When it comes to skincare, hydration is often considered less buzz-worthy and often overlooked in favour of luxe anti-ageing products or high tech whitening products. However, moisture is essential for a healthy complexion. Without it, you’re not going to be able to achieve a soft, smooth and radiant complexion no matter how many brightening ingredients or antioxidants you pile on. And it’s precisely because of this, we’re always on the lookout for the next great hydrating products to introduce to our readers.

The latest launch we’re obsessing about is the Clarins Hydra-Essential range, which targets the dehydration factor linked to our modern lifestyle, caused by the sudden changes in temperature and humidity we are exposed to on a daily basis. Constant movement from an indoor to outdoor environment exposes us to changes in temperature and humidity, be it when we’re on the bus, shopping in an air-conditioned store, or taking a morning jog. The French brand recently discovered that this lifestyle exposes us – and our skin – to as many as 17 thermic shocks a day.

But wait, why are thermal shocks so bad? Well, for one, daily thermal shocks can cause redness and roughness to skin, as well as an increase in sensitivity. Secondly, they also affect skin’s ability to retain water, resulting in long-term dehydration, resulting in dullness and an unhealthy complexion.

To help combat this, Clarins’ has added the ‘Leaf of life’ from Madagascar to its new Hydra-Essential range. Despite intense sun, major variations in temperature between night and day and very low rainfall in Madagascar, the resistant plant is able to keep its pale green, fleshy leaves filled with water thanks to its hydrating sap. The Leaf of life also has “sponge molecules” that are able to trap 95 per cent of water to maintain sufficient hydration, as well as fatty acids on the surface of its leaves that form a barrier to prevent water loss.

Further study in the plant revealed that it has a water retention similar to that of our skin, both of which have a deep level for building water reserves, an intermediary level to protect and limit water loss and a hydrophobic surface level to fight dehydration and act as a barrier.

Used in the Clarins Hydra-Essential line, the ingredient boosts skin’s ability to retain water as well as stimulates its ability to produce natural hyaluronic acid. To complement this, the range is also infused with an anti-pollution complex to strengthen skin’s protective barrier and fight against oxidative damage and premature ageing.

The three-piece line includes two moisturisers and a serum. The Light Cream ($82) keeps the complexion plump and luminuous, and contains hydrating organic leaf of life extract and radiance-boosting beautyberry extract to leave skin velvety soft and smooth. For something even more refreshing, try the Cooling Gel ($82) which instantly melts into skin and leaves a soft matte finish.

Our favourite product of the trio has to be the Intensive Moisture Quenching Bi-Phase Serum ($93), which feels like a splash of water, is quickly absorbed and leaves no oily feel. Rich in fatty acids, the serum not only nourishes, soothes and hydrates but also helps to refine skin’s texture and control sebum production for a more balanced complexion.

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