The Science of Cellular Water: My Most Innovative Skincare Discovery

When I started Murad, Inc. 25 years ago, I dedicated myself to searching for new and improved ways to help people achieve their skin-health goals.

Some of the discoveries made along the way have been more impactful than others, but when people ask me which Murad accomplishment has been the most innovative in the world of skincare, it’s hard not to focus on the Science of Cellular Water and the central role has played at Murad.

Before I explain what Cellular Water is, it’s worth revisiting some of the other big skincare discoveries I’ve made during the last 25 years. Extensive research uncovered that there are three basic types of aging that directly affect our skin: Genetic, Environmental and Hormonal. By understanding these types of aging, you’ll have a better understanding of why Cellular Hydration is so important.

Genetic Aging
Genetic Aging is the natural, biological process of aging that occurs over time. This type of aging is referred to as Genetic Aging because it depends primarily on one’s genetics. Some people are more predisposed to developing wrinkles at a younger age, even if they use preventive anti-aging skincare products regularly. Others may maintain young-looking skin for many years just based on genetics alone. However, over time, Genetic Aging affects all of us, causing lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness. While Genetic Aging is unavoidable, you can minimize these signs of aging by taking care of your skin inside and out.

Environmental Aging
Unlike Genetic Aging, Environmental Aging is largely preventable. This type of aging occurs as a result of daily exposure to UV rays, toxins and other pollutants. These factors impact skin health in a number of ways, from inhibiting collagen production to triggering the appearance of sun and age spots. While you can’t avoid the world around you, you can minimize the impact of the environment on your skin through topical sun protection, stress reduction and a water-rich diet.

Hormonal Aging
The presence of estrogen in the body naturally boosts collagen production. But in the years leading up to menopause, the body produces increasingly limited quantities of estrogen. This trend continues throughout menopause, triggering an abrupt loss of collagen. In fact, the skin loses up to 30% of its collagen in the first five years after menopause. This can cause increased and deeper facial wrinkles, deep creases, a crepe-like texture and sagging skin. Given the high concentration of estrogen receptors on the face, the signs of Hormonal Aging may be particularly visible there.

While Hormonal Aging is a natural process that all women go through, an Inclusive Health® lifestyle can help prevent and minimize fine lines and wrinkles and other signs of Hormonal Aging. And it’s never too early to start. That’s where our biggest innovation, The Science of Cellular Water, comes in.

What Exactly is Cellular Water?
I love to hike. I spent a number of years on a quest to find ways to keep hydrated when hiking, without being burdened by the weight of water bottles or having to stop so many times to go to the bathroom. I researched ways in which the body could be encouraged to hold water in a healthy fashion. What I ultimately ended up discovering was that the key to optimal hydration was maintaining higher concentrations of water within our cells where it does the most good.

Additional research led me to the discovery of a theory of aging and health (The Science of Cellular Water) that looks to intercellular water as the key to youthful health and vitality. By testing and validating this theory with thousands of patients in scientifically controlled research studies, we established that most common dermatological and health problems relate to cellular hydration at their most fundamental level.

Because skin can only be beautiful if it is healthy at the cellular level, eating foods that are water-rich (“eating your water”), combined with supplements, a hydration-fortifying topical regimen, and reducing stress, can minimize the symptoms of all three kinds of aging listed above. In short, every cell in your body, including, most noticeably, your skin, improves through increased levels of cellular water.

More Skincare Innovations and Looking Forward
One of our more recent innovations is RepleniCell, a new hydration technology we developed to help build more youthful skin by changing the relationship of water to skin in three essential ways. We designed RepleniCell to help skin with attracting water; binding water within the skin’s surface and strengthening the skin’s barrier to help it retain water.

RepleniCell, like the other new products and treatments we are developing every day, is directly inspired and driven by The Science of Cellular Water, which is perhaps our greatest skincare discovery and most important innovation overall. I say this because this new way of looking at cellular hydration truly informs our Inclusive Health® philosophies and everything we do at Murad–from spa treatments to products to the prescriptions for healthy living I share with patients.

We are still hard at work and moving forward with our research to make new scientific discoveries and formulas that can help people look, live and feel better, and we look forward to an exciting road ahead.

Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.

Check out a podcast by Dr. Murad where he explains the Cellular Water Principle.

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