There are some skincare buzzwords that instantly make you curious, aren’t there? Among those terms is the “moisture sandwich” — one of the newest skincare trends and also one of the most intriguing. What exactly is a “moisture sandwich”?
Let’s be honest, it’s not the most appetizing-sounding skincare craze, is it? But as we learned from the “slugging” craze — something that plays a part in the moisture sandwich process — just because a craze sounds a bit odd, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth testing out.
According to Vogue, dermatologist Dr. Kiran Sethi says that “a moisture sandwich refers to dampening your skin, applying a humectant-based product and then applying an occlusive balm. It’s designed to ensure enough water gets into the skin and none of it gets out.”
As per Byrdie, Charlotte Palermino, co-founder and CEO of Dieux Skin, pulled this new skincare trend into the spotlight with a recent Instagram reel which shared the many benefits of using the moisture sandwich method.
In her Instagram reel, Palermino shares how dampening skin while layering face and lip products on top can help to trap moisture inside.
How can you create a moisture sandwich?
As per her Instagram video, Charlotte Palermino begins the process by using water to dampen her face. This is then followed by applying her facial serum of choice. She explains that you can also follow this step by adding a little more water to the skin, before topping up with your go-to moisturizer — and using an occlusive if your skin is “very dry.”
For the lips, Palermino uses a similar process, applying water, followed by moisturizer, followed by lip balm to seal in the hydration.
As Palermino explains (via Byrdie), “By dampening your mouth, you’re giving the moisturizer more of an opportunity to penetrate. It gives humectants or water-loving ingredients (like glycerin) in the formula more to hold on to. And then using something truly ‘occlusive,’ you’re giving your mouth an opportunity to health and soak up all that water.”
It looks like Palermino is a big fan of “slugging” — the process of sealing in your products using an occlusive product, such as Vaseline or a natural butter like Shea Butter. She follows the process above by sealing in all the products on her skin and lips.
What are the benefits of a moisture sandwich?
As per The Kit, Dr. Katie Beleznay, dermatologist and clinical instructor, explains, “There is some evidence to support the idea that moisturizer is better absorbed on damp skin.” However, she also notes that this means being more mindful of what you apply to your skin, as any product you use is more easily absorbed and can lead to irritation more easily.
According to Byrdie, Charlotte Palermino explains that using the moisture sandwich routine will enhance and improve your skin health and says, “In doing this, you’re just trapping moisture and allowing your skin to receive skincare better.”
She also explains that “a hydrating ingredient such as hyaluronic acid can do well on damp skin, but we don’t typically recommend applying topical vitamin C or retinol to damp skin, for example.”
Dr. Kirthan Sethi tells Vogue that by applying products to damp skin and then following this with a thicker occlusive product, the water is trapped on the skin for longer, leading to skin that’s better hydrated and more full-looking.
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