Can you recall a time when a facialist told you your skin was perfectly hydrated? Never? Don’t worry, us neither. Like the complimentary hand massage, the phrase ‘Your skin is dehydrated’ is predictably delivered upon each trip to the facialist — usually with extra enthusiasm come winter. The truth is most people are in the same boat. “Everyone is dehydrated to some extent,” explains Jocelyn Petroni, owner and principal therapist of her eponymous Woollahra, Sydney, salon. “That’s how I gauge how dehydrated someone’s skin is — it’s really just compared with everyone else’s.” Dehydration doesn’t just amplify short-term signs of ageing, including fine lines and flaking, but it can also result in long-term damage such as chronic sensitivity, dry patches and redness. “If you have good oil and water content, the skin is more resilient to the cold weather, to the air conditioning, to harsh environments overall,” Petroni says. That’s right, dehydration is the single most significant cause of ageing skin — and we’re all victims of it. To make matters worse, contrary to the optimistic claims of miracle-working ‘hydrating’ serums, masks and creams, many formulas are incapable of penetrating deep enough to provide any kind of lasting hydration. “It’s a constant battle to keep the skin hydrated and to find new methods and techniques to hydrate the skin,” Petroni explains. “We can add oil to the skin and remove it again, but to retain water in the skin is tricky because water is constantly evaporating — that’s just the natural process of the skin.” So how do you get plump, hydrated, dewy skin? We quizzed the experts.