Dehydrated skin is a common skin condition. You can even have dehydrated oily skin, that’s how far reaching it is. I suffer from dehydrated skin, so I know the schlep it takes to keep it hydrated (skin masks, sheet masks, serums, creams, mists). Dehydrated skin isn’t a good look. Have you ever seen a good looking prune?

Hyaluronic acid is key to maintaining hydrated skin, and Neutrogena’s new Hydro Boost contains a Hylauronic Gel Matrix to provide hydration.

Here’s what Neutrogena say about their new range:  “Forget moisturisation, start thinking hydration. NEW from Neutrogena®, Hydro Boost® is your complete hydration regime. For skin so hydrated and supple, it bounces back.”

Hydro Boost Cleanser Water Gel

If I use a cleanser that’s too harsh for my skin, it leaves it feeling tight. Not this one. It smells like a dream, foams up nicely and does a super job of cleaning my skin as step 2 in my double cleanse regime. All in all, it’s my favourite gel/foaming drugstore cleanser of all time and I will buy it for as long as they make it (or until another better one comes around). It’s my favourite for two reasons: price point (low) and quality (high). Available for around R100.

Hydro Boost Exfoliator Smoothing Gel

By now you all know that exfoliating is good for your skin. Every day there’s a build up of skin cells on your skin’s surface which can leave it looking dull and dry. Exfoliating gets rid of this old skin, revealing younger looking skin. Products also penetrate better when your skin is fresh. Whether your choice is chemical or physical, I love both and I keep this one from Neutrogena in the shower. It’s not the best in terms of exfoliating, but I like it because I use Drunk Elephant’s Babyfacial once a week (which is quite intense), Filorga’s Oxygen Peel in the morning and Dermafix’s Derma Polish, so this is just an in-betweener as well as a facial cleanser. I think I’ll carry on buying it for the shower. If you’re buying it for exfoliating purposes, you’ll be disappointed. Around R100. 

Hydro Boost City Shield Hydrating Lotion SPF 25

This sun cream is beautiful! It’s a pale blue, gel cream and smells just as gorgeous as the rest of the range. It goes on evenly and is kind and loving to my skin. Even though in my mind it’s a low factor of just 25, I use this when I know I’m not going in the sun that day. It’s not good enough for my sun days, but it’s an amazing and affordable sun care option for office days. Around R140.

I’m in love with this range. It definitely does provide more hydration and strips skin less, smells delightful and is so affordable. In my opinion, it lives up to all its claims. 

Hydro Boost Boost Gel Cream 

Only now starting to truly realise the importance of taking care of my neck and chest, I decided to pick this up for those areas. I don’t want to use my très expensive products on those larger areas because they can’t absorb product like your facial skin can. I apply it every morning and evening, and it really leaves my skin hydrated and supple. I really do like it. Apparently the Water Gel is also really good, so maybe I’ll pick that up next.

Update: I’ve started using this on my face and I freaking love it! I apply it after my essence and CE Ferulic and then apply sun cream. It hydrates my skin so well, my foundation never looks cakey and my skin is just happy. If you have dry skin and you haven’t tried it, go go go!

Available from Clicks (who are currently having a 3 for 2 promotion), Dis Chem and Foschini. 

You all know I’m as obsessed with Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 gel as I am with perfect skin. This is because Hydrating B5 gives me perfect skin.

If you’re new to my Skinceuticals ravings, the reason I love it is because it works. I struggle with dry skin and I used to use facial oil upon serum upon thick face cream in attempt to bump my moisture up. A doctor and plastic surgeon from Skin Renewal once told me that my skin doesn’t need oil, it needs water and recommended Hydrating B5 because of its intense moisturising properties courtesy of the key ingredient hyaluronic acid. (Hyaluronic acid has the capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture – one gram  can hold up to six litres of water.) At first I thought he was just trying to sell me a product, until I got first hand experience with the amazingness that is Hydrating B5. 

Two weeks ago, I ran out of Hydrating B5 and my skin started to deteriorate before my eyes. It wasn’t pretty. I was really able to notice the power of Hydrating B5, because my skin looked dehydrated, dull and just not nice – whatever the opposite of radiant is. Naturally, my BB cream looked uneven and not as flawless. 

Safe to say, I’ve learnt my lesson. I will NEVER go without Hydrating B5. Even though it’s pricey, it’s worth it. If you use 2 drops every day (you don’t need any more than that), a bottle will last you 3-4 months. At R1325 a bottle (here), that’ll cost you R330 per month for gorgeous skin.  

Hyaluronic acid has powerful anti-ageing properties and is also one of the premier hydrating ingredients for skin, even for oily, sensitive, or breakout-prone skin. Hyaluronic acid works to keep every aspect of skin stable, safeguarded, and constantly renewed. 

As we age, our skin loses the ability to maintain this vital, plumping moisture as well as it once did. The result is visible loss of firmness, pliability, and diminished appearance of plumpness and suppleness.

Hyaluronic acid can enhance the moisture content as well as revitalise skin’s outer layers so it looks and feels softer, smoother, and, most importantly, hydrated! That’s how it instantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also provides an antioxidant defence against environmental assault.

If you have dry, dehydrated skin and you haven’t found a suitable skin solution, give some hyaluronic acid a whirl, in the form of  Skinceuticals Hydrating B5.

As the dryness and cold of winter sets in, so we start to experience drier and drier skin. This has happened to me for the past 5 years but I am elated to report that NOT ANYMORE! I have cracked the dry skin code, folks.

