Dry summer skin? Try a 'moisture sandwich'

·5-min read

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The viral skincare trend is a must for dry summer skin. (Getty Images)

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There's a new viral skincare trend that's making the rounds, and if you're looking for a boost of hydration this season you might want to add a “moisture sandwich” to your beauty routine.

In case it's a new term to you, the concept involves layering skincare products to maximize the hydration intake for our skin. It's hailed as a game-changer when it comes to dry skin, and the term was coined on Reddit before social media influencers turned it into a viral trend.

What is a 'moisture sandwich'?

The idea is to sandwich your skincare products with different layers of moisture so you can trap water in the skin and thereby boost hydration. You start by applying light, water-based formulas and layering them under thicker creams so that the water is sealed into your skin's deepest layers.

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According to a rep from skincare brand Laneige, "when the skin is dry or dehydrated, we want to make sure that we are not only adding hydrating ingredients, but also making sure that the hydration is trapped in for the skin to hold on to. This is where the layering routine comes in."

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If you're unsure of how to get started, you can test the formulation of your skincare products by adding a drop of each product onto the forearm, then watching the rate that they drip down. Generally, the lightest texture with a higher water concentration is going to drip faster, and would be the first step in your moisture sandwich, followed by thicker or richer products. 

How to apply the moisture sandwich technique

If you're ready to apply this skincare technique to your beauty routine, you'll want to start with a watery and lightweight option like a hydrating toner, which preps the skin for next steps. Follow it up with a hydrating serum that's packed with humectant ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which help retain moisture on the surface of the skin. 

Next, follow up with a moisturizer to help seal in long-lasting hydration, and finish the routine with a sleeping mask to deeply hydrate while you sleep. 

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Just like how everyone likes different toppings and fillings for their sandwiches, the moisture sandwich routine can be customized based on your skincare needs to see best results. If you feel that you're on the more oily side, switch out a heavy moisturizer for a gel-based product, especially during the hotter, more humid months of the year. 

It can take some trial and error to create your own unique moisture sandwich, but we've gathered our top recommendations create your own moisturizing routine. 

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer. Image via Sephora
Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer. Image via Sephora

This two-in-one formula preps and softens like a toner and moisturizes like a cream for maximum hydration benefits. It contains white leaf tea water that is rich in amino acids to strengthen the skin barrier, moisturize and soothe.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $43

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence. Image via Sephora
Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence. Image via Sephora

This new brightening essence is powered by glycolic acid to remove dead skin and grape water to hydrate, revealing brighter, smoother, and more even skin. The ingredients include peony to brighten and even the complexion and organic grape water to moisturize and soothe dry skin.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $67

fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner

fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner. Image via Sephora
fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner. Image via Sephora

This non-stripping toner is extremely hydrating thanks to rose petals and hyaluronic acid that minimizes the look of pores. It is powered with oning rose fruit extract, soothing rosewater, nourishing rose oil and real floating rose petals.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $59

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream. Image via Sephora
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream. Image via Sephora

The Water Bank Moisture Cream strengthens skin's moisture barrier for a hydrated, balanced complexion. It contains ingredients extracted from Brussels sprouts, artichoke, and lima bean to deeply hydrate skin.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $50

Honest Beauty Everyday Radiance Moisturizer

Honest Beauty Everyday Radiance Moisturizer. Image via Shoppers Drug Mart
Honest Beauty Everyday Radiance Moisturizer. Image via Shoppers Drug Mart

This daily face moisturizer contains a botanical blend of chamomile and calendula to help calm and soothe skin. Packed with Vitamins B3 and C, this lightweight and non-greasy formula feels airy on the skin. 

SHOP IT: Shoppers Drug Mart, $32 (originally $40)

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel  

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel. Image via Sephora
Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel. Image via Sephora

Gently dab on this lightweight gel eye cream, which is infused with micro hyaluronic acid for around-the-clock hydration.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $50

Valmont L'Elixir des Glaciers Fluide Merveilleux

Valmont L'Elixir des Glaciers Fluide Merveilleux. Image via Holt Renfrew
Valmont L'Elixir des Glaciers Fluide Merveilleux. Image via Holt Renfrew

This luxe liquid essence immediately seeps into all layers of the skin, releasing its regenerating action. It is infused with marine minerals and has an ultra-fine formula that's quickly absorbed into the skin. 

SHOP IT: La Maison Valmont, $470

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Image via Sephora
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Image via Sephora

Seal hydration in with the Water Sleeping Mask before you go to bed — it's a quenching gel mask that quickly absorbs to deeply hydrate skin while you sleep. It contains orange flower, rose, and sandalwood, apricot and evening primrose extracts to brighten and purify fatigued skin.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $33

Estée Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant 72H Hydration Sorbet Crème SPF 15

Estee Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant 72H Hydration Sorbet Crème SPF 15. Image via Nordstrom
Estee Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant 72H Hydration Sorbet Crème SPF 15. Image via Nordstrom

This light and refreshing moisturizer delivers 72-hour hydration and powerful protection with antioxidants and SPF. The oil-free formula features a blend of five antioxidants plus broad-spectrum sunscreen, helping to defend against daily environmental damage.

SHOP IT: Nordstrom, $70

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