Waterless Skincare Can Save Your Skin, Save You Money & Help Save The Environment
It might seem strange, but the water-based skincare products (like creams, lotions, gels and some serums) you’re using could be doing your skin more harm than good.
Don’t get me wrong, our skin needs both water and oils/fats for optimal health. But to understand why the type of product we apply to our skin matters, we first need to understand the different types of skincare products available, as well as how our skin works.
Anhydrous vs Water-Based Skincare Products
In the topical beauty world, skincare products generally fall into two categories: water-based skincare & anhydrous skincare (aka oil-based skincare).
You can tell if a product is water-based or anhydrous by looking at the ingredient label.
- Water-based skincare products are those that list water, or any water-based ingredient like tea, aloe vera, coconut water or juice, as an ingredient.
- Anhydrous products, on the other hand, contain NO WATER (they’re ‘waterless’) and are formulated entirely with oils, butters, clays and powders.
It’s these anhydrous skincare products that have come to be known as Waterless Skincare in the beauty world today.
And due to the structure of our skin, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the water-based skincare products we’ve grown accustomed to using could be doing our skin more harm than good.
Let me explain…
Skin & Brick Walls
Without the mortar, a brick wall has no structural integrity and can fall apart rather easily leaving it weak, and susceptible to the elements as well as attack from foreign invaders.
It’s the same for our skin...
Without the lipid's (mortar) holding our skin cells (bricks) together, our skin becomes weak, vulnerable to the elements and attack from foreign allergens, irritants, microorganisms, chemicals and UV rays1, 2, 3.
More than Mortar
But unlike mortar, skin lipid's not only functions as the glue holding our skin together, but they also serves as an effective nutrient delivery system.
As a complex mixture of natural oils/fats, the skin's lipids can absorb and transport fat soluble vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants deep within the skin.
An impermeable barrier
What’s even more impressive though is that the fatty lipid layer is also what makes our bodies watertight5.
The stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) consists almost entirely of dry, dead skin cells & lipids (the bricks and mortar). And because water and oil don’t mix, this fatty lipid layer only allows fat/oil-based substances to pass through in significant quantities6.
In fact, it’s this fatty lipid layer that makes our skin impermeable to water, and water-based substances, and stops us from dissolving and turning into a big soggy mess when we go swimming or take a bath/shower.
Hydration comes from within
Miraculously, as our skin is designed to limit water passing through it in either direction, it’s this fatty layer that also protects us from dehydration1, 4, 6, 7 - ie our skin also helps keep the water we consume inside our bodies.
This then begs the question - if water is unable to penetrate the skin effectively, doesn’t it make sense that water-based skincare products (which can be composed of over 90% water and water-soluble substances) aren’t effectively absorbed by the skin either?
Accordingly, and contrary to what most mainstream cosmetic companies would have you believe (find out why here), this means that any water, or water-soluble substance required by the deeper alive layers of skin for optimal function is primarily obtained from within… and not from the products you apply.
What then happens to your skin when you apply water-based skincare products?
Water-based products can weaken your natural defences & increase wrinkles
Since they can’t effectively be absorbed by the skin, water-based skincare products tend to sit on top of the skin until the molecules either evaporate or are washed away – taking some of the skin’s natural lipids away as well.
Over time, just like a mortarless brick wall, eroding too much of the natural lipid barrier (mortar) away compromises the skin’s natural defences. This can lead to weak, dry, malnourished, flaky and itchy skin that’s prone to infections, inflammation and other skin conditions1, 2.
Plus, much like dehydrated fruit, dehydrated skin never appears plump and healthy either. Rather, dehydration tends to enhance the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, whilst also making the skin appear dull and lifeless.
Weakened defences leads to oily & problem skin
Like most of our bodily functions, once compromised our skin works to repair any imbalances1. And if the lipid layer of the skin is deemed inadequate, the skin works overtime to counteract this by producing more lipids.
As time goes on, if continually stripped of its natural lipids, our skin becomes accustomed to producing excess quantities of these lipids… resulting in oily skin - which why your skin can feel dry and oily at the same time.
Like what happens in a dry pond or creek bed, this is when problems such as breakouts, acne and inflammation can develop. Dirt, irritants and microorganisms (like bacteria and fungi) can get trapped, accumulate and replicate in the cracks, which leads to clogged pores and a plethora of other skin conditions.
"water-based skincare products can be composed of over 90% water"
What’s the solution?
Go waterless (skincare that is)!
Since only oil/fat-based compounds can be sufficiently absorbed by the skin, we need to be feeding, nourishing and supporting our skin from the outside with fat/oil based anhydrous (aka 'waterless') skincare products…
And keeping it hydrated from within by drinking plenty of water.
Plus, less is more for you…
Waterless skincare products are generally composed with 100% of the ingredients our skin needs, loves and instinctively knows how to utilise. This means that you aren’t wasting your money on cheap fillers (aka water) or unnecessary and often harmful synthetic additives like artificial preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners and fragrances.
And as little goes a long way, you’ll use less, spend less, and see better results 😉 WIN WIN!
…and the environment
But what’s even better… it’s knowing your decision is go waterless is also helping the environment.
When you strip out the water, you’re not only stripping out the unnecessary wastage of water, but you’re also stripping out the waste of time, energy and resources that goes into the production of the superfluous additives (preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, etc).
Plus, as water-based skincare products are generally formulated with over 90% water and water-soluble additives, when you strip out the water, you’re also removing the requirement for large bulky containers that are heavy and unnecessarily expensive to transport.
WIN WIN WIN!!!
When you strip out the water... you also strip out unnecessary waste
So Why Are You Still Paying for Water In Your Skincare?
Fortunately, here at Oasis Black we’ve developed our entire range of eco-friendly skincare products with entirely anhydrous formulations that use only organic and all-natural ingredients that the skin loves and instinctively knows how to utilise.
And because as we love the environment, we’ve also designed our packaging with both the product and planet in mind.