Not all skin moisturizers are equal, just as skin types vary. With the number of moisturizers on the market, it is often difficult to decipher which is best for your own skin. Many brands heavily advertise the benefits of their moisturizers, often depicting airbrushed images of models sporting perfectly flawless skin. And if a picture speaks a thousand words, advertisements present a further complexity to finding the right moisturizer. We are here to help.
30 Days of Beauty, Day 5: How to Choose and Use Moisturizer
How important is moisture? Mara Moss, of Makeup By Mara Moss says this:
“Moisturize your skin!!!! This is the single most important tip I can give as a makeup artist. Moisturized Skin = Healthy Skin. Color stays more true on well moisturized skin and therefore looks brighter. For this reason, makeup will always look sharper on clean, healthy, moisturized skin. For example, if you have a super sexy smokey eye makeup on, it will look 10 times as good on a face with a healthy glow.”
Heather Walczuk from Beauty Unbiased agrees, observing that “serum, moisturizers, and hydrating facial masks can keep your skin moisturized, plumping up the appearance of your skin and allowing for better makeup application.”
Moisturizer is also essential after various skin care treatments. For example, Victoria Girard of RevealGreatSkin.com massages a nice and light natural moisturizer and a natural eye cream into her skin after using a DPL Therapy System (a red LED light therapy unit) to finish off the ritual.
Choosing a Moisturizer, Where to Start
Choosing the right moisturizer doesn’t have to be a complicated task. With the seemingly infinite brands, types and price ranges available, from creams and ointments to sunscreen-based or exfoliant-based, who would know where to start? A good place to start is often to ignore or discount the high-priced brands. In most cases a high priced luxury moisturizer is not any better than a lower to mid-price product.
Moisturizers are some of the best types of skincare products as they help keep the skin healthy. Moisturizers draw moisture from the innermost layers to the outer layers. Additionally, the outermost layer is sealed with moisture, allowing for softer skin.
The best key ingredients are important to obtain healthy skin. Moisture-sealing ingredients include mineral oil, lanolin, petrolatum and dimethicone. Moisture-drawing ingredients that pull moisture from the inner layers to the outer layer include urea, glycol, proteins, vitamins and propylene.
Choosing the Best Skin Moisturizer
Choosing the best skin moisturizer is a two-step assessment process and entails knowing what your intentions are: (1) Do you need a specific moisturizer for your face, body or both? (2) What is your skin type?
The skin on your face is much more delicate than the skin on your body. Therefore, you should purchase a separate type of skin moisturizer specifically made for your face. Whether for the face or the body, it is important that moisturizers contain sunscreen with a screen protection factor (SPF) of 30, at the least. The proper SPF helps block UVA rays (ultraviolet light that causes wrinkles) and UVB rays (ultraviolet light that causes sunburn and skin cancer).
For the body, something as simple as baby oil may be all that you need, or it can be a great base for further body products. Ashia R. Sims from Clueless Fashionista suggests the following:
“Keep your skin soft and supple year round by putting on baby oil as soon as you get out of the shower/bath and then drying off (pat dry, preferably). Then follow up with the lotion of your choice. It will soak into your skin and leave it soft in any weather.”
Finding the best skin moisturizer is also dependent upon skin type. You may not find the best moisturizer for your skin with the first purchase, but there are ways to narrow your options as much as possible:
•Take note of the first five ingredients–If your skin is extremely dry, your top five ingredients would include AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). Go for a richer moisturizer containing ingredients such as cocoa butter or shea butter. If you are prone to allergic reactions, consult with a dermatologist as lanolin can contribute to a skin reaction. You can also look for the “Hypoallergenic” label on the container. If your skin is oily, look for the anti-pore-clogging “non-comedogenic,” or oil-free label on the container.
Those with oily skin might also choose to substitute a light primer instead of moisturizer and/or focus just on certain areas, such as the eyes. For example, Cindy Bokma of Hello Dollface reports:
“Since I have oily skin I tend to skip a traditional moisturizer but this would be the logical next step for those of you who don’t suffer from a shiny complexion. I like a primer with an SPF so I can keep my skin protected from the sun, any extra product is applied to my hands and neck/chest.
Next, I lightly dab eye cream around the eyes. I only apply to the crows feet area. I don’t want to add cream to my eye lids since that would make my eye shadow slide right off.”
•Choose a good brand moisturizer–Well-known brands are usually best as they’ve established a reputation with years of producing consistent great quality products.
•Change with the seasons– For example, actress and model Emma J from The Journey of an NY Actress told us: “My skin moisturizer changes with the season. I have recently been using Honey Girl Organics face and eye cream which leaves my skin so supple and radiant.”
While you may need a lighter moisturizer in the summer, you will likely need a different type in the winter. A cream containing Retinol (or Vitamin A) is ideal for winter as it speeds cell regeneration. However, it should not be used excessively as redness, dryness and irritation may occur.
Making Your Purchase
As previously noted, moisturizer need not cost a fortune. Jenna Watson of Beauty, Fashion, Fabulous! states:
“You don’t need to splurge on $100 wrinkle eliminating face creams (yet). In your 20s and early 30s, you really just need a simple face moisturizer that contains SPF 20 or higher. I use Lancome’s BIENFAIT MULTI-VITAL TEINTÉ under my make up every day. It’s a very lightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF 30.”
For those seeking luxury, we highly recommend the cult classic Creme de la Mer which is great for all skin types, including very dry skin and is also wonderful as an eye cream. Read our previous article on 5 great uses for it here: Creme de la Mer review.
Finding the best moisturizer for your skin is a worthwhile investment. The right moisturizer replenishes and protects your skin while leaving you feeling soft and looking radiant and healthy. Moisturizing your skin every day keeps your skin hydrated longer while minimizing wrinkles. Additionally, applying moisturizer to damp skin helps seal in moisture.
Tomorrow, Day 6: Treating Special Problems.