There is a colleague of yours at work who has this amazing skin. After some weeks of admiring her, you finally ask her the question that has been on your mind. “What moisturizing cream do you use?” She flashes a self-confident smile and tells you that she does NOT make use of any. “What? That can’t be”. You say. Yet she insists that she does NOT make use of any and in fact she does NOT need one.
Most people think because their skins are looking good therefore they do NOT need a moisturizing cream. They have all sorts of myths and beliefs as regards the use of a moisturizing cream. This becomes their foundation for neglecting a moisturizing cream in their skincare routine. However, this is a far cry from the truth.
A moisturizing cream is a basic product that should constitute one’s total skincare routine. Therefore, this guide will first of all debunk such wrong beliefs and then lead you into picking a moisturizer that will be perfect for you. You are about to be the one others will be admiring for weeks.
Before we start debunking these myths and beliefs, you need to know what a moisturizing cream is and its function. When the purpose is known, the importance becomes all the more appealing even to those who were NOT interested before.
Moisturizing Cream: What is it and What Does it Do?
The skin is being constantly harassed by the elements of weather and can easily lose its moisture content. The heat of the sun, dryness of the wind etc can make your skin lose moisture. When this happens your skin can become dry and even crack. This makes it important for you to ensure your skin absorbs an adequate amount of moisture.
Moisturizing creams are skincare products designed to enable the skin keep moist. They carry out the process of moisturizing by either retaining moisture in the skin from escaping by means of evaporation. Or they infuse the skin with moisture based on the constituent ingredients found in such a moisturizing cream.
Difference between a Moisturizing Cream and a Moisturizing Lotion
All moisturizers have two basic ingredients contained in them which are water and oil. It is important to state that a moisturizing cream is different from a moisturizing lotion. The difference however is just based on the amount of oil and water used in either of them. A moisturizing cream has more oil contained in it while a moisturizing lotion is not as oily.
Now that we’ve done this, let’s look at those myths and beliefs that might have made you neglect using a moisturizing cream.
Myths and False Beliefs about Moisturizing Cream
If you have an oily skin, you have no need of a moisturizing cream
This is one major belief in circulation that is totally untrue. The fact that you have an oily skin does NOT mean you can’t use a moisturizing cream. Those who hold this myth say that naturally oily skin does not need further oiling. However, NOT all moisturizers are packed with oil. A good number of them are oil-free and are designed to meet the needs of an oily skin. This will hydrate your skin adequately.
Using a moisturizing cream will make your skin depend on it
First of all, this is absurd. The reason you need a moisturizing cream is to counter the effects the sun and environment have on your skin. For your skin to be dependent, just like in any other case of dependency, it means all was okay initially. However, this is NOT the case because your moisturizing cream is used to correct a problem.
All moisturizing creams are the same
What! Whoever said this and whoever believed him/her must really know nothing like Jon Snow. Most moisturizing creams are targeted at particular skin type or skin issue. This makes their composition so different and unique from each other. Even when they contain the same ingredients, the concentration percentage will still differ. Furthermore, moisturizing creams differ from each other, even if they are made by the same brand.
In fact, there are three major types of moisturizing creams: humectants, occlusives and emollients. Humectants attract and store moisture in the skin. Emollients cause the skin to be smooth and soft. Occlusives seal in moisture by producing a thick layer on the skin.
The above are some beliefs and myths that have made a lot of people neglect the use of a moisturizing cream. Hopefully, we have succeeded in debunking them, helping you see the truth.
Another reason people tend to neglect the use of a moisturizing cream is because they don’t get their desired results. That’s when most of them label all moisturizers as being the same. Most times, they just lack the proper knowledge necessary in choosing a perfect moisturizing cream that is suitable for them. If you do NOT want to join that bandwagon, you will want to pay close attention to what comes next.
Contents of your Perfect Moisturizing Cream
What your moisturizing cream contains is of utmost importance. The ingredients within it determine the kind of effects and results you will experience from using such a product. There are certain ingredients your moisturizing cream must contain in order for it to be perfect. These are the essentials and fundamental ingredients to look out for.
Antioxidants are guards that keep your skin protected from the negative effect of the sun. Constant sun exposure causes dryness therefore if you want protection, the shielding effects of an antioxidant is required. They also help your skin look healthy and fresh by deactivating free radicals that causes the skin cells to break down. Two is better than one in a lot of cases so ensure your moisturizing cream has at least two antioxidants. Some antioxidants to look out for include licorice extract, vitamin E, ferulic acid, extract from green tea, Vitamin C etc.
