In a world where Botox, fillers, and skin tightening are the gold standard, and zapping fine lines is an easy-peasy “lunchtime procedure,” skin hydration seems cringingly basic and is easily left behind. Sure, we’ve all heard to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and maybe we follow this to a T or simply roll our eyes (I know where I fall). But did you know that hydration is one of the best things you can gift your skin? In J-Beauty, hydration isn’t just another concern to check off the list, but the cornerstone of beautiful skin, no matter your age or skin type. Let’s find out why.
The science of skin hydration
You might remember from high school biology that the human body is largely water. The average human being can survive without water for about 3 days. Although our water content can be as high as 75% at birth, this percentage dwindles as we get older and can dip below 50% after we cross 50. Our skin alone is approximately 64% water, so it follows that well-hydrated skin cells help keep it plump, elastic, smooth, and protected from external stressors. Regular skin H₂O maintenance means less cracking and creasing and reduces the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Think grape versus raisin. Premature aging is a top concern for nearly all of us, and interestingly, boosting the skin’s hydration is one of the most effective ways to delay visible signs of aging.
Dry and mature skin types might find this enlightening, but skin hydration is equally important for oily and acne-prone as well. You know that no man’s zone where your skin feels chronically dry yet impossibly overridden with zits? That’s often the result of dehydrated skin, which tends to produce more oil to compensate for a lack of water.
Keeping the skin hydrated also allows it to function at its peak, and naturally combat other pressing issues like damage from UV rays, pollution, and other stressors. The extra water boost lets it do its job right, flush out toxins and keep it soft, smooth, and glowing.
How to keep your skin hydrated
Today we’re going to reveal a surprisingly simple yet super effective J-Beauty secret to skin hydration. In fact, this step is a shortcut to getting the most out of your fancy-schmancy serums and high-tech moisturizers as well. Sure, we hope you (at least try to) drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep hydrated internally, but your skin definitely deserves some extra TLC this season.
The essence is a watery lotion filled with vitamins, minerals, and active ingredients that soften and nourish the skin. Essences not only offer instant hydration, but they allow any products that you apply afterwards to absorb more fully and deliver their best results, rather than get stuck on the skin surface. This is mainly due to the essence’s low molecular weight or watery consistency. While you might be used to relying on hydration-heavy serums and moisturizers to keep your skin moist, these products work best when paired in combination with an essence. The essence restores thirsty skin cells to their plump, healthy and youthful state in a matter of seconds, so it’s no wonder that they’re deemed essence-tial in the world of J-Beauty.
Need help finding your perfect essence match? Check out our best picks below.