Your body has a built-in system for moisturising your skin, but it doesn’t always provide enough hydration, especially as you get older. Fortunately, there are many highly effective ingredients and products that can pump the skin full of hydration and help to lock in moisture. Keep in mind that these ingredients work best when formulated at optimal concentrations. Here are some of the star ingredients to help manage dry skin.

Hyaluronic Acid
Arguably one of the industry’s most popular superstars, Hyaluronic Acid is a hydrator that moisturises the skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, replenishes cell moisture, and accelerates wound healing. Holding almost 1000 times its weight in water this water attracting molecule is a definite must.

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Centella Asiatica
This antioxidant-rich, medicinal herb goes by many names: Centella asiatica, cica, Brahmi, Indian pennywort, gotu kola and tiger grass (legend has it that after being injured, tigers would roll in the plants in order to heal themselves). Although it’s currently one of the trendy ingredients in skincare today, it’s actually been used for centuries and has a long list of healing benefits.

Centella asiatica contains high concentrations of amino acids, beta-carotene, and fatty acids, and not to mention the anti-inflammatory properties that increase hydration and help soothe and repair dry, red, irritated skin. And if that’s not enough – cica also boosts circulation and has been shown to increase collagen production, improving skin firmness and elasticity.

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You might notice two different spellings for this rich, natural emollient: squalene and squalane. It’s not a case of tomayto, tomahto – there are notable differences between the two, namely regarding where the oil is derived from, its shelf life, and overall efficiency.

Squalene is a colourless poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon liquid that’s found naturally in many animals and plants, including human sebum, and is estimated to make up about 10 to 12 percent of your skin’s oil. Essentially, it’s one of the many natural lipids your body produces to lubricate and protect your skin. Unfortunately, this oil is often harvested in unethical ways, such as shark liver oil, and is not very stable for use in skincare products.

Squalane, on the other hand, is the hydrogenated form of squalene. This naturally-sourced, plant-based oil is much lighter on the skin, and has a longer shelf life than squalene, which is why it’s more commonly used in skincare. A saviour for dry skin, squalane is a powerhouse ingredient that mimics your skin’s natural oils, eases dry patches and helps support the natural outer barrier of the skin. Over time, using squalane in your skincare regimen can also help reduce scars, reverse UV damage, lighten freckles, reduce skin pigmentation, and fight free radicals.

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Ceramides are fatty acids in the skin that help to maintain the skin barrier and retain moisture and long-term hydration. Extreme weather conditions, dry heat and hot water can deplete the ceramides stored in your skin, which is why introducing ceramide-fortified skincare products can help lock in moisture and restore your skin’s barrier function.

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