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Skin aging is one of the top skin concerns we hear from our customers. Interestingly, dehydrated skin results in premature skin aging so boosting the skin’s water content is one of the most efficient ways to combat visible signs of aging [1]. Looking to harness the power of H2O? We’ve broken down the science, stats and strategy surrounding hydration and healthy skin aging.

The Role of Water

Water within the skin helps keep it elastic, flexible, supple-looking and protected from external stressors. Most of the water in our skin lives in the deeper dermis layers and progressively decreases as you move to the surface [2].


Figure 1: Water Content of Skin [2]

That water mixes with cholesterol and free fatty acids to form the moisture barrier that helps prevent excessive water evaporation and keeps out foreign substances [2]. If the moisture barrier is compromised due to environmental factors, incorrect use of topical products, lack of fluid consumption or UV damage, the water in the skin evaporates in a process known as trans epidermal water loss. This break in the dermal junction allows foreign substances like pollution, bacteria, or chemicals from our cleaning products in to our skin and bodies.

How Hydration Supports Healthy Aging

The connection between air pollution and skin aging has been well established and those that live in urban centres have been shown to be the most impacted [3]. Studies show that air pollution can cling to the skin where free-radicals increase the rate of cell death [3]. Fortunately, precautions can be taken to prevent pollution from harming the skin including the use of sunscreen and applying hydrating and moisturizing products that help to reinforce the moisture barrier [4]. 

Not only may well-hydrated skin protect you from foreign substances that can accelerate the aging process, but skin with high water content prevents skin from becoming brittle, thin and appearing 'crepey' [5]. (Think of the difference between a grape and a raisin, the one with more wrinkles is just dehydrated).   

Hydrated skin yields plumper cells, more space between layers, and less cracking and creasing [6].

Consonant_Skin_HydrationFigure 2: Stratum corneum thickness of (a) non-hydrated and (b) hydrated skin [7]

More water complexed with lipids in the striatum corneum (top-most layer of skin) helps fill in fine lines as well as reflect light to help temporarily improve the appearance of wrinkles [7]. Figure 2 shows the striatum corneum becoming more plump after exposure to water. The arrows indicate the distance between layers before and after hydration.

The Scientifically Proven Solution

Bringing water into the skin and keeping it there is a sophisticated process. It requires a balance of hydrophilic (water-loving) ingredients and light-weight occlusives to form a barrier to seal it in. It was exactly this mechanism Consonant had in mind when developing HydrExtreme. Using a blend of water-binding sugars and botanical humectants, HydrExtreme became the leader in skin hydration, clinically outperforming the top hydration serums on the market as well as a pure hyaluronic acid serum.

In a panel study, 100% of participants agreed that their skin was more hydrated, appeared plumper and fine lines were reduced. In a 2021 third party clinical study, HydrExtreme significantly decreased under-eye wrinkles in just four weeks. One participant even saw a 50% reduction in under-eye wrinkles.


Figure 3: Fifty percent reduction in under-eye winkles in four weeks of HydrExtreme application twice daily. 

The Bottom Line

Aging is a process many of us struggle with. Instead of focusing purely on looking younger, embrace the skin you live your life in and work to keep it healthy. Maintaining skin hydration, moisture (and always wearing your SPF) are some of the simplest strategies to caring for your skin and keeping it looking it's best. Through topical solutions paired with lifestyle optimization, Consonant is here to help you discover your best skin through all stages of life, naturally.   



[1] Lodén, M. (2003). Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. American journal of clinical dermatology4(11), 771-788.

[2] Bonté, F. (2011, May). Skin moisturization mechanisms: new data. In Annales pharmaceutiques francaises (Vol. 69, No. 3, pp. 135-141). Elsevier Masson.

[3] Schikowski, T., & Hüls, A. (2020). Air pollution and skin aging. Current environmental health reports7(1), 58-64.

[4] Mistry, N. (2017). Guidelines for formulating anti-pollution products. Cosmetics4(4), 57.

[5] Balin, A. K., & Pratt, L. A. (1989). Physiological consequences of human skin aging. Cutis43(5), 431-436.

[6] VAN DER MERWE, E. R. N. A., & ACKERMANN, C. (1987). Physical changes in hydrated skin. International journal of cosmetic science9(5), 237-247.

[7] Tan, G., Xu, P., Lawson, L. B., He, J., Freytag, L. C., Clements, J. D., & John, V. T. (2010). Hydration effects on skin microstructure as probed by high-resolution cryo-scanning electron microscopy and mechanistic implications to enhanced transcutaneous delivery of biomacromolecules. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences99(2), 730-740.

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