Have you ever wondered which products moisturize your skin better? There is an endless list of options, all promising the same results. Besides, we know the importance of moisturizing our skin daily. The struggle is usually about what to use.
Choosing a moisturizer that works well for your skin is important because the right moisturizer will only make your skin feel and look good but also reduces dryness or oiliness, which can be harmful to your skin.
Types of Moisturizers
There are three main types of moisturizers categorized based on the ingredients they have.
- Emollients. These moisturizers usually contain oils and lipids and come in the form of butter, oils, collagen, and ceramides. They are very hydrating and contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They also protect the skin and keep it looking young and fresh. Different types of emollients have different effects on the skin, as you can see here.
- Humectants. Humectants contain hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, urea, honey, sorbitol, or glycerine. They attract or draw moisture to the skin, keeping it hydrated. Humectants strengthen the skin barrier, reduce dry skin, relieve keratosis or thickened skin, and promote wound healing.
- Occlusive These moisturizers create a barrier on the skin and prevent moisture from leaving it, causing dryness, flaking, or itching. This barrier also protects the skin from irritants and allergens. They contain ingredients like lanolin, petrolatum, beeswax, silicon, and petroleum jelly.
How to Choose a Moisturizer
Know Your Skin Type
Knowing your skin type is the first step in selecting the right product. There are several tests online that can help you determine your skin type. However, the best option would be to visit a skincare expert who can help you figure that out.
Your skin type is dictated by the amount of sebum on your skin. There are four main skin types:
- Normal skin. If you have a normal skin type, your skin neither feels too dry nor too oily. The pores on the skin are usually tiny. People with these skin types are less sensitive to acne. Though any lotion would do, experts suggest a cream-based moisturizer for anyone 50 years and older.
- Dry skin. This type of skin produces the least amount of sebum, making the skin appear dull. Dry skin also causes itchiness when irritated. For this skin type, you will need a moisturizer with hydrating properties that will help also help retain moisture.
- Oily skin. Oily skin is characterized by excessive production of sebum. This makes the skin feel greasy and gives you a shiny look, especially when you sweat. If you have oily skin, you will need to choose a light moisturizer that does not clog up your pores and cause acne.
- Combination skin. This skin type is more common than most. If you have this type, your skin is usually dry or normal around the cheeks and oily from the forehead down to the chin.
Sensitive skin can be dry, oily, or a combination. This type of skin is prone to acne or eczema and can be red and itchy. If you have sensitive skin, you will need to avoid moisturizers with harsh ingredients and fragrances and opt for natural products.
Seasonal changes can affect your skin. As the weather changes from warm to cold, your skin tends to dry up and requires extra help to maintain its moisture. In addition, people tend to take hot showers during cold weather, which can dry out the skin.
Therefore, listen to your skin when the weather changes and adjust accordingly. If you were previously using lotion, you might find that you need to upgrade to a cream or oil depending on how dry your skin is.
Area of Application
The skin on your face and the rest of your body is usually different. This is because the skin on your face is thinner and more exposed. When choosing a moisturizer, your face moisturizer will be different from the one you use on your body.
Consider the Scent
We all like to smell good, and unless you have sensitive skin, the scent of the product should be something you enjoy. However, do not go for moisturizers that are heavily scented because they can affect your skin even if you do not have sensitive skin.
Many moisturizers nowadays come with sun protection. Sun protection is important in preventing sunburn, hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and skin cancer. If you choose to get a moisturizer, dermatologists recommend getting one that contains at least SPF 30.
Read the Label
As with all skin care products, ensure that you read the fine print on the label. Some products come with chemicals and toxins that can harm your skin in the long run.
Your skin type can change over type depending on factors such as age, stress, hormones, and the weather. Monitor your skin changes and adjust your products accordingly.
If all else fails, visit a dermatologist. If everything you have tried on your skin is not working, visit a dermatologist. They will test your skin and recommend products that you should use.