Dryness is a common skin concern and skin type. More than half of older people have dry skin. Whether it is a temporary condition caused by outside factors like weather or harsh detergents, or a long-term skin type you’re faced with daily, dry skin can be easily treated in several ways. Showering, however, is not one of them. Despite the fact you’re putting water on your body, showering does not hydrate your skin.
When we think of dehydration, we think of a lack of moisture. So it would seem logical that by submerging your skin in water, you could rehydrate dry skin cells. But that’s not how to hydrate your skin. Showering can have the opposite effect. By understanding why showers don’t hydrate your skin, learning how skin layers affect water distribution, and identifying your skin’s issues, you can build a personalized skin care routine to effectively treat your dry skin.
- Showers cause skin dehydration for two reasons: skin is water-resistant and showers cause sweat.
- The skin’s layers impact how water affects the body’s hydration.
- Identify whether your dry skin is a skin type or a skin concern.
- Look for products with ingredients to help address your specific skin issue.
2 Reasons Why Showering Does Not Hydrate Your Skin
A long, hot shower does have benefits. It can relax muscles, open pores, and improve breathing issues with steam. But it does not hydrate skin, and there are two main reasons why.
1. Our Skin is Water-Resistant
The outer layer of our skin consists of oil buildup and dead skin cells, which creates a water-resistant barrier for our bodies. Skin absorbs several minerals, and some water may get past the barrier (which is why we see our fingers become wrinkly after a long shower). But water won’t penetrate the deeper layers of skin. The only way to truly hydrate the body is to drink water that can be carried by your bloodstream to the rest of your organs, tissues, and skin cells.
2. Showers Cause Sweat
A long shower causes your body heat to rise, sending a signal to your sweat glands to release perspiration. As moisture leaves your sweat glands, it draws heat away from your body and evaporates, lowering your temperature. You may not realize this is happening because the water from the shower hides the fact that you’re sweating. The longer the shower, the more you sweat, and the more water your body loses. In this way, showers cause your skin to become dehydrated.
How Skin Layers Impact Hydration
Skin is the body’s largest organ, accounting for more than 10% of your overall body mass. It serves to protect you from your environment, regulates body temperature, provides sensation, and retains water.
Skin is comprised of three layers:
- Epidermis: Surface layer of skin that offers the most protection.
- Dermis: Thick layer of tissue just beneath the epidermis. It contains capillaries, nerve endings, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
- Hypodermis: The deepest layer that connects your skin to the tissue of your bones and muscles.
When you drink water, your bloodstream carries moisture throughout your body and to the dermis layer of your skin. From there, it travels out through the epidermis before evaporating into the air.
Ceramides are fats that occur naturally in the body and hold together the skin cells of the epidermis. They help prevent damage and water loss to the skin. When the epidermis is weakened, slight cracks appear in the ceramides and allow moisture to escape from the skin. When too much water escapes, your skin becomes dry or dehydrated.
To replenish that water loss, dry skin needs moisturizers while dehydrated skin needs hydrating serums. Both work similarly to trap moisture at the epidermis and decrease the amount of water loss from your skin cells.
Is Your Skin Dry or Dehydrated?
Rough, flaky skin could be the result of dry or dehydrated skin. While they share many symptoms, they’re two very different issues that require different treatment.
Dry skin is a skin type where skin cells are lacking oil and need to be moisturized. The skin may feel itchy and tight and can be easily irritated. Dehydrated skin is a concern where skin cells are lacking water and need to be hydrated. This is caused by various factors, from air conditioning to a harsh skin care routine.
To learn how to know your skin type, take this easy skin analysis quiz. The results can help you determine the best course of action to treat your dry or dehydrated skin.
Identify Products That Address Your Specific Skin Issues
Once you know whether you have dry skin or dehydrated skin, you can begin to search for products with the ingredients to treat your needs.
Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Dry skin calls for oils to create a barrier along with the epidermis and trap moisture from escaping the skin. Look for moisturizers that contain any of the following ingredients:
- Hyaluronic Acid: Able to retain 1,000 times its weight in water, this ingredient goes deeper into the skin and helps plump up skin cells.
- Ceramides: These natural lipids help maintain a healthy balance of water and oil on the skin’s surface.
- Sugar beet root: Dry skin has a weak skin barrier, this natural extract helps to strengthen the barrier and balance the water inside and outside the skin.
- Fragrance free product is important for dry skin
Hydrating Serums for Dehydrated Skin
While moisturizers contain oils to help treat dry skin, hydrating serums contain humectants to replenish the skin’s water levels. The following ingredients are helpful for skin hydration:
- Glycerin: This common humectant draws moisture from the air to itself, helping to hydrate the skin’s surface.
- Natural ferment filtrate: Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, this ingredient doesn’t typically cause irritation but it may not be suitable for dry skin and/or in a dry environment. Natural ferment filtrate that stimulates natural hyaluronic acid production is a good alternative for dry skin.
- Ceramides: These lipids balance water and oil, so they’re important in moisturizing and hydrating.
- Honey: This natural ingredient works as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and help skin draw in moisture.
Develop a Personalized Skin Care Routine with Snowperk
Whether you have a dry skin type or are experiencing short-term skin dryness, Snowperk’s personalized product line can meet your individual needs. We can help you find your skin ID (skin type and concern) and guide you in developing a tailored skincare routine that’s right for you.
Find the right products to hydrate your skin today!