Are you using the right moisturizer for your skin type? Some of us pick the first moisturizer we see in the drug store, while others select the most popular and expensive moisturizer. Neither method is correct.
Because moisturizer acts as a protective barrier, preventing damage to occur to the natural moisture barrier of the skin, it’s important to pick the right one. So, not only should everyone moisturize daily, but they must also find a product that fits their skin type to ensure healthy, hydrated skin.
To simplify things, understand that moisturizers are broken down into three primary categories:
Each substance serves a different function.
Humectants supply the skin with moisture by drawing moisture from its surroundings. Occlusives seal in moisture and help prevent moisture loss. Emollients have the characteristics of humectants and occlusives (water and oil). They work by forming an oily barrier on the skip that traps in moisture. While each ingredient is beneficial, your skin type has its preferences.
Oily Skin Types
Even if you have oily skin, you should moisturize daily. The best moisturizers for oily skin are gel-based. These moisturizers tend to be lightweight, consisting of water-soluble ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Gel-based products will fortify your skin with enough hydration without adding to the oil your skin naturally produces.
Dry Skin Types
Dehydrated skin will soak up most moisturizers, but not all moisturizers can supply it with sufficient hydration. If you have dry skin, look for thick, cream moisturizers that contain emollients and occlusives. Both lock in hydration, while emollients perform double duty by locking in the moisture and softening skin.
Normal/Combination Skin Type
“Normal” skin is so rare, that some dermatologists claim it doesn’t exist. “Normal” is an extremely subjective term, so what’s normal to one person (experiencing mild breakouts) won’t be normal to another (experiencing dry patches). What exactly is normal and how can it be treated with a moisturizer?
Essentially, normal skin is characterized by having no serious skin condition: oily, dry, or sensitive, for example. If this describes you, you’re in luck. Your skin can benefit from practically any type of moisturizer.
The same applies to people with combination skin, but we recommend looking for a balance of water-soluble ingredients (i.e., hyaluronic acid) and oil-soluble ingredients (i.e., jojoba oil).
Sensitive Skin Type
If you have sensitive skin, then you know you must give it lots of care and attention. You need to be selective with the products you add to your skincare routine - your moisturizer is no exception.
The best moisturizer for your skin type will be basic – one with few ingredients to prevent irritation and sensitivity. Always opt for a fragrance-free moisturizer and look for soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as aloe vera, shea butter, and bisabolol (a thick oil that acts as an anti-irritant).
These are the ingredients for an ideal moisturizer for sensitive skin. Nevertheless, before applying it all over your body, perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of product to the inside of your arm (or anywhere the product won’t accidentally wash off). After 24 hours, if you experience no sensitivities or irritations, continue using as instructed!