I really felt like I was doing everything right. I drank 2L of water every day, ate tons of fruits and vegetables, passed on caffeine and alcohol, exercised daily and used natural skincare products. I dutifully cleansed my face, applied a hydrosol toner and a deliciously exotic oil serum. But my skin was still not plump, juicy and glowing. What was I missing? The answer was obvious – my skin needed more hydration. I thought I was covering all the bases, but my skin was telling me otherwise. And so I hit the books, determined to find out how to get more water into my skin cells. It turns out that even though our body is over 60% water, the skin is the last organ to absorb hydration from the body. This means that even a little bit of dehydration in the body is going to show up in the skin. And dehydration in the skin is obvious. Picture this: when our skin is dehydrated the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin, is 35 micrometers thick. When our skin is properly hydrated the epidermis swells to 48 micrometers thick. This means that proper hydration increases the thickness of our skin by 37%! And this is why hydration is the holy grail of skincare. Wrinkles seem less noticeable, the face feels firmer, oil production normalizes and make-up glides on effortlessly. Even smiling feels better. And although staying hydrated internally is critical to glowing skin, we need to have a solid topical strategy to keep our skin well-watered – considering how susceptible our skin is to hydration changes within the body. How the Skin Absorbs Water The skin does not absorb water. In fact, the outer layer of the epidermis is hydrophilic (water-hating) and lipophilic (oil-loving). And this is probably a good thing – it prevents you from sucking up water like a sponge whenever you bathe or swim. Bottom line: oil can penetrate the very top layer of the skin (note: it does not get very far) and water cannot. When I took a look at my skincare regime, the flaw was apparent. When I applied my hydrosol toner, it simply evaporated or dripped off my face. And then when the oil serum was applied, it barely penetrated my skin and acted to seal in only the existing hydration in my skin. My skincare regime was not hydrating my skin at all.