It’s time for some real talk: We need to debunk a very common water myth once and for all. I always get frustrated when I read an interview with a lovely person, and she says something along the lines of, “Drinking water is so important for my skin feeling hydrated” or “My skin is so dry when I don’t drink enough water.”
But that’s not how our bodies work. Drinking water does not give you more hydrated skin.
This is not to say that water is not important. Drinking enough water, of course, is the most important thing to do for your overall well-being and health. But drinking it will not make your skin feel more hydrated or plump. Our bodies process water through the intestines, then absorb it through the bloodstream, and filter it through the kidneys. That’ll hydrate your cells inside your body, but cannot possibly reach the epidermis layers of the skin.
So, your skin’s hydration levels have very little connection with drinking water internally. Let’s stop saying this! (Let’s keep drinking 8-12 glasses of water though!)
But, that’s not to say your skin’s hydration levels are out of your control, quite the opposite. How you treat the surface of your skin is very much in your control. We took a page from one of our favorite aesthetician and skincare experts, Renee Rouleau, when she listed a few things that actually will drastically help you hydrate that epidermis.
A hydrating toner.
The trick is to use an alcohol-free version (alcohol-based toners are incredibly drying, throw those away). The second trick to using your toner for hydration purposes is to leave it on the skin damp, meaning you apply it—either with a cotton pad or by splashing it onto your palms and massaging it on your skin—after cleansing before you completely dry your face. When your skin is still damp from the toner, apply the next step (it’ll help the serum and moisturizer absorb deeper into the skin then). I’m in love with Rouleau’s Moisture Infusion Toner ($42.50); it’s incredible at removing leftover makeup, it deeply hydrates, and it just makes my skin feel so clean.
Serums can be super effective.
A serum’s hydration benefits are directly related to the science behind your moisturizer. Rouleau says that a moisturizer mainly acts as a protective sealant, so when a serum is applied under a moisturizer, it locks in that serum. And because you applied your serum on damp skin from your toner, it’s hydrating even more deeply. I swear by Osea Hyaluronic Sea Serum ($88), which is a mix of three different organic seaweeds and hyaluronic acid—which attracts 1,000 times its weight in water. And the seaweed extracts naturally have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, feeding your skin with major benefits and love.