How does your Moisturizer Work?
Do you know how to tell if your moisturizer is actually keeping your skin hydrated? Many assume hydration is as simple as dry, flaky skin, or not. In reality, it’s much easier to tell! Read this blog if you’d like to know how moisturizers work and how to tell if yours is really working.
Hyaluronic Acid in Moisturizers
You can tell if your skin is hydrated very simply. Gently pinch an area of the skin anywhere on your body for a few seconds and let go. If the skin snaps back immediately, you’re probably hydrated! If it takes a few seconds to reshape, you should probably get a glass of water.
Hyaluronic acid is a popular skin hydration ingredient. It works to plump the skin, giving an anti-aging effect by hydrating it when found in skin creams. It holds 1000x its weight by acting as a humectant. This means it attracts water molecules and holds them to the surface of your skin, allowing hydration. It’s naturally found as a lubricant in your joints and the fluid of your eyes. It also possibly affects the way the body reacts to injury, helping to decrease swelling.
Certain seaweeds actually help promote hyalurionic acid production, naturally! Your body already produces it naturally, howveer, production slows as you age. “Type I collagen and hyaluronan [hyaluronic acid] are main components that have roles in skin fibrosis, wound healing, tissue remodeling as well as skin aging.” (Source: NLB)
Benefits of Seaweed in your Moisturizer
Some seaweed polysaccharides have been found to be more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. While seaweed works as a bioavailable carrier for many nutrients, seaweed by itself has many of it’s own hydrating properties. Check out our blog on Alginate for more info! One type of Laminaria, in another study, was found to give participants more moisture in the skin by creating a protective barrier creating less moisture loss.
The oils chosen in your moisturizer are also very important for what type of hydration you’re searching for. For example, olive oil has long been a dry skin staple. It contains fatty acids like palmitic, linoleic and oleic acids which dry skin craves. Another perfect oil to replenish hydration in your skin is Rosehip seed oil. Not only does this oil have anti-aging properties it’s an anti-inflammatory that helps heal the skin. It also contains fatty acids that protect and moisturize the skin. MCT oil is another good one to help heal and hydrate dry skin as it continues to retain that hydration and most importantly they are all non-comedogenic.
Dalton size and Why it Matters for your skin’s Hydration
More than 20 years ago, two scientists, Drs. Box and Meinardi, showed that molecules over 500 Daltons cannot penetrate the skin. This is called “The 500 Dalton Rule”. But, why is this important for skincare? Well, first, let’s talk about Dalton size. A Dalton size is the measured mass f a molecule, but in a very tiny scale. Using this rule, the mass of Vitamin C is 176, while mature collagen (yes, even if it is in skincare products), has a mass of about 120,000 Daltons, MUCH too big for your skin to absorb.
Even Hyaluronic Acid, mentioned above, varies in Dalton sizes between 5,000 – 20,000,000! But, this product can be an exception as it will still absorb water sitting on the surface of the skin, which prevents your skin from losing any of its own moisture. Although, the use of hyaluronic acid can be problematic when in a low-humidity environment, as it will then pull water from the skin instead of the air.
Pick and choose your moisturizers carefully, and stay educated on the reality of the marketing behind your favourite skincare products. Some of them may be stretching the truth!