First up, I love a hot shower. Dermatologists say that hot showers aren’t good for you because they turn the natural oil in your skin to liquid, which then rinses away, removing that oily/protective layer from your skin. I say they can go suck it. In an ideal world I would have marble EVERYTHING, lots of designer shoes, I would wake up with perfect hair, I would eat whatever I wanted consequence-free and I would have warm showers in winter. But this isn’t the ideal world. So, this is how I have my cake and eat it…

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In the shower

I use L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil (R545 for 5ooml) because it isn’t harsh and doesn’t strip skin like some shower gels do. It sounds counter-intuitive to put oil on your skin when you want to clean it, but this oil emulsifies with water and cleans skin gently. I squeeze out one pump, rub it all over one leg, and then go in with my Body Shop Body Polisher (R49) and give myself a scrub. Even though it’s expensive, a little goes a long way. I’ve had my 500ml bottle for over a year now, but I do also use other shower gels because I like variety. I’m also a huge fan of Lush’s Buffy (R125). It’s an exfoliator in bar format and contains ground bits of rice, beans and almonds. I first use a shower oil or shower gel and then go in with Buffy to smooth my skin. Buffy came about when the product designer, whilst on a trip to Brazil, was inspired by the women who rub a mixture of sand and suntan oil on their backsides to improve circulation and reduce cellulite. She came home, mixed together cocoa and shea butters (to soften and moisturize), ground rice, almonds and aduki beans (to polish and smooth) and Buffy was born. Once I’ve scrubbed myself (Buffy is quite rough, which is good for thighs, bums and rough areas – I don’t use it on my torso and anywhere else that’s sensitive), I wash off any remaining bits and then dry myself. It’s like an in-shower moisturiser that exfoliates and conditions too. No need for body lotion. At R125 a bar it is quite pricey, but I only use it once every 2nd/3rd day. After using Buffy, and because I don’t use it everywhere, I like to use a light body cream like Bio Nike’s Defence Body Hydraboost Moisturisation Fluid just in case. It works to top up the moisture and is great for sensitive and intolerant skin. If I’ve showered sans Buffy, I like to either use Avène’s Akérate 10 Body Cream (R250 for 200ml) or Bee Natural’s Luxurious Body Butter (R102 for 200ml) in Rose Absolute. The Avène body cream is quite intense and is a bit sticky initially, but it keeps my skin nice and hydrated. It’s also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and designed for sensitive and intolerant skins. If I feel like it’s too bland, I’ll just add a few drops of orange or lavender essential oil to it in the palm of my hand. The Bee Natural Body Butter is more luxurious and smells divine. Because of it’s balmy texture, it also keeps skin soft and moisturised.

For the face

I used to use a micellar water followed by a gel cleanser every night. I also used to manually exfoliate my face every other day because the cleaner and shinier and smoother the better, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. A day after scrubbing, my skin was so smooth and lovely. Two days on and it was dry and patchy. Same thing with Retinol. I’ve stopped using it because I found out that it can wreak havoc on dry skin, making it drier. I’ve also learnt, courtesy of the facial wizard that is Caroline Hirons, that I should use gentler products on my skin. I gave up my regular micellar water (which is lovely, just not for my skin) for a cleansing oil, the Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (R175 for 200ml), as step 1 before a cleansing cream (one that I already had from the States). During this process of transformation, after a week or so, I noticed a few pimples, and decided that I needed to clean my skin another way. So I tweaked my routine and it works like a charm: if I use a micellar water, which is the new Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution from Bioderma (R200 for 250ml), especially made for dry skins, I’ll second cleanse with a cleansing cream and a face cloth (The Body Shop’s Pomegranate Softening Cream Cleanser comes recommended by Caroline Hirons). If I use a cleansing oil, I’ll second cleanse with a gel cleanser, typically Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash (R395 for 200ml). I’ve also gone cold turkey on all granular exfoliators and only use my beloved REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (R595 for 50ml). Once I’ve cleansed my skin, I use Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 1 (R380 for 400ml), which is a gently exfoliating and hydrating toner. It will change your skin and your life.

If you’re embarking on a product formula switch, see what works best for you and fine tune your routine.

Next up, during the day I use Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate (R700 for 30ml), followed by Avene’s Tolérance Extrême (R300 for 50ml) and at night I go for either Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate or a hydrating serum (like Hydraluron) followed by any of Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal creams (R420 for 75ml) for maximum hydration. I keep Dermalogica’s Antioxidant Hydramist (R550 for 150ml) in my desk drawer to keep my face moisturised during the day. Mid-morning I just spritz 2-3 sprays on my face and I’m happy.

When it comes to face masks, I absolutely adore Bioderma’s new Hydrabio Masque (R250 for 75ml). I apply a few drops of Nautica Organic Rosehip Oil (R150 for 50ml) underneath, and then let it work it’s magic. I also like Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and Avène’s Soothing Moisture Mask. On days where I don’t wear any makeup, I stick to a very simple routine. I don’t double cleanse (because why?) and I use Nautica’s Organic Rosehip Oil to moisturise. I think foundation can be quite drying so a makeup-free day once a week is a must.

Internally

I take Best 4 Adults Brain Power Krill Oil capsules daily, and have an app on my phone called Waterlogged that motivates me to drink enough water during the day. Drinking water isn’t fun in winter, but I notice that when I don’t drink enough, it shows on my skin, so I make sure I get the correct amount via loads of green and other herbal teas, as well as water.

Phew! That was a lot of info. I hope it helped, lovelies.

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