For many people, skin moisture is the main driver of smooth texture, natural radiance, and good skin health. This is why a majority of the topical skin products on the market emphasize their ability to restore skin moisture.
But the way your skin looks and feels also largely depends on your lifestyle, including diet, exercise, sleep, work-life balance, and mental well-being.2
. So is the key to maintaining nourished, moisturized skin engaging in a healthier lifestyle, choosing the proper topical products, or both? From the foods you eat to the ingredients you choose, we’ll be exploring the best ways to boost skin moisture from the inside out. But first, we must understand what it means to have moisturized skin across your entire body.
What Does it Mean to Have Moisturized Skin?
In its most technical sense, skin moisture refers to the presence of water within the various layers of the skin. Moisturized skin has a robust protective layer, known as the "moisture barrier," able to lock in trace amounts of water present in the skin layers. Therefore moisturizers aim to fortify the skin's moisture barrier to retain water content and prevent water loss in skin cells. Adequately moisturized skin helps prevent obvious conditions such as dryness, but it also helps prevent more complex skin conditions, such as acne and oiliness. 3
And because most acne treatments often dry the skin out, moisturizers have a double down effect against acne by keeping the drying and irritating effects of other products at bay. When choosing the right skin moisturizer, you will find that there is a range of topical skin care products
available, from light to very heavy ones. The thicker moisturizers are usually more effective at locking in moisture, but often at the expense of including more oils, potentially leading to a greasier feel. Topical moisturizers are just one part of the equation, though; you'll need a lifestyle overhaul to moisturize your skin from the inside out.
What factors deplete moisture in your skin?
The most common culprits of thirsty skin are ingredients present in every-day products and materials: harsh soaps, hot water, and stripping cleansers. Additionally, underlying skin conditions, such as the following, can deplete moisture in your skin:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Irritant contact dermatitis
- Cutaneous lymphoma
There are also environmental factors to consider when it comes to dehydrated skin, including:
- Seasonal changes
- Dry weather
- Cigarette smoke
- Sun exposure
Some topical products containing the following ingredients also lead to skin dehydration, which can contribute to an uneven skin tone
all over the body:
- Alcohol, which is often present in sanitizers
- Bar soap
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Essential oils
Why Is My Skin Dry Even When I Moisturize?
If you see dry skin, you may instinctively reach for your moisturizer and lather it on. Your skin, however, may go back to its dry appearance within minutes. There can be several reasons for persistent dry skin.
- You're not exfoliating enough. Dead skin cells may gather over time on the surface, leaving your skin feeling and looking rather dry.
- Harsh soaps can strip your moisture barrier, leading to low moisture retention. Soaps with isopropyl alcohol, fragrances, and sulfates tend to be the worst culprits.
- Hot, prolonged showers also strip your skin of its protective oily layer made up of sebum. Try showering in lukewarm water, and aim for 5-minute showers.
- A lack of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, and Zinc can lead to thirsty skin. You must obtain these through supplements and the best foods for skin repair.
- Aging is an inevitable process, and you'll notice dryer skin as you age. Mature skin requires extra TLC to combat dryness.
- You might need to swap your regular moisturizer for one clinically proven to improve the skin barrier and water retention- Try OneSkin’s OS-01 Topical Supplements, powered by the OS-01 peptide, scientifically proven to improve skin barrier function and decrease skin’s water loss.
Is Skin Lacking Moisture A Sign Of Vitamin Deficiency?
Low levels of vitamin D may cause dryness. Conversely, high levels of Vitamin D in blood have been known to boost skin moisture. Collagen is a type of protein that makes up most of your skin's dry weight and improved levels of collagen can increase skin moisture. Consider using products with ingredients proven to boost skin’s natural ability to produce collagen, such as OneSkin’s OS-01 peptide, which can be an effective and targeted way to improve collagen levels in skin. Vitamin C aids collagen production and locks in skin moisture as well. Studies have shown that increasing your vitamin C intake through diet has several benefits for the skin, including skin hydration. Niacinamide is a topical version of vitamin B3. It is a key ingredient in many topical skin health products and has been thought to lead to generally smoother, better-hydrated skin. It does so by effectively trapping skin moisture from evaporating into the air. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents cell damage throughout the body. It is also present in sebum, the natural oil on the skin. There are indications that Vitamin E makes moisturizers work more effectively. Sebum levels, and by extension, Vitamin E levels decline with age and environmental factors.
