A skin moisturizer does a lot for you. Picture this: you’re seated with your friends after a long week of work at the office, just relaxing. You have a glass of your favorite drink in hand and you are chatting away happily.
Then suddenly, the beauty expert (you know that friend that always looks good) looks at you in shock. You wonder if you have something on your face and make a gesture to wipe whatsoever it is off. “Girl, you need a moisturizer”, she says.
For the rest of the night she goes on about how your skin needs to be saved by a moisturizer. Yet she never tells you which one to get but mentions something about choosing one that suits you (whatever that means). Eventually, you agree to get one on your next shopping trip.
When you finally get around to making that stop at the beauty store, confusion sets in. Your friend never mentioned which skin moisturizer would be good for you. And walking through the skincare section makes you realize that there are more than a hundred options. You are not certain which to pick.
It does not have to be that way. Here is a guide to enable you to choose a skin moisturizer that suits you like your friend said.
It is necessary to understand that your skin possesses and produces a natural moisturizer of its own. Sebum is your skin’s natural moisturizer. This is what makes us classify skin into types. Too much production results into an oily skin; little production results into a dry skin.
A moisturizer is a preparation of different ingredients and chemicals. It is created to enable the skin retain moisture and prevent it from drying out. It achieves this by performing two functions.
First, it augments the original moisture content of the skin. Then it sets up a protective layer that enhances moisture retention in the skin.
Most moisturizers have these major ingredients in them: water, ceramides, occlusives and emollients or humectants or both. We’ll talk about these ingredients later on and the crucial part they play in any moisturizer.
A skin moisturizer is an essential one must have due to our skin’s exposure to the weather. Factors like cold, sun or wind can greatly affect our skin’s nature.
Even simple things such as taking a long hot bath and exposure to indoor heating can affect our skin. Hence, there is the need for us to always moisturize.
Major Types of Skin Moisturizer
There are different types of skin moisturizers. Whichever one you eventually get is bound to fall into any of the categories below. It is therefore important to know which one you’re going for. You’re about to learn a lot on moisturizers that you didn’t know.
In order to make the skin continuously moist, these soak in water into the skin cells.
They work extremely well for those with thick dry skin and in areas that are humid in nature. Also, oily and combination skins can also benefit from this moisturizer type.
Humectants are the principal ingredient found in moisture absorbing moisturizers. Examples of humectants which you should look out for include lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, alphahydroxy acid and glycerin.
When the skin becomes too porous and water retention becomes nearly impossible. Feel free to call on these moisturizers to save your skin.
They will fill up those pores and enable your skin retain the moisture it deserves, giving it a smoother feel. Although they could be made of water-based substances, yet most of them are oil-based.
These moisturizers work wonders for really dry skins. Mature skins can also benefit from these moisturizers.
Emollients are the principal ingredient found in space filling moisturizers. Examples of such emollients which you should look out for include petrolatum, mineral oil and lanolin.
Naturally the skin does its best to retain moisture all thanks to ceramides in the skin. Yet when the skin tends to look dry, it’s most likely that the cermaide level has reduced. That’s where this type of moisturizer comes in. Its singular job is to replenish ceramides back to the skin.
Normal skin and combination skin types will benefit a great deal from this type of moisturizer. Also, eczema prone skins can find reprieve and comfort from this moisturizer type.
This moisturizer type has heavy agents in their ingredients that are intent on saturating the skin in excess moisture.
It is strongly advised that you use this type on your face. They act efficiently on dehydrated skin as well as mature ones that lack environmental humidity. Sensitive skins should please keep away from this one.
Occlusives are the principal ingredient found in moisture sealing moisturizers. Examples of such occlusives which you should look out for include hazelnut oils, rose hip and avocado.
Factors to Consider When Getting a Skin Moisturizer
Your Skin Type
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is not always true in most cases. Especially when it comes to skin moisturizers we all cannot be treated equally.
This is because we all do not have the same nature of skin. Our skin’s moisture content is what propels us to even think of buying a skin moisturizer. Therefore, you must consider this primarily before everything else.
The skin is complex in nature and must be treated as such. Most of the time, the nature of your skin tends to vary from part to part. So do not treat your entire body as a single entity when it comes to the use of moisturizers.
Choose Based on Your Skin Type
Isolate the parts based on their nature and treat them as individuals. What I mean is don’t just assume and use one type of moisturizer for every part of your body.
We could classify skin types variedly but the major ones in which others fall into are listed below. As well as the kind of moisturizer and ingredients they’ll require.
This kind of skin is capable of standard moisture retention as well as possessing a constant glow. Its sebum production is optimal. Skin pores are barely seen and its sensitivity isn’t harsh or easily irritated.
For this kind of skin, much work isn’t required. To keep this skin glowing, a moisturizer with a light, water-base content is required. Also ensure that the moisturizer you choose has lots of antioxidants.
This kind of skin produces too much sebum thereby causing oil patches here and there on the skin. The skin pores are clearly seen. They are prone to acne and other skin spots.
The moisturizer you choose should be an oil-free moisturizer that contains humectants such as lactic acid, propylene glycol and glycerin.
