Q&A: Olay’s Chemist Kate + The Dry Skin Cycle

Kate the chemist makes science fun and entertaining. The chemist, author, professor and entertainer recently broke down the dry skin cycle with Olay Hyaluronic Body Care Regimen at an event at Olay Body Labs in New York City. We had the chance to chat with Kate and she gave us her take on skincare and more.

Kate the Chemist uses hands-on demos at the Olay Body Labs to showcase what the skin is experiencing at each stage of the dry skin cycle and how using Olayís Hyaluronic Body Care Regimen can reveal healthier looking skin over time in New York on Thursday, June 22, 2023. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Olay/AP Images)

Beauty News NYC: Describe the science behind dry skin. What breaks down chemically and what’s the best way to prevent it?

Kate the Chemist: When something triggers our skin to start losing moisture, the skin becomes dehydrated and the bonds between water and other molecules break so water is no longer locked in the skin. It evaporates and leaves your skin forever. So, chemically it’s all about the loss of water molecules. Water is just a little, little teeny molecule but it has such a drastic impact on how our skin looks and feels. The best way to prevent dry skin is to trap and lock in those water molecules and if we can keep them deep in the skin, then it will look and feel better.

Beauty News NYC: How is hydration related to our dry skin?

Kate the Chemist: Hydration is all about getting water into the skin surface and having it form bonds with other molecules inside of our skin so it stays there. Olay’s Hyaluronic Body Care Regimen uses a beautiful Vitamin B3 complex, which is excellent at forming those intermolecular forces that form the hydrogen bonds with water molecules. The formula also has glyceryl-monooleate (GMO) or pro-glycerin which is really, really good at forming these hydrogen bonds with water molecules for instant hydration. If water is anywhere in the vicinity, it’s going to grab it and hold on to it for dear life. Then we have the petrolatum which helps lock in the moisture and keep those hydrogen bonds within your skin which ultimately strengthens our skin barrier. It’s a beautiful combination!

Beauty News NYC: What’s your own secret to great skin?

Kate the Chemist: I would argue that it’s an uphill battle. I am on set all the time, I have camera makeup on all the time or maybe bug spray if I’m outside. So for me, the most important thing I can do is just to try to keep my skin clean. But it’s important to cleanse without stripping the skin of moisture. Olay’s Hyaluronic Body Wash has lamellar cleansing molecules, which are really big molecules that work at the surface of your skin, removing the grime and the gunk and then rinse away so the moisturizing ingredients can penetrate the skin surface. That’s my secret to beautiful skin.

Beauty News NYC: What’s the best part of your job? And how did you first discover your love of chemistry?

Kate the Chemist: The best part of my job is traveling all over the country blowing stuff up and trying to get kids excited about science – that is my main goal in life. If I can get young women to see that they can be scientists, that they know that they’re smart, that they know that it’s okay to get a question wrong. That’s what scientists do all the time. Using your brain, building your critical thinking skills and then believing in yourself by having that confidence to go after your STEM goal – that’s my true favorite part of my job is inspiring kids and blowing stuff up.

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