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How to work with deconstructed moisturizers

Whether you are new to green beauty or a pro, combining products to customize to your skin's unique moisture needs can be a little tricky. Below we've put together five tips to get started.

Our products are designed as "deconstructed moisturizers". Pairing humectant-based products and lipid-rich facial oils and balms that can be blended together and tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

With this approach, most of the Live Botanical line remains "emulsifier free" and focuses to mimic the skin's natural structure and function. Though we want to mention not all emulsification systems are "bad". Often the binary language of "good vs bad" is a result from the complexity and nuance of the subject matter, often when there is no simple answer. We'll have a blog post on the topic of emulsifiers soon :)

Why is moisture so important?

When your skin moisture level is "off-balance" it can cause your skin to be flaky, sensitive, easily irritated, and/or more prone to breakouts because the protective layer of the skin becomes compromised. 

This moisture barrier, also known as your acid mantle or stratum corneum, provides critical protection for your skin. So restoring your moisture, especially throughout the seasons of your life, is a vital step in caring for your skin state.

Tip #1

Avoid putting a facial oil or balm onto dry skin.

If you've ever experienced dry patches on your skin it may be due to a lack of hydration.  So if you've been just washing your face and then directly putting on an oil or balm, try layering a type of hydration underneath.

This small shift can get your skin back to feeling great!

Tip #2

Humectants are our friends.

Humectants help hold and retain water in the skin. Water content in the skin is the primary factor that governs its flexibility. So using a hydration product rich in humectants is the key to skin strength and elasticity. 

All of our hydration products contain humectants such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid*, snow mushroom, etc, which are all researched and proven to draw and bind water into the skin.

*Tips on using Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

HA is a little unique in that it hygroscopic, drawing water to the skins surface and from the atmosphere. So if your skin is dry or your are in a dry environment, there may not be enough moisture to pull from. Applying HA in the bathroom after a steamy shower can help optimize its effects. Also maintaining your internal hydration is helpful.

Tip #3

Oils & balms (occlusives, emollients) lock in hydration 

The constituents of plant-based oils, waxes, butters, ceramides and sterols (ie lipids or fats) aid in skin barrier restoration/disruption and help hold in moisture.

Once you have a cleansed face, added a humectant-rich hydration layer and the skin is still damp, it's time to seal it in with an oil and/or balm. 

This sandwich/layering technique is the magic of beautifully moisturized skin.



Tip #4

Adjust your blend to your preferred moisture level

Everyone's natural sebum (oil) production varies. You may have excess oil, combination, or little to no oil production at all (ie dry or dehydrated).

Your oil production can change daily, monthly, and most likely seasonally (hello, winter). The goal is for your skin to feel comfortable.

There are endless custom blends you can create to tailor to your skin.

There are so many wonderful ways to apply products to the skin that don't require to layer one on top of the other or in a specific order and still reap all the benefits.

Create an emulsion:

Mix together your hydration product (elixirs/mists, hyaluronic acid, etc.) & your preferred oil and/or balm into the palm of your hand until a milky texture forms. Yes, simply mix everything together! Massage and/or press into skin.


Applying products one at a time directly onto the skin:

Layering products one at a time is great way if you want a little more control on your product usage like saturation, dry down times, incorporating massage, etc. If you are unsure which product to start with a good rule of thumb is to apply products by weight, from lightest to heaviest or thinnest to thickest. Also most brands have suggestions on how to use their products. Use the instructions or reach out to them directly :)

You can also get creative when you need more moisture. You can make a "double sandwich layer" if incorporating a balm on top of an oil to enhance the occlusive, nourishing protective layer to your skin to seal in your skincare.

So it would look like this… { hydration + oil + hydration + balm }

Tip #5

Listen to your skin

Get to know your skin, and see what it reacts well to, and what it doesn't love. Give yourself space to feel into what is most nourishing to you.

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