Trans-epidermal water loss
What is it? Well, just about the time we reach our late 20’s (when we least expect it), biological aging creeps in. One biological sign of aging is that our skin cells experience a loss of water (trans-epidermal water loss). Consequently, water is a key component of good skin care.
Topically and Internally
The largest organ of the body, our skin needs water to protect the entire body from external elements. Our cells are made up of about 70% water. Sufficient water in skin cells is what gives the skin its healthy glow, but our skin needs water in two ways: internally and topically. So, when we see skin that appears to be leathery and prematurely wrinkled, we are actually seeing a lack of water in the tissues of the skin. Anyone over 30 should be applying a topical drink of water for their skin – in other words, a humectant (a gel hydrator).
Humectants bind to moisture within the skin, attracting up to 1000 times their own weight in water. Humectants truly assist the skin in retaining moisture, which will plump tissue and reduce the formation of wrinkles and create a smooth, supple surface to your skin. This gives your skin a beautiful, healthy, youthful glow.
Oil or Water
Other indicators of topical water loss of the skin are: dehydration, dryness, irritation, resistive blackheads, milias (whiteheads), lines, wrinkles and congestion. Tissues that have these indicators will be resistive to a cream containing a big fat oil molecule, yet are more responsive to a gel hydrator (water molecule) that contains sodium hyaluronate – the preferred humectant of choice. In addition, humectants have the ability to penetrate further below the surface of the skin, and latch on to moisture.
Any skin type can lack hydration. Even oily and acneic tissues can be more vulnerable because of harsh acne skin care products that dry out the skin’s surface, leaving it more irritated. But with a proper cleansing and exfoliating program, any skin at any age will greatly benefit from a water attracting gel hydrator.
So give your skin a big drink of water each day. Get your gel on, and watch the transformation happen before your very eyes!
Margie Carr is a California State Board Licensed Clinical Esthetician and owner of Reflections Skin Oasis.