Ultimate Guide to Skin Hydration

It may come as a surprise that many skin conditions can be aggravated or even attributed to poor skin hydration. In fact, dehydrated skin doesn't just cause physical dryness, but can also impact the appearance of pores, the development of acne and can cause redness and irritation. When we think about skin hydration, we might think about factors like our skincare routines and the ingredients we use. For example, many people use an extremely stripping and drying face cleanser that causes dehydration.

On the other hand, many people add ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid into their skincare routines to increase hydration. However, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for dehydration. Your solution will depend on several factors - particularly your cause of dehydration. Therefore, it's essential to understand how skin hydration works, the elements that impact it and exactly which products you should be using in your skincare routine to combat this.

What causes poor skin hydration?

To understand skin hydration, we must first look into what causes dehydration. Skin hydration is impacted by a variety of both internal and external factors. The most common causes of dehydrated skin include:

  • Weather and seasonal changes
  • The natural result of ageing
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Using harsh, stripping skincare products

Our skin faces a significant loss of moisture during seasonal changes, particularly during colder months. In cold weather, dry skin is caused by lower moisture levels in the air, accelerating what is known as transepidermal water loss. Furthermore, when temperatures drop, it’s common for skin to be exposed to external heating. By directly blowing heaters onto our skin to warm up, we further accelerate moisture loss and evaporation of the water in our skin.

It is also common for skin to naturally lose hydration as we age. The cause of this is the stratum corneum, commonly known as the outermost layer of skin, naturally decreasing in water content. Although xerosis (dry skin) can affect anyone of any age, it is more frequent in those over 60 years of age. 

Poor diet and nutrition are other common causes of dehydrated skin. In these cases, we are usually not getting enough vitamins and minerals into our diet to support a healthy skin barrier function. A compromised skin barrier will allow more moisture to evaporate from our skin, causing dehydration, irritation and even peeling.

Another common cause of poor skin hydration might be your skincare routine. Using ineffective skincare products will strip your skin of its natural oils, essential for maintaining a hydrated, functioning barrier.

How to improve dehydrated skin

So, how do we fix this? We can't control some things – like the weather and natural ageing. Hence, it’s up to us to combat the adverse effects of excessively cold and hot temperatures. We can do this by making changes to our lifestyles and skincare routines.

1. Make lifestyle changes

An effective way to improve your skin hydration is by literally hydrating internally. You should drink more water to hydrate your skin from the inside out. Drinking water will keep your whole body refreshed and hydrated, which helps to improve your skin’s moisture levels. Hydrated skin generally has better elasticity and more regulated oil production, improving the appearance of fine lines and minimising pores.

Diet changes can also majorly improve your skin hydration. By incorporating skin-loving foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals, you can improve your skin barrier function and allow more moisture retention. For example, foods rich in vitamin E and healthy fatty acids like avocados, nuts and seeds, and salmon can help nourish your skin barrier. By binding to water molecules in your skin, these vitamins assist in internal moisturisation.

2. Eliminate harsh skincare products

Harsh skincare products can massively impact your skin's barrier function and affect your overall skin hydration. Many face cleansers on the market contain abrasive, stripping ingredients to give skin a "squeaky clean" feeling. However, this actually does more harm than good. These cleansers dry out the skin by stripping away all of your skin's natural oils. There are two common effects of this. Some people suffer from dry, dehydrated skin that is susceptible to symptoms like redness, itching, peeling, flaking or cracking.

On the other hand, the dryness caused by these harsh cleansers can cause sebum production to go into overdrive. In this case, the skin becomes even oiler and is likely more prone to breakouts, enlarged pores and excessive shine. Therefore, it would be best to evaluate whether your face cleanser, serum and moisturiser contain harsh alcohols that irritate your skin.

3. Incorporate hydrating products into your skincare routine

Rather than using harsh and ineffective ingredients on your skin, it would help if you focused on incorporating gentle, nourishing skincare products backed by science. To repair your dehydrated skin, two types of ingredients are essential: humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture into the top layer of your skin, binding water molecules to the stratum corneum to increase skin hydration on the surface. You should lock in this hydration with an emollient. Emollients provide moisturising effects to further increase hydration and skin softening.

