In regards to natural skin care, when we talk about moisturisation we are often talking about imparting oils (aka fats) back into the (predominantly outermost layer of) skin. High quality natural plant fats are truly essential components of an effective facial or skin regimen to facilitate beautiful, glowing skin, especially for dry skin. Many cold-pressed plant oils are rich in a wide range of beneficial phytonutrients, such as antioxidants, bactericides and fat soluble Vitamins A and Vitamin E. All of which help to nourish, repair and protect the skin. The consumption of high-quality dietary fats (alongside a healthy digestive system to break those fats down) is of course a hugely important part of this. However the science and art of cosmetic skin moisturisation is only half the story.
The other all important side of beautiful young skin is hydration. Hydration as you rightly imagine deals with the water component of skin care – the binding of water to our skin, and is often seriously neglected, ignored even, by many practitioners of natural beauty. Comparing a smooth pert grape to a raisin is a very useful analogy that highlights the critical role of aqueous components for the purposes of healthy plump skin. In fact water-based ingredients are known to prevent or remedy wrinkles better than oils (on their own) can. No matter how much you may slather your face with oil, if your skin is dehydrated it will remain dehydrated and essentially malnourished, albeit under a layer of oil. A raisin coated in sunflower oil is still just the dehydrated alter ego of its juicy, curvy counterpart. Though drinking sufficient amounts of clean hydrating fluids should always be your foremost strategy, the hydrating principle of topical skincare is central to just how good our skin really looks, especially when you consider that the body prioritises water to most every other group of tissues before it is allocated to the skin.
So what do you recommend?
With these insights in mind your anti-aging skincare strategy should apply both moisturisation and hydration principles, ideally at the same time. My personal routine centres on mixing either unpasteurised rose water or tea tree water (known commonly as hydrosols) to your fave high quality cold-pressed base oil (such as olive, shea butter, baobab or cacao butter) at a ratio of 50:50. I simply mix the rose/tea tree water into the oil, using the palm of my hand as a saucer and my index finger as a spatula, until the two are more or less evenly distributed. I then immediately rub the balanced blend all over my face, generally something I will do right before bed. Whilst the hydrosols impart hydration into the skin, the oil helps to lock it all in, so the hydrosols don’t just evaporate away, thereby creating a deeply nourishing barrier against the elements. Other water based hydrating ingredients include Aloe Vera and natural Hyaluronic Acid. All of which can be married to a good oil to promote youthful, pert skin.