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How to Properly Layer Your Routine for the Ultimate Hydration

How to Properly Layer Your Routine for the Ultimate Hydration
Writer and expert1 month ago
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Hydration is vital to the overall appearance, health, and essential functions of our skin. Aside from hydration, the moisture level of the skin also plays a vital role in maintaining hydration by keeping it from evaporating. So, what's the difference between hydration and moisture and where do facial oils fit in a skin care routine? Believe it or not, there's a proper order in which you should be applying your skin care routine to achieve the optimal balance of both hydration and moisture.

Understanding Hydration vs. Moisture Hydration refers to the water content within the skin, which is crucial for maintaining the skin's overall elasticity, plumpness, and health. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are popular ingredients to look for to increase water content and effectively hydrate skin due to their water-binding properties. Moisture, on the other hand, refers to the oil or lipid content on the skins surface which helps to lock in hydration from humectants and prevent it from evaporating.

Where do Facial Oils Come In? Let’s visualize a bottle of water, if we drop a teaspoon of oil into that bottle what happens next? The oil naturally separates and rises to the top- this is because oils are hydrophobic or “water fearing”. When applied to the skin, a facial oil will sit on the surface layer to help prevent hydration loss, it but lacks the ability to attract water into the deeper layers of skin where it’s needed most. In other words, a facial oil will help to lock in hydrating goodness from your other products, but it lacks the ability to draw and bind water into the deeper layers of the skin.

Layer the Right Way To address your skin's unique needs while also prioritizing hydration, layering is key. Here's what your routine would look like:

1. Cleanse: Start with a non-stripping cleanser to remove impurities and prepare the skin for the rest of your routine. We love Replenishing Cleanser to both cleanse and deliver deep facial hydration while maintaining moisture and levels with ceramides, glycerin and vitamin B5.


2. Antioxidant: During the daytime reach for a vitamin C serum that prioritizes moisture, like C E Ferulic. This award-winning formula includes 1% vitamin E, an antioxidant that also helps to replenish skin lipids. It only needs to be applied once daily in the morning and will always be your first step after cleansing.


3. Hydrating Essence: For an additional hydration boost, an essence is an excellent option to add to your routine — they're lightweight, packed with hydrating ingredients, and can even be used throughout the day for a skin refresh. Phyto Corrective Essence Mist is a hydrating botanical facial mist formulated with a 6.2% blend of hyaluronic acid and glycerin to draw and retain water into the skin.


4. Corrective Serum: Apply a serum containing humectants like hyaluronic acid to help attract and retain water while visibly smoothing skin. We loves these from SkinCeuticals for their double-duty benefits; not only do they impart long-lasting hydration, they also address and help treat specific concerns in addition to long lasting hydration:

  • Hydrate + plump with H.A. Intensifier
  • Hydrate + exfoliate with Retexturing Activator
  • Hydrate + soothe with Phyto Corrective Gel
  • Hydrate + restore radiance with Hydrating B5 Gel

Plus, you can target multiple skin woes by adding more than one to you routine.


5. Moisturizer: Follow up with a moisturizer that contains a blend of humectants and lipids to lock in moisture while supporting skin barrier function. Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 checks all these boxes and more. This anti-aging corrective cream features a first to market ratio of 2% ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids along with glycerin to synergistically increase hydration for visibly radiant skin.


6. Sunscreen: During the day, always finish your routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. We love Daily Brightening UV Defense SPF 30. Not only does this formula give the skin an amazing lit from within glow, but it also keeps skin hydrated with 7% glycerin.


About Those Facial Oils Facial oils are not able to hydrate the skin on their own, but they can provide an occlusive barrier to the top of your skin to help lock in hydration. How often you apply an oil depends on your skin type; drier skin types can benefit from a twice-daily application, while oily skin (yes, you can benefits from an oil, too!) may only need to apply at night. To properly incorporate an oil in your morning routine, apply your facial oil after your hydrating serums and moisturizer but before SPF, and in the evening apply as your last step after serums and moisturizer.

Writer and expert
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