Having great skin naturally does not negate the importance of a moisturizer for it. In fact, if you are not using one now, be it a moisturizing cream or lotion, you may find your skin paying for it much later.
Here, we talk about a moisturizing cream. A lot of people think because their skin are looks good, they don’t need a moisturizing cream. However, this is a far cry from the truth.
Let us explain to you why this is so.
Moisturizing Cream: What Is it and What Does it Do?
Constant exposure of the skin to the elements can cause it to easily lose moisture. When this happens, your skin can become dry and even crack. This makes it important to ensure it absorbs an adequate amount of moisture.
Moisturizing creams are designed to enable the skin keep moist. They carry out the process of moisturizing by either keeping moisture from evaporating or infusing the skin with moisture based on the constituent ingredients found in them.
Difference between a Moisturizing Cream and a Moisturizing Lotion
All moisturizers have two basic ingredients in them: water and oil. The difference between a moisturizing cream and lotion is the amount of oil and water used in each of them. A moisturizing cream has more oil than water while a moisturizing lotion is the opposite.
False Beliefs about Moisturizing Cream
Oily Skin Doesn’t Need a Moisturizing Cream
This is one major belief that is totally untrue. The fact that you have an oily skin doesn’t mean you can’t use a moisturizing cream.
Usually, the oil content is not detrimental to the skin. The oil is also there to serve a good purpose: keep the moisture locked in.
Your Skin Could Become Dependent 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
Most moisturizing creams are targeted at a 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.
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 become smooth and soft. Occlusives seal in moisture by producing a thick layer on the skin.
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.
Contents of Your Perfect Moisturizing Cream
What your moisturizing cream contains is of utmost importance. Its ingredients will determine its effectiveness. Let us take a look at some of the ingredients that stand out…
Antioxidants are guards that keep your skin protected from the negative effect of the sun. Constant sun exposure causes dryness so the protective properties of antioxidants are required.
They also help your skin look healthy and fresh by deactivating free radicals that causes 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 and vitamin C.
The job of a moisturizing cream is to hydrate and revitalize your skin. 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 hydroxy acid, salicylic acid and glycerol.
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 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 don’t produce a foul odor after they decompose. Unstable oils like polyunsaturated oil can be disastrous and should be avoided.
All unstable oils generally should be avoided. Some stable oils include shea butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, marula oil and jojoba oil.
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 and borage oil.
This is one important aspect that most people overlook. Ensure your moisturizing cream contains ingredients that preserve.
Water in your product can breed mold and bacteria growth which can cause the skin to be irritated. But a preservative will prevent this from happening.
However, ensure they are not toxic synthetics but plants derived in nature. Be sure to check for preservatives like ethanol, sodium benzoate and gluconolactone.
Your moisturizing cream should contain sunscreen and have an SPF value of at least 30. It should also have broad spectrum protection, to keep you shielded from all types of harmful rays.
Factors that Influence Your Choice of a Moisturizing Cream
Your Skin Type
Always be aware of what type of skin you have before you buy any skincare product, moisturizing cream inclusive. This is one of the major factors that informs the choice you make.
There are five major skin types. We have the normal, dry, sensitive, oily and combination type of skin. Knowing which one your skin is 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 and wind.
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.
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 doesn’t 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 moisturizing cream can be detrimental. They have the ability to seep into your skin and cause serious trouble.
Alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, retinoic acid and glycolic acid are some of such acids you don’t want in 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 moisturizing cream is counter-productive especially if your skin is already dry.
Fragrances can cause irritations to the skin as well as allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, avoid it.
Keep away from cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, isoeugenol, geraniol. Always go for fragrance-free moisturizing cream. Coloring also falls into this category because it irritates the skin and causes allergic reactions as well.
Lactic Acid or Urea (For cracked or eczema-prone skin)
These are capable of making skin irritations more problematic.
Dimethicone (For oily skin)
This can be really harmful for those with oily or acne-prone skin. 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 become overly thin, thereby exposing it to all sorts of danger. The skin’s mantle is easily destroyed by ingredients like this.
Moisturizing Cream: Pointers to Getting Results Out of it
i. Moisturize daily.
ii. 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.
iii. Ensure your moisturizer contains sunscreen with an SPF value of 30, at least.
iv. Always apply your moisturizer cream on damp skin, not on a dry one.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.