30 per cent…
…of skin is water. The rest is made up of proteins and lipids, as well as trace minerals.

Hydration keeps the PH balance in skin
The right pH balance keeps your skin firm and supple, and boosts recovery. Sufficient hydration can help skin attain a slightly acidic 5.5-pH balance, which locks in moisture and keeps out toxins. Too alkaline and skin can become sensitised, too acidic and breakouts happen – either way, collagen production plunges and sagging sets in.

Uh-oh, we’re in trouble
Keeping our skin hydrated is especially challenging in Singapore. The double- edged sword of blistering heat outside and arctic air-conditioning indoors means we are susceptible to both moisture loss and dehydration. So it pays to drink enough water throughout the day. Otherwise, switch on an air humidifier.

Know your aquaporins
Aqua, what? These are proteins that make up the network of water channels in our body, carrying water to different organs. Aquaporin 3 delivers water to cells in the deepest layers of the epidermis, while Aquaporin 9 does the same for the upper levels of the epidermis. Aquaporin 10, meanwhile, circulates water to the heart of skin cells, where it provides energy for processes such as collagen production, among others.

Dehydrated skin:
• Looks dull
• Appears uneven
• Feels rough
• Shows signs of fine lines and wrinkles
• Is vulnerable to UV damage and acne
• Can become sensitive

Ageing is a key culprit
Over the years, keratin, which protects the skin surface and binds water to the skin, deteriorates. This means the deeper skin layers can become exposed to, and damaged by, environmental aggressors like pollution and UV exposure. When keratin is compromised, your skin cannot reflect and diffuse light. Add slower cell regeneration and a drop in hydration, and your skin starts to look dry and dull – honey, you’ve lost that lovely glow.

Hydration is for everyone
Conventional moisturisers last two hours or less after application, so pick one that promises long-lasting wear. Even oily skin needs moisture, but use an oil-free formulation to keep pores clog-free. When the skin starts feeling dry, the oil glands try to protect it by producing more sebum, resulting in more shine.

 

This article was originally published in Simply Her July issue.