If your skin looks dull and dry, you’ll want to add these 5 hydrating ingredients to your routine

In partnership with Superdrug

Woman applying cream to face
(Image credit: Getty Images/Jamie Grill/Tanja Ivanova/Future)

Central heating, stress, and cold weather can all leave our skin looking a little dull and dry. But, by adding a few dermatologist-approved ingredients into your daily skincare routine, you can help to add some much-needed hydration to your complexion. Here skincare lover and NHS doctor Dr Kemi Fabusiwa reveals five star hydrating ingredients to use this winter, plus the products from Superdrug’s Me+ range to find them in.

The best 5 hydrating ingredients to add to your skincare routine

1. Hyaluronic Acid

Ask any skin expert, and they’ll suggest adding hyaluronic acid into a hydrating skincare regime. Why? “Hyaluronic Acid is a water-based humectant that is able to hold over 1,000 times its weight in water. This means that it binds onto the surface of the skin and helps to draw water in from the environment,” explains Dr Kemi Fabusiwa. It’s this ability to hold onto so much water, that makes it so effective at helping to hydrate the skin's barrier, plump the skin, and prevent irritation, Dr Fabusiwa continues. “Hyaluronic acid can benefit all of us, no matter what our skin concerns are”. 

A great way of adding this super humectant into your own skincare routine is with a serum. “Hyaluronic Acid does not react with other ingredients which means that you can layer it before other serums and before applying your moisturiser,” says Dr Fabusiwa. “It's most important to apply hyaluronic acid to damp skin so that it can hold onto that water”. 

2. Polyglutamic Acid

“Polyglutamic acid is another powerful hydrator,” says Dr Fabusiwa. “It’s a humectant just like hyaluronic acid but is able to hold onto even more water”. What’s more, it works for any skin type and does not irritate the skin when used alongside other active ingredients such as retinol or glycolic acid. 

This hydrating ingredient is used in a very similar way to hyaluronic acid, so expect to find it on the ingredients list of everyday serums and moisturisers. 

3. Ceramides

“Ceramides are one of the skin's natural moisturising factors. This means that it is already present in our skin's barrier,” says Dr Fabusiwa. When used topically, however, this lipid emollient helps to moisturise and strengthen the skin's barrier which has several benefits. Dr Fabusiwa explains: “Ceramides ability to lock in water helps to plump the skin, reduce irritation, and delay the first signs of ageing. It also helps to soothe and lubricate the skin by preventing trans-epidermal water loss”.

As ceramides have so many great skin-boosting benefits, you’ll find them in many skincare products such as cleansers and moisturisers. They’re also often paired with more active ingredients such as antioxidants and exfoliating AHAs and BHAs. This helps ceramides to be more readily absorbed by the skin.

4. Squalane

If you have an oily, blemish-prone skin type, you may worry about how to hydrate your skin without creating any further congestion. In this case, Dr Fabusiwa suggests using squalane. “This lightweight oil is non-comedogenic which means that it can sit on the surface of the skin, lubricating it without clogging your pores,” she explains. “Because it's so lightweight, it’s appropriate for most skin types and can help to rebalance the oil on your skin”. This helps to give the complexion a healthy glow without running the risk of exacerbating blemishes.

A great way of adding squalane into your regime is with an antioxidant serum. How so? While ingredients such as Vitamin C can help to defend the skin against environmental aggressors and reduce the appearance of dark spots, squalane will provide lightweight and long-lasting hydration. 

5. Niacinamide

“Niacinamide is a multi-function, multi-purpose ingredient that can be found in serums, moisturisers and toners,” says Dr Fabusiwa. “It also goes by the name Vitamin B3 and has a remarkable role in restoring the skin's barrier, reducing excess oil production, and dampening down inflammation”. But the benefits don’t end there, it can also be used to reduce skin conditions such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

By using a serum formulated with niacinamide every day, you can help to improve the overall appearance of your skin tone. You’ll often find it within formulations that contain complementary ingredients such as zinc, retinol, and hyaluronic acid.

For more information and to discover the full Me+ range, visit Superdrug