Oils don't 'hydrate' the skin + why we launched with water based serums

First and foremost, I am an oil girly through and through and for as long as I can remember I always invested in natural facial oils and was obsessed with sourcing ingredients only fit for queens like Cleopatra! I also studied Ayurveda for 5 years and if you know anything about Ayurveda you know that OIL IS LIFE and my love affair with oil, in all forms, will be forever. 

So naturally when starting MONSOON SKIN—a lifelong dream—I wanted to share all of my favourite oil ingredients and potions with the world first. However, in light of our first birthday upcoming I’m going to explain in depth why it was important for us to launch MONSOON SKIN with water based products, particularly serums, and why we didn’t want to add to the sea of skincare brands who
misuse/misunderstand the true meaning of ‘hydrate.’

It wasn’t until around 2 years ago that I discovered botanical water based serums, it was just before I moved from my sub-tropical home in Australia to where the desert meets the coast in Morocco, North Africa, and started surfing religiously aka spending A LOT of time in the sun and salt water. 

After 5 months in Morocco I had run out of my precious Australian skincare supplies and began to notice a significant change in my usually healthy and hydrated skin. My skin became extremely dehydrated, sunken, sullen, dull and fine lines began to make a very premature appearance.

My declining skin health was due to a myriad of reasons (usual travel bugs, gut heath, stress, etc) but I mostly felt the influence coming from excessive exposure to the elements, particularly the wind, sun, salt water and my inability to adequately replenish what being depleted.. both internally and externally. While we’ve all felt the healing magic and medicine that is time in the sun and salt water, too much of good thing becomes an extreme and extremes rarely promote balance. 

When I returned to Australia and again had access to all of my favourite skincare I intuitively reached for the water based serums first, even though I had not truely educated myself on why yet, I knew was that my skin was really, really thirsty! Cue, MONSOON SKIN, born from a deep need for monsoon levels of hydration and nourishment, but more on this later.

After a deep and dedicated dive into reclaiming my skin health I realised that if I wanted to rediscover my healthy and hydrated skin from a topic perspective (in addition to internal support) I needed to start here with botanical water based serums, before I lathered on the luxurious and decadent oils that I so adore.
Here is why:

If you wanted to hydrate your body you wouldn’t drink a glass of oil, would you? Despite messaging from a lot of contemporary skincare brands claiming that their face oils, body oils, all sorts of oils, ’hydrate’... oil based products do not hydrate.  They do soften, moisturise and retain the moisture that is already present, however, the word 'hydrate' pertains to water and as oil is devoid of water it simply cannot itself ‘hydrate.’

Quality water based products, particularly serums, are generally absorbed more quickly into the skin as their molecular structure is a lot finer and can provide instant hydration, they will penetrate the skin to a much deeper degree than oil based products.

Our skin naturally produces sebum, a group of complex oils, a lot more easily than it does water (if at all) so we need a little extra support both internally and externally to obtain and maintain proper water/hydration levels.

Most water based products contain humectants like Aloe Vera and Hyaluronic acid which are ingredients that attract and bind water. In skin care, they draw water from the deeper layers of the skin to the outermost layer. If air humidity is higher than 70% , they also draw water from the surrounding environment to the skin, layering oils on top of these ingredients is great to help seal that newly attracted abundance of moisture in. 

Water-based serums are not only an essential hydrating aid for those in dry climates/environments they are also suitable for those of us living in tropical / humid climates too! I live in Sri Lanka now and find some days it's way too hot and humid to reach for an oil at all. While there is a lot of moisture to absorb in the air when the humidity is higher and the evaporation of water from our skin is less but we’re still loosing a lot of water content through sweat! We need to replenish as much as we would in a dry environment, as in an Australian winter for example, where a dry un-naturally heated environment will cause more water to evaporate from the skin. Water based serums are extremely versatile. 

Monsoon skin exists to support those of us who spend our lives in the elements and while a lifestyle as such will always result in more lived-in skin and perhaps deeper smile lines than most, we must persevere to prioritise health and hydration, both internally and externally. So when next reaching for your skincare remember to consider hydrating the skin before your beautiful oil, moisturiser, balm, etc is applied, our Hydrating Serum or Vitamin C Radiance Serum are a very great place to start.

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