Unless we are a cactus, we do not retain water to keep our skin plump and hydrated.
Water is important for our survival and for the smooth functioning of our body. In fact, the human body runs on water and minerals. When it comes to skin hydration, people often assume that drinking lots of water helps. But the truth is we are not like a cactus or any plant for that matter because our skin does not fill and firm up when we consume water.
When it comes to skin hydration, the adage “what you eat (or put on your face) in private shows in public” rings true. Here are some tips on how you can keep your skin hydrated efficiently:
 Don’t strip your skin of its natural oil
Minimise your skin’s exposure to depleting elements. These include low humidity, harsh winds, high altitude, the sun, alcohol, and also long baths. When choosing your facial wash, look for cleansers with hydrating ingredients like rosehip seed oil and seaweed extract. For acne-prone skin, cleansers should help to unblock and cleanse pores of oil and grime and promote skin renewal at the same time. Some useful ingredients include salicylic acid, which help clear pores, and glycolic acid, which acts as an exfoliant and helps reduce appearance of acne scars. Avoid cleansers that strip your skin of essential moisture and healthy oils. If your skin feels too tight and dry after washing, it might not be right for you. If in doubt, consult your doctor for the best cleanser for you.
 Eat fish because it helps firm skin too
Fish not only contains omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce dryness and inflammation, it is a good source of protein. As collagen accounts for almost 30% of our body’s protein content, getting enough protein from lean protein sources like fish and tofu is essential for collagen production and preservation. Collagen is produced by linking multiple smaller protein molecules called peptides. So a peptide boosting high protein diet supplemented by skin products containing a variety of different collagen boosting peptide not only hydrates your skin, it firms your skin too.
 Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
The importance of moisturising skin can never be overemphasised. Whether you have normal skin, acne-prone skin, dry skin, or combination skin, the moisturiser should be a staple in your daily skincare regime. Apply a good moisturiser one to two times a day, and your skin will thank you for it. Those that contain hyaluronic acid, ceramide, squalane, and aloe vera are recommended for their hydrating properties.
 Do not over exfoliate
Do not be too over exuberant when exfoliating as it can dry out skin. While the right amount of exfoliating removes dead skin cells and encourages cell renewal, over-exfoliation buffs away the skin’s protective barrier. This results in dehydrated and inflammed skin. But with the right amount of exfoliation, you are making sure that the nutrients in your skin care are rushing to heal and nourish the new skin cells.
Although to date there is a lack of evidence when it comes to the effect of water on skin’s hydration, we cannot afford to and should not undermine its importance. Water helps flush away toxins from our body, regulates its temperature, assists in digestion, and most importantly — keeps our brain functioning well. So drink up!
 Use skincare in the right order
Don’t just apply your skincare products and make-up, and dash out of the house. Make your daily skincare regime work for you by applying them in the right order. This means you should apply lightweight products of thinner consistency before putting on heavier products that are thicker and creamier. This is because creamier products can block the skin from absorbing nutrients, moisture, and hydration you’d need from products with a thinner consistency. (For more information on the steps to take, check out Halley’s Brilliance skincare system.)