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What Can Electrolytes Do For Your Skin?

What Can Electrolytes Do For Your Skin?

Say hello to the latest powerhouses for hydrated, healthy skin. And yes, as their name suggests, they’re just like Gatorade for your skin. Well, kinda…

Some skincare ingredients come and go lightning fast. Especially when they’re all talk, no action! Some, however, are built to totally stand the test of time. Think retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E and exfoliating acids like glycolic and salicylic which are all awesome examples of tried and tested ingredients that are loved the world over. Because, of course, they work.

When it comes to hydration we’re sure you’re well aware of some of the most successful and commonly used moisture-magnets used in skincare formulations. Yes, here’s looking at you hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera. But, while incredibly effective at getting the job done, these are not, contrary to popular opinion, the be-all and end-all.

Enter electrolytes which are pipped to be the new, long-lasting darlings of skincare ingredients.

But first, let’s revisit skin hydration for a hot minute – because we know it can all get a little confusing…

What Is Skin Hydration?

Hydration is simply about the levels of water in your skin. But here’s the thing; hydration has nothing to do with dryness.

Allow us to elaborate. As you may know, there are four true skin types which are categorized not by their levels of water, but by the activity of your skin’s sebaceous glands and their ability to successfully (or not) moisturize your skin with sebum (oil). These skin types are normal, dry, oily and combination. While your skin can certainly change over the years, your skin type is the one you were born with and it’s predetermined by your genes. In this sense, skin types are very different to skin conditions which are usually the result of lifestyle or environmental factors like your age, hormones, stress levels or the products you put on your skin.

OK, so how is this all linked to hydration? Well, dehydrated skin is skin that’s lacking in water (NOT oil) and is a condition rather than a skin type. Dehydration can be due to any number of reasons like cold weather, stress, lack of sleep and sun damage, but it's rarely a genetic disposition which means you can have dry skin that’s dehydrated, oily skin that’s dehydrated or, well, you see where we’re going here.

How Does Skin Naturally Stay Hydrated?

A healthy barrier function is the key to hydrated skin. This important protective layer not only pulls in water from the air, but also works hard to keep it there, creating a barrier to stop moisture from escaping from the surface of your skin. It does this thanks to its natural moisturizing factor (NMF) which is a combination of amino acids and humectants.

Pretty smart stuff, right? Indeed it is... Until it isn’t. You see the problems start as skin ages and is subject to years of UV radiation, harsh ingredients in skincare and personal care products, prolonged exposure to water, pollution and so on and so forth. All this works hard to compromise your barrier function and break down your NMF, resulting in all manner of unwanted issues – dehydration included. 

And this is where help from quenching skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and, the newest kids on the block, electrolytes come to the rescue.

So, What Are Electrolytes?

Ok, here’s the science bit. Electrolytes are essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium which, when dissolved in water, conduct electricity – hence the name. In terms of your overall health electrolytes are vital for keeping you hydrated, balancing your body’s pH levels, rebuilding damaged tissue and regulating nerve and muscle function. They’re obtained mostly through a balanced, healthy diet and are abundant in things like fresh fruit and veggies.

You lose electrolytes through sweat (as well as urine, diarrhea and vomiting) which is why many athletes or people who exercise intensely replace them with sports drinks.

And What’s The Deal With Electrolytes In Skincare?

When it comes to skincare, applying electrolytes topically has the same moisture-quenching benefits. Their electoral charge helps drive water into the skin and retain essential moisture, while simultaneously giving energy to other hydrators and active ingredients, delivering them to exactly where they’re needed most. The result? Hydrated, plump, soft and most importantly, healthier skin.

Of course, electrolytes need water in order to work, so it’s important to choose the right water-based formulas for effective results.

And have we got just the thing in the form of our brand new Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum. Containing a special electrolyte blend of magnesium, potassium and calcium to hydrate your skin with a capital ‘h’, this all-in-one serum is also chock-full of water-binding hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also brimming with a mighty seven skin-loving vitamins to protect, strengthen, brighten, soothe, restore and replenish your skin so it continues to look its absolute best.

Already becoming a big hit with TruSkin fans, this lightweight serum is ideal for all skin types but we're finding it to be particularly effective for dull, dry, sensitive or dehydrated skin.

Are electrolytes the future for skincare? Who knows? But what we do know is they’re pretty dreamy for hydrating the skin and helping the rest of your routine perform better.

And, we don’t know about you, but we’re All. Over. That.

More About This Article

Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.