What products should you use to improve skin hydration?

As mentioned, a combination of humectants and emollients is essential for restoring your skin hydration.

Hydrate your skin with Hyaluronic Acid

A common humectant in skincare is hyaluronic acid. However, not all hyaluronic acids are created equal. The lower-quality hyaluronic acid serums on the market commonly contain large molecules that your skin cannot readily absorb. Therefore, these products aren't as effective as you might believe them to be. Instead, you should look for a HA serum developed with the same molecular size as the natural hyaluronic acid found in your skin. No Face's DERMATOLOGY SCIENCE FORMULA MOLECULAR HYALURONIC ACID HYDRATOR is a micro multi-molecular HA that contains multiple molecular sizes. This means it is easily absorbed by deeper skin layers. This product is ideal for hydrating and moisturising your skin by infusing the essential hydrating properties for volumised, luminous skin.

De-Stress Your Skin by Incorporating Niacinamide

Dehydrated skin is stressed skin! When trying to replenish your skin hydration, it’s essential to avoid traumatising your skin with ineffective ingredients that cause further stress. Processes like glycation, caused by excess glucose in skin fibres, can trigger internal reactions which induce oxidative stress. This can severely impact your skin’s ability to regenerate and hydrate. A product like our DERMATOLOGY SCIENCE FORMULA GLYCA SKIN DE-STRESSOR is ideal for effectively rejuvenating your skin. Formulated with clinical-grade active niacinamide, Matrixyl 3000 and macro molecular hyaluronic acids, this serum targets glycation concerns, repairs the skin barrier, hydrates and protects your skin.

Improve Skin Hydration with a Barrier Repair Cream

Repairing your skin barrier is an essential step to improving your skin hydration. Barrier repair creams are formulated to heal, strengthen and enhance your skin's natural barrier function, whether the cause is internal or external. An effective barrier repair cream will stop transepidermal water loss, heal existing wounds and shield your skin from irritants. We recommend incorporating our ACTIVITA® VITAL CREAM into your skincare routine to improve your skin barrier function. The Vital Cream features ceramides, micro shea butter and squalene to nourish and heal your skin, building resilience over time. Other benefits of this product include free-radical fighters that will reduce signs of hyperpigmentation and promote a more even-looking skin tone.

Use a Mask for Rapid and Intense Rehydration

A revitalising emollient mask can offer your skin instant relief from symptoms of dehydration like redness and irritation. It is common for skin to become stressed and damaged by environmental factors. So, using an emollient product to moisturise and condition your skin deeply can massively improve the look and feel of your skin throughout the day. Our ACTIVITA BE ACTIVE CONDITIONING MASQUE SKINCARE FACE MASK is the perfect masque to offer your skin the rapid rehydration, conditioning and moisture it needs. The innovative micro molecular delivery system means your skin will easily absorb this mask, and you will see results in less than a minute.

Don’t forget your delicate under-eye area!

Did you know the skin under your eyes is around ten times thinner than the skin on your face? It's essential to pay attention to this incredibly delicate area since the skin is more susceptible to effects of dehydration like dark circles, puffiness and sagging. To re-energise your eye area, incorporate a lightweight cream like our ACTIVITA ACE ++ EYE CREAM. A lightweight cream is essential for this area, as heavy creams weigh down the delicate skin, causing further sagging and wrinkles. ACE++ contains easily absorbed small molecules to hydrate and brighten your undereye. In addition, essential Vitamins B5, K and C provide a soothing effect for stressed, dehydrated undereyes while simultaneously correcting signs of dark circles and puffiness.


NO FACE is an innovative next-generation clean skincare brand. Next-Gen Skincare means NO Toxin, NO Fragrance, NO BS, NO Bias against skin types, NO Unfair treatment to the environment and workers. With patented technologies and researched new ingredients that are more effective, selective, sustainable, and bio-friendly, NO FACE is a leading social impact-aware skincare brand towards 100% sustainability.

Take a 4D assessment to find out your real skin type. Consult with our accredited advisor for skin-matching products through support@noface.com.au

For more information, visit noface.com.au

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