The Secrets of Hydration - How to select a hydrator or a moisturiser

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How to select a hydrator or a moisturiser

Brooke Childs - AST Dermal Therapist and Clinical Educator says:

"When we do not use a good quality moisturiser, our skin can go through a process called "Trans-Epidermal Water Loss", which basically means water evaporates out of your skin leaving it tight and dry. To be able to achieve that plump, hydrated healthy skin, I believe you need 2 key things: A hydrating serum and a good quality moisturiser. Hydrating serums will include ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and Aloe Vera. I rely on serums like this to hydrate the deeper layers of my skin for that plumping and health at a deeper level. Then for a moisturiser, it will depend on personal preference for texture. If you like a thick/rich moisturiser, look for ones that are recommended for drier, dehydrated, mature skins as they tend to be the heaviest. If you like a lighter texture, look for those listed for combination/oily skins and they tend to be lighter weight.

I like a light moisturiser for during the day and a heavier one for night. I also light to change them up in summer and winter as my skin changes with the seasons."

Hydration is a huge buzz word, we have all heard the words “your skin is so dehydrated”, but what does this actually mean and how do we manage to achieve glowing hydrated skin? What is the difference between a hydrator and a moisturiser?

Hydrators are usually serum based, they have ingredients and delivery systems with the ability to travel deeper into the skin than moisturisers. They act to deliver hydration boosting actives deep into the skin. Many hydrators will contain hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring hydrator already found in our skins, this ingredient is able to hold 1000 times it’s weight in water.

Moisturisers have much larger molecules and act to coat the surface of the skin in a protective layer trapping moisture on the surface.They act as emollients and cannot go any deeper into the skin. Moisturisers will not hydrate the skin it instead acts like a sealant stopping the skin from losing moisture.

Is your skin Dry or Dehydrated?

To select your best hydration product you need to understand that there is a difference between dehydrated and dry skin, and a difference between hydrated and oily skin. In simple terms dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil, you can be both dry and dehydrated, you can also be oily and dehydrated! - seems overwhelming.

Dehydrated skin is characterised by lack of moisture in the surface layers of the skin. Dehydrated skin presents with a dull appearance and a feeling of tightness. As the problem has started deeper in the skin, the answer is in ingredients that can pass through the layers of the skin to hydrate and nourish the living cells. Hydrated skin is stronger and more resilient!

Dry skin is a lack of oil as well as a lack of moisture in the deeper layers. This is often coupled with a thickened dry surface, usually this layer is not shedding as it should and builds up on the surface. It presents as rough, very tight, some cracking can occur, the texture looks uneven and flaky. Dry skin can be prone to irritation and itching, the barrier is often compromised. A very dry skin will benefit from deeper hydration and moisturisers to prevent transepidermal water loss.

Oily skin types have a overproduction of sebum created in the sebaceous glands causing the skin to feel and appear oily and/or congested. As we have already learnt a skin can be oily but can still be dehydrated. Oily skins require hydration from serums as moisturisers will mix with the oil on the surface and continue to congest the skin.

Dehydrated Skin Regime:



Weekly: Apply a hydrating mask as per product instructions and a gentle exfoliant to help with cell turnover. Exfoliating gently allows for greater absorption of your serums.

Dry Skin regime:



  • Gentle or Milky Cleanser
  • Apply your Vitamin A
  • Use an Oil based moisturiser

Weekly: Use a chemical exfoliator then apply a hydrating mask
Note: using a scrub type exfoliator can roughen the surface texture of the skin exacerbating the lacklustre of the skin.

Oily/Congested and Dehydrated Skin Regime:



Weekly: Use a chemical exfoliator to remove the dead skin cells and improve the absorption of your products.

Additional Advice for radiant and hydrated skin.

Dermal rollers for increased penetration. Home rollers improves active ingredient penetration be 40 times. This can be used once a week and build up to daily use.  

Drink water! This is simple, good for you and free.Your skin is a giant organ and has the ability to get the elements it needs from what we eat and drink. This also means that the things we eat and drink can dehydrate our skin too, stealing away the much needed hydration it is try desperately to gain. A big anti-hydrator is sugar, sugar sucks the water from the places you want it and leaves the body, avoid sugar where possible.

Supercharge your water intake with Miss Vitality Clean Tea. Miss Vitality Clean Tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and will not only provide your body with much needed hydration the tea is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

BARBERRY: promotes liver detoxification, anti-candida & protection from damage

PEPPERMINT: soothing to digestion, calming to aches and pains, aids cramping

LEMONGRASS: stimulates cleansing, liver detoxification

ROSEHIPS: antioxidant, high in Vitamin C, protects the skin capillaries from free radicals.

MISS VITALITY ILLUMINATION FORMULA is our skin food multivitamin! Illumination Formula is a high potency balanced antioxidant formulation containing 150 mcg of selenium as well as other immune modulating vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Suitable for adults of all ages, this formula can be used to support a compromised or ‘stressed’ immune system, to reduce the severity and duration of infections, or simply to maintain wellbeing and ensure healthy antioxidant activity. Helps protect against oxidative damage. Known to reduce inflammation.

How to treat dry, dehydrated and dull skin with skin treatments

Dry and dehydrated skin is easily treated with professional treatments. Lactic acid chemical peels are an excellent non invasive no downtime treatment that will gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Lactic acid also found in many hydrating serums and moisturisers has various strengths and can be mixed with L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to provide a boost of antioxidants and a brightening effect on the skin.

Microdermabrasion is a mechanical form of exfoliation, it removes the top layer of dead cells to allow better absorption of active ingredients. At Victorian Cosmetic Institute we perform a specialised triple exfoliation microdermabrasion using all three forms of skin exfoliation; physical, chemical and mechanical. Microdermabrasion used in conjunction with a chemical peel gives amazing results achieving smooth, bright,hydrated and vibrant skin.

Dermafrac is the ultimate in hydration infusion, a pass of microdermabrasion removes the dead cells allowing tiny needles to gently penetrate the skin in a pain free relaxing treatment. The process of the needles penetrating the skin creates micro channels down through the skin layers, as the microchannels open a hydrating hyaluronic serum is infused deep into the skin. The added benefit of the microchannels is the production of collagen in the skin. Resulting in hydrated, smooth skin with a glow.

Skin Boosters are micro-injections of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers in the skin. Unlike traditional dermal fillers, they are not injected beneath the skin to volumise or shape the face.  Instead, they are very fine dermal fillers that are injected into the skin to hydrate and improve skin quality. The hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can be injected over large treatment areas of the face, neck, and hands to increase the skin’s hydration quality.

LED light therapy with hydration mask. Hyaluronic Delivery Masks are a super hydrating treatment suitable for most skin types. They are cooling, soothing and with intense hydration the mask calms and nourishes dry and dehydrated skin. The mask has a soothing anti-inflammatory effect. When used in combination with the LED lights the skin warms under the glow of the light and is even more receptive to absorbing the amazing ingredients that the mask has to offer. The results are boosted by the anti inflammatory and healing properties of the LED red light. 

dehydrated skin dry skin hydrator moisturiser

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