so the effects are] instantly noticeable; they quench dry, thirsty skin leaving it soft and supple.”


What ingredients should we keep an eye out for optimum hydration?

In a twist that will shock nobody, hyaluronic acid is still the gold-standard in hydration. “HA is an absolute key ingredient, [as it’s a] hydrating super hero amazing at retaining moisture within the skin whi;e keeping it plump and moist. But in addition [to HA], many water based botanicals such as various algaes, green tea, rose water and purified water [are also great]”, says Emma.


Tarte Mermaid Skin Hyaluronic H20 Serum ($52, sephora.com.au)

Dermalogica Calm Water Gel ($73, dermalogica.com.au)

Tatcha The Water Cream ($104, mecca.com.au)

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum ($101, sephora.com.au)

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Toner ($48, sephora.com.au)

Laniege Water Bank Hydrating Gel ($52, sephora.com.au)

Main image credit: Getty Images What are your favourite water-based formulas? Do you prefer the gel-like textures?

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