Hydration Essentials

March 30, 2017

With every new season, comes a new set of challenges for your skin. During Fall and Winter, cold temperatures holding less moisture in the air can cause skin to dry out quicker, provoking your complexion to grow dull as a result. During Spring and Summer, the main concerns are sun protection and humidity so we ramp up the SPF and in some cases stockpile blotting papers. With that said, Summer doesn’t mean you should pull back on administering high doses of hydration to your skin – if anything, you should kick it up a notch. Having lived in Las Vegas my entire life, I have become all-too familiar with scorching heat and how the effects of such can play out on the skin. I’m talking dry patches or general dryness, redness, tightness, a condition that feels like your face can split apart any second but I have no idea what its scientific name is, etc. If during any time my skin starts to yield warning signs in relation to aforementioned issues, my only tried and true solution has always been: hydration – and I’m not just talking about gulping water. During the Summer, I try to limit my sun exposure to an absolute minimum – basically, out of necessity only do we go outside because anywhere from 110 and up kills the soul slowly when leaving the confines of an air-conditioned house. Besides limited sun exposure, I also hold myself to a firm set of guidelines assuring that my skin stays optimally hydrated and never goes thirsty. And for today’s post, I’ve gathered some of my go-to hydrating essentials that help save not just mine, but maybe your skin as well this coming Summer season!

And as I’m writing this it’s 90 degrees outside … it’s only March.

Sheet masks are absolutely essential in my daily routines. In this recent post I went into thorough detail explaining the why and how of sheet masks, including the long-term skin and hydration benefits they provide. Sheet masks are predominantly used to deliver full and high doses of key product to the skin in a short amount of time with better penetration of its active elements. Not to mention they give skin the maximum amount of hydration by locking in moisture unveiling a supple and radiant complexion in return. From a hydration standpoint, sheet masks are the most effective out of any masking type.

One of my favorite deep hydrating masks is the Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask. It’s all in the name and this is a perpetual skin, if not life saver. This is a hypoallergenic mask made of natural fiber and botanicals. If intense hydration is what you’re looking for, I highly suggest this one. It’s a super deep moisturizing mask formulated with allantoin and witch hazel for continuous moisture. I love feeling the soothing cooling sensation on my skin when I use this. It’s like a fresh breath of air. After I take it off, my skin looks plump, smooth and hydrated. Just utterly refreshed and illuminated. In my opinion, this is the ultimate reset button for dry, tight and tired skin, as it will instantly perk the face back up.

The days where my skin is so parched that it almost hurts are very few and far between, that being said, they do happen and especially during the Summer. You’d think that it would be the other way around since Winter air has less moisture retention, but for me it’s the total opposite as I find myself outside a bit more and with that comes both dry heat as well as sun exposure. The most affected areas are always the apples of my cheeks as well as my nose, these areas become increasingly red and feel very tight due to dryness to the point where it almost hurt to smile. Most of the time the Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask performs exactly as I need it to, but on those days when in need of something slightly more powerful I turn to the Dr. Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution. The Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution is a cellulose sheet mask that deeply hydrates, replenishes, and protects skin’s own moisture. This mask in particular is like hydration therapy. It immediately hydrates dry skin due to lack of moisture while aquaxyl enhances moisture retention and strengthen barrier function. Literally perfect when I’ve spent a particularly large amount of time outside in one day offering instant relief with a nice cooling and soothing effect. At first glance this mask pretty much works the exact same as the Water Replenishment mask, however I do find it to be quite a bit more intense as far as moisturizing properties go and the effects of such also last a little bit longer.

If I had to recommend any of the two masks I would say it depends on your skin criteria. For those who have common dry skin issues, the Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask would work just fine. This is personally one of my favorite daily go-to sheet masks virtually the entire year regardless of season because of the instant hydration factor. For those who have more abnormal dry skin, or in certain cases painful, I definitely recommend the Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution as it’s a lot more potent with targeted jets that enhance moisture retention and strengthens the skin’s barrier function. In worst case scenario when my skin, especially the cheek apples, become so dry that they are red, feel tight and develop that odd shininess followed by little rings of flaking skin, I instantly go into hydration therapy mode with this mask using one every single day for at least 3 consecutive days. Usually one mask treatment will calm down my skin but I do a few extra days for measure so it can heal fully itself and bring the moisture barrier levels back up.

Next is a standard apply-rinse mask for an added moisture boost. Recently I redeemed the Fresh Forever 500-point beauty perk from Sephora which is a roundup of some of Fresh’s biggest hits, and included the Rose Face Mask, This one has been a game changer for me, in the past few months I have been actively experimenting with different masking types and most made me breakout instantly – this mask did not. It has become one of my favorite gentle moisturizing masks. For a traditional mask, this one adds enough moisture to soothe dry skin and makes it glow without a heavy feel. I love how it instantly cools down redness and otherwise slightly irritated skin. The texture is kind of odd but it leaves my face feeling very soft afterwards. It has the most wonderful subtle rose scent making it kind of therapeutic at the same time. A while ago I had a sample of their Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask and it made me break out in such a bad way the next morning that I instantly threw it out, this Rose Face Mask however though has been amazing.

