There are so many hydrating creams and lotions on the market that it’s hard to keep track most of the time, but hydrating products come and go like the wind. Without doubting that their specially-tested formulas actually do work and can contribute to the improved quality of your skin, it’s also fair to say that cosmetics are not always 100% safe to use.
In this article, Dr. Trevor Cates lists 20 of the most toxic chemicals used to create a range of skincare products and, as this article in Healthline neatly points out, there’s no law that requires personal care products to list the harmful byproducts and carcinogens they may contain. This isn’t the case for certain foods and pharmaceutical drugs, which means skin care consumers are far less protected as a result.
While cosmetic products pose certain risks that we aren’t always aware of before we apply them, natural solutions for keeping your skin hydrated can always be trusted, so here’s five of the very best of them.
1. Drink water
Nothing beats the power of water when it comes to improving the hydration of your skin. It might not be the most exciting drink in the world, but it’s definitely the best one for your body and it does wonders for the quality of your skin. It’s common knowledge that our bodies are mostly made up of water, but it’s less well known that the percentage of water in our bodies decreases over time. Newborns are 75% water. By one year of age, that figure drops to about 65% and the average adult is just 57% to 60% water. Therefore, it’s important to drink even more water as we get older to help our skin maintain its fresh, lively, youthful look.
2. Eat water-rich, nutrient-brimming foods
If you really can’t commit to drinking water regularly, try incorporating water-rich, nutrient-brimming foods into your daily diet. Prepare a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables with every meal and try to include them in all snacks too. Some of the best fruits to try are berries, watermelons, plums and peaches. Choice vegetables include cucumbers, celery, bell peppers and lettuce.
3. Wash your face before you sleep
Dead skin cells are one of the main reasons why we suffer from poorly-hydrated skin. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to retain moisture owing to the fact that we lose more and more of our natural oil glands as the years go by.
By washing your face every evening before you go to bed, you’re actively helping your skin to remove dead skin cells and eliminate dry skin. Just be sure not to wash your face with soap as this will only eliminate more of the natural oils found in your skin. Stick to plain H2O. Nothing beats it!
4. Use olive oil
As well as containing lots of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids that can help keep your skin hydrated, olive oil is really versatile and can be used in a number of ways to combat dry, dull, aging skin. It can be applied as a thin layer underneath your regular moisturizer, or you can rub it all over your body half an hour before taking a shower as a way of further penetrating beneath the surface on a daily basis.
Another idea is to mix two tablespoons of olive oil with four tablespoons of brown sugar (make sure the sugar is fine) and one tablespoon of honey. Voilá! You’ve got a homemade exfoliating scrub that you can use to remove dead skin cells and improve your skin’s hydration.
5. Apply aloe vera daily
The great thing about aloe vera is that you can grow it in your home and have it on hand at all times. Its antiseptic, antifungal properties help in the fight against irritated, dry skin. To reap the natural benefits of an aloe vera leaf, cut it open and squeeze the gel out. Place the gel directly on your skin and leave it to dry for around 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and repeat every day. After a month, your skin will feel fresher and plumper.
Despite the many expensive, scientifically proven skin hydration products that exist, natural solutions remain a valid and effective alternative. They won’t break your bank account and they offer really good results. What’s more, you’ll never have to worry about adverse skin reactions that can sometimes occur when our skin doesn’t sit well with certain chemicals used in beauty products. All in all, natural seems to be the way to go.
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Written by blog contributor, Jackie. Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as a beautician, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after.