What is skin overhydration?

We all know how important it is to moisturise. It’s an essential step in your skincare routine to keep skin supple, hydrated, and healthy. However, did you know that skin can be overhydrated? 

Let’s look at signs of overhydration and how to avoid it. 

What is skin overhydration?  

Skin overhydration happens when the skin barrier becomes too soft due to an excess amount of moisture being applied. This excess moisture can affect the skin's natural ability to stay hydrated, slowing down the production of natural oils. If the skin barrier is too soft it will not be able to effectively protect itself against external elements.  

What causes overhydration? 

Over-moisturisng your skin is the cause of skin overhydration. This is unlikely to happen if you spend a day here or there applying more moisturiser than usual (such as when you’re on holiday and your skin is in the sun more often), but rather if you consistently apply too much over an extended period of time.  

What happens to the skin? 

The skin barrier (stratum corneum) is the outermost layer of your skin, and on the surface of this layer are microscopic cells called corneocytes. These cells help to create a protective barrier, keeping moisture in and external irritations out. Corneocytes will absorb anything you apply to your skin. If too much product is applied, the cells can begin to swell up and are unable to absorb anything else. This means that your other skin products won’t be properly absorbed and working to their full potential.  

What does overhydrated skin look like? 

One of the signs of overhydration is that your skin can often feel dry – even though you are over-applying moisturiser! Although in some cases, skin may become very oily, and its texture may become bumpy or you may get clogged pores and breakouts. Another sign is that when you apply moisturiser, it will sit on the surface of the skin and not absorb properly.  

What can I do to fix it? 

If you think you’ve been over-hydrating skin, there are a few steps you can take to repair the skin barrier and get your skincare routine back on track. 

  1. Use less moisturiser 

This may feel counter intuitive at first, especially as your skin may feel dry and tight. Apply a very small amount and stick to applying twice daily. Using only a little amount ofishga Marine Cream will go very far in producing long-lasting results for nourished, healthy skin. 

  1. Simplify your skincare routine 

If you use multiple products in your routine (multiple serums, oils etc) then it can be hard to determine what products are causing the overhydration. You may want to reduce the steps in your routine for the short-term, to work out what works well for your skin, and what isn’t serving it. For example, you could look at a simple routine including only cleanser, moisturiser and an SPF to begin with. Once you know what is producing results for your skin, you can gradually reintroduce more products, leaving 2-4 weeks between each so skin has time to adapt again. 

  1. Use the right moisturiser 

The cause of your skin overhydration could be a result of using the wrong moisturiser for your skin type. Take a look at the ingredients in your moisturiser and find out if they work for your skin type. Not sure what your skin type is? Find outhere. We have a range ofishga Marine Creams to suit different skin needs, so your skin gets exactly what it needs.  

How long will it take to treat the skin overhydration? 

This will depend on the rate of cell turnover and life cycle of the skin, which could be up to 3 months.On average the skin cycle takes 2-3 weeks between the ages of 18-25, increasing to 4 weeks between the ages of 25-40. As we grow older the rate of the skin cycle begins to slow down and by the time you are in the age range 40-50 it will have slowed to around 8 weeks and to 12 weeks by the time you reach your 50’s and 60’s.  

Don’t confuse overhydration with dry or dehydrated skin 

Skin overhydration is caused by excessive use of moisturising products. Dry and dehydrated skin are other matters. Dry skin is caused by a lack of oil and is askin type,whereas dehydrated skin needs hydrating. The simplest way to avoid getting dehydrated skin is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day and applying an effective moisturiser twice a day. 


Shop the perfect ishga Marine Cream for your skin type here