A new favorite daily moisturizer I discovered in the recent months has been The True Cream Aqua Bomb by Belif. I utterly fell in love with this cream after I used up three sample packets from Sephora and ordered the 0.84 oz jar the day after running out. This is a luxurious, lightweight gel-cream designed to provide intensive hydration and minimize the appearance of pores for soft, smooth, supple feel. This formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including antioxidant-rich lady’s mantle, which helps neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, improves skin elasticity, and minimizes pores. While the cream is primarily a hydration formula, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines, leaving skin smooth, plump and luminous. This one is just perfect in terms of texture. It’s non-irritating, absorbs quickly but has more than enough moisture to make the skin look and feel well-hydrated. My skin is quite temperamental and not always receptive to new products, but this has been great for me. Regular use of this has also helped balance the skin and smooth out texture. I like that it works well with my face base products – it won’t break down makeup yet still keeps the skin feeling and looking healthy and moisturized throughout the day. The scent is very subtle and soothing, and a little bit goes a long way. It’s been a while since I loved a moisturizer this much, the results are truly amazing.

An old must-have that I recently rekindled with is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Years ago I saved up a few pay checks to specifically buy this after hearing so many rave reviews about it and it wasn’t until I started using it for myself that I understood the magnitude of its results as well as why it had developed such a cult following. Within literally days my complexion appeared more supple, youthful, brighter not to mention so much more hydrated. Since I used up that initial first bottle I have not repurchased it simply because it’s so expensive. The travel size runs for $99, the regular size is $179 and the largest value size is $290. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I received a sample size with a GWP from Nordstrom that I was able to incorporate it back into my daily routine and was instantly reminded why this is such a miracle worker. The Facial Treatment Essence is enriched with more than 90% Pitera, the main ingredient used to enhance the skin’s renewal process – plus, it contains nourishing vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and acids to promote the skin’s renewal. With daily application, this essence moisturizes, improves texture and clarity. Even for how sparingly I’ve been using it just to prolong the inevitable of having to buy it, my skin has already shown its moisturizing and clarifying effects, even appearing a little lifted. A few drops of this essence will hydrate your entire face and you will definitely notice the difference the next morning. Your skin will naturally have a glow and look all around radiant. I hate how much it’s actually worth the money.

Just like with any other skincare product, there is no “one size fits all”, and the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence may not harmonize with various skin types as everyone’s skin is different holding a unique set of needs as well as issues. In my daily life, there are some girls I know who use this and completely swear by it – but then there is also a vast majority that told me their skin rejected it. So my best advice is to do your research or need be get some samples before investing a chunk of money into a single item. Do caution that there may be a “purging period” that ensues after starting use, which is very common when using an essence or just different skincare ingredients in general. Active ingredients that increase cell turnover and promote renewal, (AHAS, BHAs, and retinoids), can cause your skin to purge. These ingredients speed up the shedding of dead skin cells, so it’s quite common to see a little flakiness and what looks like an increase in visible acne. Purge acne usually takes place in areas where you normally don’t have breakouts.

When used right and allowing it ample time to provide results, this stuff is like holy water. Since my skin is not necessarily that problematic (if it decides to behave), the results are literally within days if not overnight. That being said, when it comes to skincare in general, you really have to use a product for at least 3 months to see any real difference. I recommend using the essence on your skin right after you wash and tone but before any other serum you may use prior to your moisturizer. The last step should be moisturizer to essentially seal it all in.

Next is the Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist by Herbivore. This is a hydrating facial toner featuring coconut water, Bulgarian rose and hibiscus. This is good for all skin types and is formulated with coconut water, which rehydrates the skin and provides a new glow. Hibiscus flower works to provide natural exfoliation, speeds up cell turnover and helps skin maintain moisture. Bulgarian rose is hydrating and high in antioxidants and great at reducing redness and inflammation. At first I was under the impression that this face mist was like most others and you kind of just spray it on afterwards but instead you’re supposed to shake before use, spritz your face a few times and massage it in. It’s recommended for use after cleansing but before applying moisturizer. Once I started following these exact directions is when I saw the true benefits of this product. My skin feels supremely hydrated and looks very naturally glowy each time I use it. I love to use this mostly for non-makeup days. It absorbs quite quickly into the skin without leaving behind a sticky film.

A face mist that has made a few appearances on the blog before is the Pearlessence Rose Water Hydrating Face Mist. I found this on a display while shopping at Marshalls for some home decor items a few months back and the bottle caught my attention. This is an amazing facial spray. It’s that perfect extra pick-me-up purely formulated with a fusion of fragrant herbal and botanical extracts. It dispenses a fine mist that is very delicately fragranced in a subtle rosy scent. It’s really good at instantly refreshing, hydrating and cooling down the skin. This is my go-to for bare-face days as well. If I have to run out the house real quick I will spritz this on, or if I’m spending the day inside I will mist my face a couple of times throughout the day just to have something on my face.

And that wraps up my skin hydration essentials. I did not want to make this post super long by including all of my daily skincare items so I decided to make hydration musts the sole focus for today. Of course I would like to know what your hydration essentials are! In the upcoming weeks I will be posting more about both Spring and Summer essentials which involves skincare, bath & body as well as makeup. I have so many exciting things in the works that I’m almost bursting at the seams with joy. Stay tuned!

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