Asian woman in white applying lotion to hands at home.

The secret to hydrated skin is not a product, treatment, or beauty drink. It's maintaining a nourishing lifestyle and avoiding things that can disrupt that. Here are some changes you can make today to bring back smoothness, suppleness, and bounce to your complexion.

Try Skin Flooding

Skin flooding is a TikTok trend that involves layering hydrating ingredients on your skin, product by product. Dermatologists recommend it because it involves low-risk, universally beneficial ingredients like . Plus, it’s easy to do at home. While the trend mostly focuses on facial skin care, you can apply the concept to body care as well.

Start with a body wash like Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash. Made with NutriumMoisture technology, it nourishes the skin up to 20 layers deep within the epidermis. If you want a refreshing alternative for summer, try Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Body Wash, which delivers up to 24 hours of freshness and hydration. After rinsing, apply serum lotion while your skin is still damp, making sure to focus on exposed areas like the arms, back of the hands, and legs.

Use Sun Protection

Speaking of exposed areas, always apply sun protection before you head out under the sun. Aside from escalating premature aging, exposure to and heat can also dehydrate your skin. Artificial heat does the same thing. So, if you’re always in a hot car or sauna, or working beside an overheating machine, try to make some changes to avoid further dehydration in your skin.

Exfoliate Regularly 

Does your skin still feel dry after applying lotion and body cream? Your might be to blame. It sounds counterintuitive but can help your skin feel more hydrated by sloughing off dead cells that prevent your skincare from doing what it needs to. Always follow up with a moisturizer with humectants to attract water to your skin and to seal in the hydration.

Keep Moving

Did you know that regular exercise can help keep your skin hydrated? According to , exercise improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture by strengthening the , preventing excessive transepidermal water loss (TWL), which is when water evaporates from the skin. This is, of course, in conjunction with a healthy diet, quality sleep, and washing your face after working out.

Eat Your Water

Are you struggling with the -a-day rule? A study by the journal found that people don’t need that much water since food also has water content. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all number that’s going to make you hydrated – it depends on what you need. To make sure that you get that, choose meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits over processed foods. These will have the water content you need.

Say No to Vices

Excessive drinking and smoking can dehydrate your skin. Alcohol is a diuretic that may be okay in small amounts. However, regular heavy drinking flushes moisture from the body, leading to not only dehydration but also inflammation. The latter can trigger flare-ups if you’re prone to dermatitis or eczema. In addition, a 2023 study in the Scientific Reports journal found that direct exposure to cigarette smoke induces high levels of oxidative stress on the skin barrier, leading to TWL.

Hydrated skin is not something that you can achieve overnight with a targeted regimen. It’s the result of a routine that promotes overall skin health. Thankfully, these steps aren’t secrets at all – just things you forget amid your busy schedules. So don’t go trying to do them all at once. Instead, start with the easiest one for you and see where you can go from there.