Dry, compromised skin can be an issue for every person. Once the barrier of the skin is disrupted – either due to harsh products, cold weather or a specific condition, such as eczema or psoriasis – it becomes vulnerable to other insults. Maintaining hydration in the epidermis can be difficult, as very little water is able to pass into the epidermis from the outside. Also, if the skin is open, the pH goes up from about a 5.5-6.5 (this is the pH of intact skin) to about a 7.0, making the use of products that are pH correct uncomfortable as they can cause stinging and irritation to skin that is already irritated.
In order to keep skin properly hydrated with topical products, several ingredients must be used. Understanding how ingredients function in the skin will enable the clinician to choose the best types of hydrating products for their patients.
First of all, humectant ingredients must be applied to attract water from the dermis to the epidermis. Some powerful humectants are hyaluronic acid, which can attract and hold 1,000 times its weight in water; sodium PCA, which can attract and hold 250 times its weight in water; urea and glycerin, which are able to pass through aquaporins, water channels in the skin cells, hydrating not only the surface of the skin, but also delivering hydration directly to the skin cells. Once the humectants have been applied, then it is necessary to use an occlusive ingredient to “lock” in the moisture and prevent it from evaporating. Good occlusive ingredients include shea butter, niacinamide, plant oils and silicones, to name a few.
PCA SKIN’s Hydrating Serum is scientifically formulated with multiple ingredients that work synergistically to maintain hydration in all skin types and conditions, including hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, urea, glycerin and niacinamide. This serum is ideal for those who don’t like heavy or cream-based moisturizers, as it can be used alone since it is formulated with both humectant and occlusive ingredients. It can also be used in conjunction with a moisturizer for those patients who have dry skin or require more hydration.
As mentioned above, all patients need to maintain healthy levels of hydration and our Hydrating Serum is a product that can be used by everyone, regardless of skin condition or skin type.