We normally tend to associate our skin with nothing more than our appearance. Our skin however, is our largest organ and has several functions. Among other things, it protects our bodies from mechanical injury, harmful chemicals, pathogens and UV radiation. It also acts as a barrier to water loss and helps regulate body temperature.
It’s common knowledge that the human body consists of 70% water. This is necessary for the optimal functioning of our cells. It’s so important in fact, that in extreme cases, dehydration leads to death. Our skin cells also require water to function optimally. Water is constantly lost from the skin’s outermost layer, via evaporation, and in order to control the rate of evaporation from the skin, the skin’s integrity as a barrier must be preserved. “Skin barrier” is a term commonly used in skincare circles and refers to the skin’s outermost layer. Barrier integrity can be compromised by chemical insult, for e.g., the use of harsh cleansing products, mechanical injury, dry weather, and also due to sun exposure.
A compromised barrier will result in water being lost from the skin more quickly resulting in dehydration. Dehydrated skin looks dull because shrivelled up cells on the surface of the skin aren’t able to reflect light as well; the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is also exacerbated. The impact of dehydrated skin however, isn’t only cosmetic: dehydrated skin is also less resilient in the face of the environment. Dehydration can make cells shrivel up leading to gaps between cells in the outermost layer of the skin. This means that bacteria and other pathogens, and harmful chemicals, are able to gain access to the deeper layers of the skin leading to redness, sensitisation and inflammation.
The good news however, is that keeping skin hydrated is simple. Here are the key dos and don'ts:
Don’t use harsh, stripping cleansers, such as those that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, or soap.
Always be sure to moisturise after you cleanse, since even the most gentle cleansers, to some extent, remove the protective layer of oil on the skin’s surface, increasing the rate at which water is lost from the skin.
Drink plenty of water and restrict caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a diuretic and too much can cause the body to lose more water.
Be regular with sun protection, even if you stay indoors. Remember that windows can’t keep UV radiation out, and UV rays are capable of causing damage to the very DNA of your cells.
Use a moisturiser packed with hydrating ingredients, emollients and occlusives, to ensure that your skin is able to hold on to moisture.
Because hydration is so essential for the health of your skin, we’ve created a moisturiser that will give you just that, and a whole lot more. Our Carbamide Intensive Hydration Cream (CIHC) contains a high percentage of carbamide, also called urea, a substance that is naturally found in the skin. This is able to penetrate the skin’s outermost layer and helps the skin hold on to moisture. It also encourages exfoliation and softens the skin. CIHC also contains vitamin B5, which also helps the skin hold on to moisture.
In addition to carbamide and B5, CIHC also comes packed with other beneficial ingredients including shea butter, sunflower seed oil and pumpkin seed oil, which are excellent sources of essential fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants, and allantoin, which soothes the skin and promotes healing. What’s more? Although super moisturising and ultra hydrating, this moisturiser is completely non greasy, doesn’t clog pores and is suitable for all skin types! Dry, acne-prone skin? Pair CIHC with our Salicylic Acid Pore Cleansing Emulsion for the perfect zit fighting, skin rejuvenating combo!