Isomers 101: Hydration/Anhydrous

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To "hydrate" means to bring water to an area. When the skin is dry, it requires water and skin identical lipids. For cells to be healthy and transport nutrients and eliminate toxins, they also require water. Water is the universal solvent of our cells and body and is what our bodies and cells need to survive.

"Anhydrous" means without water or the absence of water. By definition this type of system cannot hydrate, cannot solve dryness. What it can do is make a wax or oil-like film and prevent water and air from getting out or in. Much like plastic film wrap that is used to keep a sandwich fresh. However unlike a sandwich, our skin is alive and requires water and air to be healthy. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is anhydrous and can be used as an occlusive barrier on the skin but it won't soften or remedy dryness in the cells.

What we have found, is that anhydrous formulations provide an "occlusive" barrier which results in an artificial sweating and swelling of the top skin layer giving the appearance of filling in fine lines. This is great for a temporary cosmetic effect and that is why in foundations or eye concealers this type of silicon or anhydrous system is used. In treatment, the story and ingredients need to be different. If you want to solve dryness and support the skin, then a system that works with liquids in a hydrating format should provide better long term and immediate results.

So depending on what you need from your skin this helps determine the system and type of formula.

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