The job of a moisturizing cream is to hydrate and revitalize your skin. If your current moisturizing cream isn’t doing that please go throw it away then come back and continue reading. These revitalizing ingredients reduce skin cracks and restore the softness and the smoothness of your skin. Chief among them is ceramide; you can’t go wrong with this ingredient in your product. Other such ingredients are alpha hydroxyl, salicylic acid glycerol etc.
Remember we mentioned that oils are one of the two basic ingredients a moisturizer must contain. As much as your product must contain oil, the type of oil it contains also matters.
The types of oil we have that are used in skincare products are saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The first two are stable oils while the latter is an unstable type of oil.
Stable oils are those oils that do NOT produce bad smell after they decompose. Unstable oil like polyunsaturated oil can be disastrous and should be avoided. All unstable oils generally should be avoided. Some stable oils that are worth mention include shea butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, marula oil, jojoba oil, etc.
These amazing ingredients act as lubricants which give your skin a softer feel. They enter the skin pores and make your skin carry more moisture inside of it which counters dryness. Examples of emollients are sunflower oil, fatty acids, linoleic oil, borage oil, etc.
This is one important aspect that most people overlook. Ensure your moisturizing cream contains preservative ingredients. Water in your product can breed mould and bacteria growth which can cause the skin to be irritated. A preservative will prevent such occurrence from happening. However, ensure they are NOT toxic synthetics but plants-derived in nature. Be sure to check for preservatives like ethanol, sodium benzoate, gluconolactone etc.
Your moisturizing cream should contain sunscreen and have an SPF 30. It should also have protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. This protects you from the sun which is a major cause of dehydration.
Factors that Should Influence your Choice of Moisturizing Cream
Your Skin Type
Fundamentally, when it comes to choosing a moisturizing cream you should ask yourself a very important question. “Is this moisturizer appropriate for my skin type?” We mentioned above,when we debunked those myths, that a moisturizing cream in most cases is for a specific skin type. You should NOT use a product that isn’t meant for your skin type. Doing such is just like going bungee jumping without using a bungee rope: It’s going to be a disaster.
Every skin in the world can be categorized under five major skin types. We have the normal, dry, sensitive, oily and combination type of skin. Knowing which one your skin belongs to will enable you pick the perfect moisturizing cream that will work for you.
This is another important factor that influences your moisturizing cream choice. Why is this so? Our skin is constantly exposed to the various weather elements like sunshine, rain, wind etc. So the change in weather also requires a moisturizing cream that will effectively combat the effects that change brings.
During winter, the skin has the tendency to become very dry. Therefore, your moisturizer should be heavy enough to prevent moisture from escaping. During summer, your skin itself produces its own moisture called sebum. So applying a light product would be preferable.
So, as much as you should consider your skin type before choosing a moisturizing cream, the weather is also important. In fact, the weather would tell how well your skin would react to the cream.
The Product’s Price
First of all, a product’s price is NOT an ultimate attestation to the effectiveness of any product. However, most effective products tend to be pricier than others. That’s why a good knowledge of certain ingredients will help you determine quality. Therefore check the ingredients because you might find a good product that does NOT require you break the bank.
Avoid the Following Pitfalls
Too much acids
If you have a dry or sensitive skin, too much acidic content in your moisturizer cream can be detrimental. They have the ability to seep into your skin and cause serious trouble. Alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, glycolic acid are some of such acids you do NOT want excess in your product.
Keep away from products that contain alcohol of any kind. Alcohol is a major dehydrating and drying agent. Having it in your moisturizer cream is counter-productive especially if your skin is already dry.
Fragrances can cause irritations of the skin as well as allergic reactions. A person who has a sensitive skin should NOT dare use a product containing fragrances. If you do so we might as well be visiting you in the hospital. Yes, it can be that bad.
Keep away from cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, isoeugenol, geraniol etc. Always go for fragrance-free moisturizing cream. Also colorings fall into this category because they irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions as well.
Lactic acids or Urea (For cracked or eczema skin)
Dimethicone (For oily skin)
This can be really harmful for those with an oily skin or easily get acne issues. It can cause or escalate skin related issues that are associated with oily skin.
Steroid-like ingredients (For itchy skin)
Use of such ingredients can cause your skin to be become overly thin thereby exposing the skin to all sorts of dangers. The skin’s mantle is easily destroyed by ingredients like this.
Moisturizing Cream: Pointers on Getting Results out of it
- Moisturize daily.
- Use more than one moisturizer at any particular time. Different parts actually require different moisturizers. This is because the skin’s texture varies from one body part to another.
- Ensure your moisturizer contains sunscreen with an SPF 30.
- Always apply your moisturizer cream on a damp skin NOT a dry one.
We hope this guide has given you the information necessary to get that moisturizing cream that will make you admirable. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.