Oil Is The “IT” Ingredient

It already exists in our complexion naturally, working with water to improve skin’s barrier system, keep out free radical damage, and lock in moisture from within. So it only makes sense to apply the same logic to skincare, no?



Laneige Water Bank Double Layering Oil, $50

A lightweight serum that’s a powerhouse hydrator, thanks to a blend of naturally derived oils and the brand’s quick-absorbing Hydro Ion Mineral Water, which leaves skin looking visibly radiant.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Spa Oil-in-Water Essence, $52

Think of this – Vichy’s first microcapsule essence – as a watery oil with a toner-like texture. Boosted by hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and the brand’s signature Thermal Spa water, it replenishes hydration levels and bolsters skin’s natural barrier.

The Reigning Technology Is Still Micro-encapsulation

Hydration affects all layers of skin, and microencapsulation, which seals in active ingredients and releases them over time (read: so the benefits last longer), penetrates skin fast and deep.



Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, $79

Using what the brand calls “Liquid-Sphere Technology”, this binds antioxidants and vitamins C and E to plump skin from within. The refreshing gel texture is also perfect for our hot, humid climate.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Creme, $136 

With 5,000 micro-droplets containing fortifying ingredients like camellia alba and blue ginger extracts, this cream provides instant hydration while keeping skin soft, smooth and supple.

Some Soothing Nature Never Hurts

No, the likes of anti-inflammatory aloe vera and blemish-fighting cucumber don’t hydrate per se. With worsening pollution woes though, there’s been increasing interest in natural, plant-based extracts with calming properties, which might explain why they’re popping up in hydrating products more than ever. What they do: work in sync with moisturising ingredients to make skin feel really good.



Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque, $62

A gel mask infused with aloe vera (it’s supposed to boost collagen production) and petals from the calendula flower, which helps to heal wounds. Five minutes is all that’s needed for
it to hydrate skin, as well as calm sunburn
and irritation.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Balancing Essence Water Mist, $54

Its hyaluronic acid content is what keeps skin hydrated and plump. Making it feel ultra refreshing are cooling cucumber and camomile, both of which are also anti-inflammatory. Plus it scores extra marks for ease of use as it can be applied both under and over makeup.

Hyaluronic Acid Is Sexy Again

If you ask us, this has lots to do with the growing ubiquity of fillers, which tend to contain HA (that’s what we call it) to bind and aid the delivery of water to skin. Found naturally in our bodies – though it diminishes with age – HA keeps the complexion balanced and optimally hydrated, while protecting against free radical damage.



Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Premium Hydrating Lotion, $24.90

Besides anti-inflammatory sacran (an algae extract), this lotion contains a combination of five – yep, five – different sizes of HA molecules so that they reach every layer of the skin. What this means: intense and long-lasting moisturisation 24/7.

For Beloved Girl Extreme Moisture Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask, $16 for a box of three sheets

Besides reportedly containing as much nourishing minerals as there are in 1.88 bottles of the average face spray, each mask boasts the triple hydrating threats of HA, sodium lactate and an amino acid derivative. Yes, it quenches skin. It also boosts moisture levels. But what we love most is how it soothes a tired complexion.

This story first appeared in Female’s July 2017 issue.

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