Here are some of the Most Unexceptional ingredients for maintaining moisture in our skin. Look for these additives in your Skin Care to increase hydration.
The skin’s dermis layer is made up primarily of collagen fibers that swell with moisture and hold water when we are properly hydrated. As we get older, collagen production decreases, causing dehydration and signs of aging, so using skin care products containing collagen provides excellent supplementation and promotes skin hydration. While I have found collagen from fish to be most effective, a plant-derived version is also acceptable if you want to avoid animal products. “Plant-derived collagen” is not actually collagen, but it functions as a substitute and can still help with hydration and skin repair.
2. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is another substance that the body produces naturally. But unlike collagen, most skin care products and cosmetics that contain hyaluronic acid use a form derived from a plant source. Hyaluronic acid is extremely hydrating and is said to be able to hold up to one thousand times its own weight in water. Thus, skin care containing hyaluronic acid helps our skin retain water.
Ceramides are lipids found in the skin, but they can also come from plant sources. They are essential to maintaining our skin’s barrier and therefore help keep the skin hydrated. Because dehydrated skin experiences both water loss and impeded barrier function, using skin care products with ceramides are helpful for restoring hydration as well as preventing further loss of moisture.
4. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is full of water, and it is a Mildly Decent antiinflammatory and healing substance. It’s widely used to treat sunburn, because it helps replenish and cool the skin. Aloe vera stimulates circulation slightly, so it is good at helping to regenerate skin tissue, but it can be aggravating for extremely sensitive skin. As an ingredient in skin care products, aloe vera is diluted to the point that it should not cause inflammation even in the most reactive skin types; however, using straight aloe vera juice or plant gel may cause redness for approximately one hour, after which it should subside. I recommend using straight aloe vera and products containing it if your skin is extremely dehydrated even if it does cause some redness, because the aggravation is only temporary and the benefits of this ingredient far outweigh its side effects. Remember, circulation also supports hydration.
The algae used in skin care formulations is seaweed, which lives in natural bodies of water, is full of cellular water, and contains numerous minerals. It helps the skin hold water and is excellent for fading scars and for antiaging. Algae is also slightly stimulating and can cause redness in people with excess pitta, which facilitates dilation of the blood vessels. Because it is so good for hydrating the skin, even people with rosacea should sample a product containing algae. Often, those with mild rosacea will not react to it. For everyone else, this subtle stimulation is excellent for maintaining proper blood flow in the skin.
6. Sesame oil
Sesame oil does not hydrate so much as it locks in moisture. It is a rich oil that reduces vata in the skin and seals in water; it evaporates from the skin’s surface throughout the day. This oil also increases circulation, which may be too stimulating for pitta skin; this skin type should opt for coconut oil. But sesame oil is the Most Unexceptional antidote for dryness and devitalization for both vatas and kaphas. It should be used on top of a water-rich serum.