8 Ways to Seriously Hydrate Your Skin

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Guzzling water will only get you so far. When it comes to hydrating your skin, incorporating several skin care and lifestyle tweaks is going to produce the best results. To overcome dehydrated skin, you want to focus your efforts on drawing moisture in. If your end goal is to embody a living, breathing dew drop, here are the steps you should take to hydrate your skin.

01 of 08

Use Products with Hyaluronic Acid

A young Asian woman is washing her face using hydrating ingredients

Hyaluronic acid has been a buzzy ingredient for quite some time, and that's because it's a hydrating superstar. The natural sugar molecule is a humectant, meaning it draws in moisture, and it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, says Marisa Garshick, M.D., a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York.

"Because it helps to draw in moisture, not only is it great to help with skin hydration but it also serves as a way to plump fine lines, wrinkles, and other areas on the face with volume loss, and therefore helps to improve signs of aging and can help give a more refreshed appearance to the skin," she explains. You can find the ingredient in cleansers such as StriVectin Hyaluronic Gel Cushion Cleanser (Buy It, $29, amazon.com), moisturizers like Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel Cream (Buy It, $16, amazon.com), or serums like Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum (Buy It, $42, sephora.com).

02 of 08

Avoid Over-Exfoliation


Exfoliation is your friend, but only to a point. "Although exfoliation may help to get rid of dead skin cells and leave skin feeling soft and smooth, too much exfoliating can disrupt the natural skin barrier, which can lead to moisture loss and leave the skin susceptible to irritation," says Dr. Garshick. If you're looking for a gentle exfoliant, consider SkinCeuticals Renew Ovenight Dry (Buy It, $62, dermstore.com). It contains lactic acid, which, according to Dr. Garshick, is both an exfoliant and a humectant — win-win.

03 of 08

Curél's Hydra Therapy Hydra Silk Wet Skin Moisturizer


Don't forget that the skin on your body deserves serious moisture too, and Curél's Hydra Therapy Hydra Silk Wet Skin Moisturizer delivers just that. Stash it in the shower so you don't forget to apply it while your skin is still wet. Fast- absorbing and completely greaseless, it'll penetrate the deepest layers of your skin's surface to repair your water moisture barrier.


04 of 08

Look for Glycerin

Liquid gel or serum drop on pastel background in macro. Flat lay style.
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Similar to hyaluronic acid, glycerin is a humectant, and since it's lightweight, it doesn't clog pores. The super-common hydrating ingredient is found in most moisturizers and some cleansers, but you can also buy pure glycerin (Buy It, $7, iherb.com) to dab onto super dry patches of skin.

05 of 08

Switch to a Gentle, Hydrating Cleanser

woman washing her face in a sink with a gentle cleanser and water
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Yes, you rinse it off, but your cleanser should still be chosen with care. "It's important to use products that are gentle on the skin and won't strip the skin of its natural moisture," says Dr. Garshick. "This means avoiding harsh soaps or abrasive scrubs. Instead, it's best to use gentle hydrating cleansers that also contain ingredients such as ceramides to support the natural skin barrier and prevent moisture loss." La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser (Buy It, $22, target.com) contains ceramides and the humectant glycerin.

06 of 08

Avoid Long, Hot Showers

Loofah Hanging in Shower Under Bar of Soap
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Some days you just need a long, steamy shower — moisture levels be damned. But if you can stand to avoid them on most days, your skin will thank you. "Spending time in a hot shower, while it may feel good, can dry out the skin and actually strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and sensitive," says Dr. Garshick. Instead, opt for milder temps. (Hey, making the switch might even benefit your hair, too.)

07 of 08

Choose Your Bars Wisely

Bars of soap
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Circling back to cleansers, choosing a bar of soap (for your body or face) could sabotage your efforts. "Not all cleansers are created equal, and this is especially true when it comes to cleansing bars," says Dr. Garshick. "It's best to avoid bars of soap, which can be harsh or irritating on the skin." If you want to reach for a bar of soap because they tend to avoid plastic packaging (and are thus eco-friendly), just make sure to choose an option that incorporates gentle surfactants and hydrating ingredients. Dr. Garshick likes the classic Dove Beauty Bar (Buy It, $14, amazon.com).

08 of 08

Drink Enough Water

Tired woman in sports clothing drinking water while standing at kitchen
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When your body's dehydrated, it can show up on your face. Not drinking enough water and consuming caffeine can both lead to tight, rough-feeling skin, and even irritation and redness in severe cases, David Lortscher, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, previously told Shape. To an extent, drinking water can give your skin some elasticity, since the hyaluronic acid in your skin absorbs some of the water you drink. Consider refilling your water bottle and eating water-rich foods like cucumbers and watermelon as important steps in your skin-care routine.

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