As we age, our skin needs all the hydrating help it can get. Over time, the skin loses precious collagen naturally, so the skin dries out more easily. On top of that, harsh weather and certain skincare products can undermine the skin’s protective barrier, resulting in water loss and a dull complexion. It’s no big secret that, for a fresh , full and bouncy appearance, our skin needs moisture.
If your complexion isn’t checking all of those boxes, it's time you make some changes to your skincare routine. There are five natural hydrators that infuse the skin with supreme moisture, while taking lines and wrinkles to task. To learn more about these hero ingredients that play well with all skin types and help slay the aging process, keep reading.
Don’t get thrown off by the name. Hyaluronic acid is actually a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in our skin. It helps our skin hold on to moisture, so that it can appear bouncier, dewier and more refreshed. But as we age, our bodies produce less and less of this natural hydrator. Luckily, you can replenish lost hyaluronic acid by using skincare products that contain the ingredient.
Here’s how it works. The structure of our skin is made up of collagen. Natural hyaluronic acid binds to collagen on one side of the dermis and links to water molecules on the other side, helping to plump up and support skin. As a result, skin looks supple and lifted, instead of drab and drooping.
Hyaluronic acid penetrates easily, which is why it works so well as a topical skincare treatment. Hyaluronic acid is non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging), non-irritating and does not trigger breakouts or reactions, making it a hero hydrator for all skin types. Who can benefit the most from this ingredient? If you have dry skin or visible signs of aging, adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare regimen is one of the best things you can do to keep your face looking supple and hydrated.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur. This hero hydrator has been recognized for its ability to smooth skin while staving off dryness and visible signs of aging, like crow's feet, fine lines and wrinkles. One study revealed that when applied to the skin,
MSM significantly improved redness, itching, irritation, hydration and skin tone in people with rosacea.
How it works: MSM may be beneficial for skin health by strengthening a protein called keratin. Keratin acts as the main structural component in your hair, skin and nails. As such, keratin plays a primary role in promoting a smooth, firm and healthy-looking complexion.
Plant-Based Stem Cells
Plant stem cells are, quite simply, the cellular (inside) components of plants. These extracts can offer your skin a noticeable pick-me-up in many positive ways. Chock-full of antioxidants, plant stem cells aid your skin in fighting off free radicals that might otherwise lead to lines and hyperpigmentation. They also have a strong anti-inflammatory effect, helping to protect against sun damage, calm redness and prevent wrinkles.
Initial studies on plant stem cells on the skin were found to reverse the aging process of cultured fibroblasts, which are connective tissue cells found in the skin. Other evidence shows that plant stem cells can benefit the skin through the production of new collagen. As an increasing number of studies are rolled out, plant-based stem cells are proving themselves to be the “it” anti-aging agent of the here and now.
Best known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, aloe vera has a long and reputable history as a therapy for burning, itchy or irritated skin. Little do most people know, the same plant we use to treat burns and bug bites may also turn up the dial on skin tightness and elasticity.
Here’s how it works: According to researchers, aloe vera contains sterols. These molecules promote the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture. As a result, your skin’s texture may look smoother, as wrinkles appear softer, smaller or less noticeable.
As a bonus, aloe vera has robust antioxidant power and offers your skin defense against free radicals that cause visible signs of aging. Our skin is exposed daily to free radical sources — like smoke, pollution and UV rays — that contribute to the breakdown of collagen. Aloe vera can help neutralize many of these free radicals, while calming inflammation and warding off lines and wrinkles.
Brimming with antioxidants, green tea is a botanical derived from the leaves and buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. One of green tea’s most prized characteristics is that it contains polyphenols (or catechins) — compounds with loads of anti-aging power. The major polyphenolic compound present in green tea is known as EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate).
EGCG has demonstrated an impressive range of properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, that make it a perfect skincare partner in cleansers, lotions and moisturizers.
Green tea extract is a hero in many ways. As an antioxidant, it hunts down skin-damaging free radicals caused by environmental aggressors like smoke and UV radiation. It is well-tolerated by acne-prone and oily skin, thanks to its ability to reduce sebum coupled with its antibacterial properties. And, like the other hero hydrators in this list, green tea tackles dryness and rough patches in a gentle, yet powerful way.
The Best Products with Hero Hydrators
Known for their anti-aging, soothing and antioxidant properties, the five hero hydrators — hyaluronic acid, MSM, plant-based stem cells, aloe vera and green tea — can offer a surge of healthy goodness to parched, lackluster complexions. In fact, they are so impressive that it led us to combine all of them into its all-new daily moisturizer, called Hydro. Thanks to its plant-forward profile, expert formulation and lighter-than-air gel-based texture, Hydro is the smart choice for quenching all types of skin and slaying the sources that cause premature skin aging.