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Can a Light Moisturizer Really Hydrate Your Skin?

By Elsa de Berker, she/her

Summer is a many-splendored thing, but it can be a confusing time for skincare. For one, there’s the perils of indoor versus outdoor temperatures to deal withaka air conditioning so cold you need a sweater alternated with the sun’s unrelenting rays of fiery heat. If your skin falls on the oilier or combination end of the spectrum, the hotter months can bring an even greater sense of perplexion. Should you switch out your favorite wintertime formulas for lighter alternatives? And moisturizer? Should it be used sparingly or avoided completely? And for those of us with drier skin, should we continue to lather on rich oils and creams, even if doing so feels at odds with the season?

“There are so many misconceptions around skincare, especially in the summer, but everyone’s ‘normal’ is different,” says Youth To The People’s Senior Education Executive, Jacob Tomás del Rosario. “The key is to listen to the language your skin speaks, and allow your routine to ebb and flow throughout the year, tailoring it to maintain balance throughout. At YTTP, we define that balance as skin that is an even 50:50 ratio of oil and water.” 

Most of the time, this means using products that contain moisture in the form of an oil-based emollient and hydration in the form of a humectant, which draws water into the skin, (like hyaluronic acid). 

“It’s a myth that oily skin types shouldn’t use moisturizer, or should have an oil-free routine, even in the summer,” continues del Rosario, adding that “when your skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oilleading those with oily skin to think they don’t need the additional hydration a cream can provide.”

Ultimately, oily skin is thirsty skin, so skipping moisturizer altogether is like consistently reaching for coffee over water, says del Rosario: “I call it the ‘licking the lips’ syndrome: forgoing moisturizer will make your skin oilier, and licking your lips will only make them drier in the long run.”

The key to a winning summer skincare routine for all skin types, then, lies in a diligent cleansing regimen, followed by optional targeted treatments (like vitamin C or a gentle exfoliant), and a lightweight, breathable moisturizer that flash-absorbs in order to avoid a sticky slick of excess product and sweat. 

“When the weather is hot, it pays to prioritizeand for some people that means using only two products: the Superfood Cleanser and Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream.” 

Paired together, the cleanser and moisturizer provide a veritable feast of antioxidants and vitamins to deliver conditioned and plumply hydrated skin irrespective of the weather—or your skin type

“The Air-Whip Moisturizer is my year-round day cream, because it contains bioavailable ingredients, like vegan-derived squalane, which is welcomed into the skin as something that belongs,” explains del Rosario.

The formula’s other all-star ingredient is a cross-linked form of hyaluronic acid, which sits like mesh atop of the skin’s surface delivering continuous hydration throughout the day without the weight of a more traditional, occlusive cream or serum. 

“The cross-polymer boosts the water retaining capability of [standard] hyaluronic acid, (which typically can retain one thousand times its own weight in water), by five times, which means the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream retains five thousand time its weight in water,” explains del Rosario.

It’s only natural that this impressive stat makes the formula a seamless base for makeup, should you choose to wear it. Moreover, its presence in your regimen will help mitigate excessive oil production from the jump.

“As with any new product, it can take a full skin cycle to see visible longstanding results, but within four weeks skin should start to produce less oil,” says del Rosario. “For anyone with drier skin, you can expect fewer symptoms of dehydration over time and instant relief from tightness. As a booster, warm a few drops of Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil in your palms and press it into the skin—and of course, don’t skimp on SPF as a final step.”

Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People