Non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t block pores) moisturizers will also help prevent clogging of the already enlarged pores. Silicone-based moisturizers are also suitable.
Do NOT purchase moisturizers that have the following ingredients: peanut, cocoa butter, sesame oil or linseed.
This kind of skin is usually dry in nature and sometimes cracked. They possess the tendency to peel when environmental humidity is reduced and can easily be inflamed. Itchiness is a common trait in such skin types.
Extreme degrees of dryness can lead to the skin being rough and scaly on some parts, especially those frequently exposed.
Dry skin requires moisturizers that are heavier and has large oil-base content. A moisturizer that will last all through the day should be applied to relieve the dryness.
For one with a dry skin, emollient ingredients like lanolin, mineral oil, castor oil etc should be checked for. Since they retain moisture in the skin, they would serve the skin well.
Moisturizer with adequate sunscreen is a must. Never go below a sunscreen with SPF of 30.
This type of skin is a mixture of both dry and oily skin characteristics. Some parts might be dry while some other parts might be oily.
For your face, you can easily detect if it is a combination skin. The T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) is oily than other face parts.
For such skin type, careful attention is to be made to avoid either increasing the more oily parts instead of the dry parts. In this case, one moisturizer cannot be sufficient to cater for the skin’s needs.
The T-Zone area on your face is usually oily. Your use of moisturizer on this area should be used minimally. You can apply on your T-zone an oil-free moisturizer and a heavier-oiled one on your cheeks.
Remember we mentioned one moisturizer cannot be sufficient for a combination skin. This is one of the major reasons.
Due to its sensitivity, a moisturizer with lesser ingredients that make up your moisturizer will suit this skin quite well. 10 ingredients should be the maximum number of ingredients.
Let your moisturizer choice be one that is fragrance-free, dye-free, paraben-free and one that is less likely to cause an allergy. Look for the word “hypoallergenic” to that effect on product’s container.
Do all you can to avoid highly concentrated ingredients which might do you more harm than good. Run away and I mean literally from anything containing lanolin. Lanolin is like the Babe Ruth of irritants; it’s at the top and a classic.
If your skin is hyper-sensitive, it won’t be out of place to test the moisturizer on a small part of your skin. Then wait to see for 24 hours if you experience any form of irritation.
For one having issues with eczema on the skin, petrolatum ought to be your best friend. When you go looking for that suitable moisturizer, look out for your friend’s name in any moisturizer you pick. It will help you repair the cracks in your skin and give it flexibility.
Moisturizers containing antioxidants such as pomegranate, lycopene or green tea can do magic for a matured skin. They counteract molecules that result in the disintegration of skin cells.
Seeing as we grow older this is what happens. Antioxidants will give your skin that healthy, fresh and young look. (These days no one is interested in looking elderly).
Change in season can also affect your skin’s nature. Ergo, this should be greatly considered when getting your moisturizer. Winter can cause more dryness to your skin even though naturally you have an oily skin. But in the summer, your skin may become oily even though you naturally have a dry one.
Basically, your skin condition per time determines the kind of moisturizer you employ. So climate changes affect your skin, therefore don’t be stuck up on “my skin type is dry”. Then you go on using moisturizers suitable for dry skin. You’ll be harming your skin that way and I assure you won’t like it later on.
If you’re usually in an air-conditioned room or live in the temperate regions, then your skin would tend towards dryness. An oil-based moisturizer should be your pick.
Also if you live in a tropical region, your best bet would be a moisturizer that is water-based. When the temperatures spike up, your skin begins to produce more sebum. Therefore using an oil-based moisturizer will be counter-productive.
Nevertheless, you should pay more attention to what your skin says, than the location you find yourself in.
Avoid the Following Ingredients
You should avoid the following as much as possible:
Coloring and Perfumes
These have the tendency to be irritants and for someone with a sensitive skin, that can be disastrous. So stay away from moisturizers that have this labeled as ingredients.
Acids like salicylic acid, retinoic acid, glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids can be dangerous for dry and sensitive skins. These acids can easily permeate through the porous skin and disturb the underlying layers.
Products with alcohol
Also, remember this: Do NOT pick a moisturizer because it’s expensive and you think it is of good quality. Price is NOT a good indicator of effective moisturizer that suits you.
How to Get the Best of Your Skin Moisturizer
- One moisturizer may not be enough. This is for everyone but especially for those with combination skin.
- You are to apply a moisturizer when your skin is moist NOT when it is dry. This should be either immediately after bathing or after washing the part you seek to moisturize.
- Always get a moisturizer that has sun block as well. An SPF of 30 is the recommendation, especially for dry skin.
- Your moisturizer should be used after any other skin treatments NOT before it. Especially when it comes to your face.
- To further enhance the effects of your skin moisturizer, it is advisable to use soaps that also contain moisturizer.
- Special concentration should be given to driest body parts when moisturizing.
- Be sure to pair your moisturizer with a really effective serum. It serves as the layer upon which you apply your moisturizer.
In conclusion, just like the friend said, ‘choose a moisturizer that suits you’. And to do that, your skin type must be the determining factor. With the guide above, you should be smiling home with a moisturizer that will enhance and protect your skin.