Skincare: The Interplay between Oil and Water on your skin by Sudtana
Oil and water famously do not mix. It is the pretense to a commonly asked skincare question: whether it is better to apply natural oils onto dry skin or damp skin – and if there’s even any difference at all.
The short answer to the question is that it is more effective to apply natural oils onto damp skin because of the fact that oil and water famously do not mix. The interplay between oil and water on your skin spreads the natural oil out more evenly and helps your skin absorb both better.
But how does it work? There are three main mechanisms which make applying natural oils on damp skin is more effective than on dry skin:
First, your skin is made up of multiple layers, and when your skin is wet — after showering, for instance — some of the water is absorbed by your skin. This is important because water molecules are cohesive, meaning that they’re attracted to other molecules that are similar.
Second: as you already know, water repel oils, so when oils are applied onto damp skin, the repelling effect of the water molecules pushes oils around so it more easily and more effectively spread across your skin, filling in the micro-gaps and cracks between skin cells that were caused by dryness or flaking. This brings important hydration & healing to the areas of your skin that would have otherwise been neglected.
The final mechanism is the fact that the natural oil you apply on top of your damp skin essentially prevents water molecules from evaporating – allowing your skin more time to absorb them and locking in much-needed moisture for longer. Thus, by applying oils on damp skin, you’re allowing it to more effectively moisturise, hydrate, nourish and nurse your skin from the inside-out and prevent the essential vitamins & minerals from the oils from evaporating before they can be absorbed.
That being said: you certainly can apply natural oils onto dry skin – the effects just will not be as potent.
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