Have you ever glanced at the list of ingredients that go on to make the skincare product you so love? If you have, chances are that water or “aqua” tops the list. Water has been the topmost ingredient for many skincare products for the longest time. Around 75- 90% of the ingredients in a skincare product is just your humble water.
The concept of water-less skincare that was pioneered in Korea has now caught up the skincare and wellness industry in the west as well. And for all the right reasons.
But water is good for your skin, right? And by this logic water in the skincare products benefits our skin? Well not always!
What does Going Water-less Mean?
The concept of water-less skincare products is a trailblazer in the industry that has revolutionized the way we view the role of water in these products.
Going water-less implies that water per-se is not an ingredient in these products. What is used instead are plant-based extracts making the products more efficacious and potent. Water-less skincare products are stronger and work harder and better to give you the promised radiance and glow to your skin.
Why is Water Used in Skincare Products?
Why is water used in skincare products anyway? Water, in skincare products primarily serves two purposes. Firstly, it is a fantastic solvent. Simply put, water is used to breakdown compounds and take them to the deepest levels of your skin for better absorption. It is suitable for all skin types making it the most favored solvent. Secondly, water acts as an emulsifier. The job of an emulsifier is to keep two contrasting ingredients together. This property comes in handy in lotions and creams where water keeps the water-loving and oil-loving ingredients together. It is this togetherness of opposing ingredients that gives the rich creamy texture to the tub of cream at your dresser.
Is Water the Panacea It is Claimed to Be?
You would be a millionaire if you counted every time the word “hydration” appeared in any skincare article surely, our skin needs water to maintain optimal hydration. Surprisingly not. Using water as an ingredient is not all peaches & cream. The reality is that skincare products that have water as their principal component, take more than they give.
It disturbs the balance of naturally secreted body oil: Your skin is the frontline soldier keeping your body safe against external injuries and environmental stresses. To help it do its job efficiently, it produces natural body oils. This not only safeguards your skin from various elements but also delivers vitamins and antioxidants to the epidermis. In turn, moisturizing your skin and making it resilient.
Topical application of creams and lotions disturb the balance of naturally secreted oils in your skin. When you apply water-based products, water evaporates from your skin taking away your body’s natural oils as well, making it dry and dehydrated.
Water is also a breeding ground for bacteria: Bacteria needs water to thrive and survive. A high degree of preservatives are added to prevent bacterial growth and increase the shelf life of the products. Eliminating or minimizing water from the skincare products translates into the reduced need to add preservatives.
Overabundance: A thing about overabundance is it’s cheap to procure. So is the case with water. It is cheaply available, hence copiously used in your skincare products. As a result, your products are more diluted with compromised efficacy.
Is Going Water-less a Step Towards Sustainability?
Water is a very powerful element and essential for survival. Water scarcity is a global problem and has been termed as the 4th highest crises in the world. With such acute water shortage, the use of water in skincare products is only adding to the problem.
The good news is that the skincare industry has recognized the environmental impact of use of water in the products. More and more brands, across the spectrum are eliminating or minimizing the use of water as an ingredient. This has led to a chain reaction leading to decreased requirement of preservatives and making them more stable. A more concentrated formula means less packaging and volume. This in turn means that there is less energy required to develop the formula. Water-less skincare impacts every stage of the manufacturing and supply chain of the skincare products.
So you see, going water-less in skincare products is all about taking steps towards a more eco- friendly and sustainable planet while taking care of your skin in the most optimal manner. We only have one Earth to live in, let us take care of it.