Why is Moisturizing Important for Healthy Skin Aging?
As we age, our skin starts to produce less sebum, cell regeneration and turnover slows, and collagen and elastin levels decline, leading to a weakened skin barrier and losses in skin moisture across the entire body. All these factors lead to visible signs of aging, making maintaining adequate skin moisture an effective way to combat skin aging .
How Long Does it Take to Replenish Your Skin's Moisture Levels?
With the right ingredients, dehydrated skin typically bounces back within two weeks. After that, it's a matter of maintaining skin hydration by using products that promote skin health on the cellular level and by engaging in a healthy lifestyle. That being said, acne-prone skin might take longer to recover, especially if you're undergoing other treatments.4
During the recovery process, you should keep your skin care routine as minimal as possible. Avoid any new products and active ingredients to give your skin some breathing room. To figure out which products were causing dehydration in the first place, remove them one by one. Start with cleansers and toners, then move on to serums and moisturizers, and then so forth.
What are the Ways that you can Boost Skin Moisture Naturally?
In addition to using topical products, such as a peptide moisturizer
to improve skin health, it’s ideal to boost skin moisture naturally through healthy lifestyle habits.5
There are many proven ways to increase skin moisture without exclusively relying on skincare products:
- Get enough sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours.
- Drink plenty of water, but don't overdo it.6
- Make sure that your diet consists of enough healthy fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, walnuts, soy, fortified eggs) and Omega-6 fatty acids (some baked goods, cooking oils, poultry, grains). 7
- Avoid showering more than once a day, and keep it within 5-10 minutes. Additionally, try to use lukewarm water over hot water.
- Limit your intake of coffee and alcohol.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes.
- Use a humidifier in dry weather, preferably set to 40-60%.
What are Ways You Can Boost Skin Moisture Using Topical Products?
These products play a crucial role in either fortifying or depleting skin moisture:
Pick creamier cleansers or those with low levels of surfactants. Try not to use bar soaps since their pH level is too high. Moisturizers are quite important. While they often contain humectants, these are not always interchangeable. Moisturizers fortify your skin's barrier to improve moisture retention, while humectants are substances that attract moisture. Here are three of the major humectants to consider including in your face and body care routine
- Glycerin is a well-known humectant. It is manufactured by combining water and fat, usually vegetable oil.
- Urea is often considered a moisturizer ingredient, but it also has humectant properties.
- Hyaluronic acid is a component of glycosaminoglycan. This acid occurs naturally in the layers of the skin and can hold several times its weight in water. Because hyaluronic acid attracts and holds onto water molecules, it is best applied to damp skin to avoid pulling out water molecules from within your skin's deeper layers.
The best topical body supplements
not only contain effective humectants and moisturizing ingredients; they also boost your skin's natural ability to promote and retain moisture.
What Products Improve the Skin's Natural Ability to Retain Moisture?
OneSkin’s Topical Supplements are powered by the OS-01 peptide, which has been scientifically proven to increase the activity of genes associated with the natural production of hyaluronic acid. This means that the peptide improves your skin's natural ability to produce hyaluronic acid and retain moisture on its own. OneSkin's Topical Supplements also contain three sizes of hyaluronic acid in its formula to penetrate the different layers of the skin effectively. In a twelve-week clinical study, participants experienced an improved barrier function of +15% by consistently using OneSkin's Topical Supplements.
- Achieving skin moisture can be achieved by a combination of skin health products and a healthy lifestyle.
- Like all other organs of your body, your skin requires a certain amount of water to function and appear healthy. This is why the skin has a "moisture barrier" to lock in water molecules and maintain nourished, plump skin.
- The most common reasons behind skin dehydration are environmental factors (age, sun exposure, overwashing) and using ingredients that degrade your skin’s barrier (alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, essential oils).