The moisturiser is the unsung hero of your skincare routine. It protects and hydrates, giving you a healthy, youthful glow while helping to protect the skin against external elements. But with so many moisturisers on the market, how do you know which one to choose? Don’t worry — we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll be exploring what moisturisers are available and how they work for different skin types.
Types of moisturisers
Moisturisers are cosmetic products used for protecting, moisturising, and lubricating the skin. The ability to retain moisture depends on the lipid bilayer or outer layer of our cells. Water molecules are constantly evaporating from deeper layers of the skin through transepidermal water loss. This creates a dry surface that isn’t as protective against dirt and pathogens trying their luck at getting inside us! This is where our moisturiser can give a protective layer and keep the skin hydrated and strong!
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to choosing which moisturiser is right for you. There are Humectants, Occlusives, and Emollients that will all have different effects on your skin. Let’s have a look at each one!
- Humectants are ingredients that help moisturize your skin by attracting water molecules like a magnet. Chemically speaking, these substances form hydrogen bonds with the hydrophilic (water-loving) part of cells in the human body. This bonding process helps draw moisture up from lower cell layers where it can do what it needs most: Moisturise dry patches on the surface and hydrate the deeper layers of the skin! Glycerin and hyaluronic acid have been shown to attract water while locking in moisture.
- Occlusives are ingredients that protect your skin. They form an invisible barrier so water can’t get in just like how a seal would keep things separated. Beeswax and oils are excellent for sealing the deal because they give the skin a physical barrier to stop the skin from losing water through the top layers of skin (transepidermal water loss) keeping the skin hydrated!
- Emollients are moisturizers for skin and can be used to help with dry, itchy, or scaly skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They work by trapping moisture in the skin and also by filling those spaces with fats that make your skin smoother. Some good ingredients for dry skin are petrolatum, lanolin, dimethicone, and fatty acids.
What is your skin type?
Our skin type is determined by our genetic makeup – although it will be affected over time by factors such as hormonal changes, aging, or changes of season. Based on these characteristics, there are five types of skin categories that you will fall under – normal, dry, oily, combination (both oily and dry skin), and sensitive.
‘Normal’ is a term widely used to refer to skin that appears well-balanced and healthy. It’s neither dry nor oily, not prone to breakouts or sensitivity.
Dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. As a result of this lack, dry skin can feel tight, rough, and look dull.
Oily skin is characterized by an overproduction of sebum, known as seborrhea. Oily skin has a glossy shine, visible larger pores, and is more prone to acne.
Combination skin is characterized by a mostly normal face with an oily forehead, nose, and chin (T-Zone) while the rest of the face tends to be dry.
People with truly sensitive skin have thin, often pale skin that leaves them prone to blushing and allergies. Because blood vessels are closer to the surface of their delicate skin, it’s easily irritated by outside irritants like pollen or dust. For this skin type choosing products will involve a lot of trial and error – patch testing is essential for you! This skin type is different from Sensitised skin is which is usually caused by environmental or lifestyle choices like smoking, skincare products, stress, diet, etc. This can all contribute to an impaired skin barrier or acid mantle which is our protective layer. This is something that can be repaired with the right skincare routine.
What product is the right type for my skin?
Humectants are the best type of moisturiser for the majority of skin types as they work with your skin’s natural moisture levels. This can help to balance a combination to oily skin and hydrate a normal to dry skin. The occlusive properties of a product are great for people with dry skin, irritated skin, or those suffering from conditions such as eczema. The physical barrier created by an oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts if the user applies too much or has an oily skin type. Emollient-rich products are also more suitable for dry and sensitive skin. They have emollients that deeply penetrate the epidermis to protect it from environmental stressors, while still being gentle enough so that they don’t cause breakouts or irritation in those who suffer from particularly fragile complexions. As always it is always best to seek professional advice – our therapists are skin experts who can have a thorough look at your skin to give you tailored advice on what products you should be using to have your skin looking and feeling healthy, book a consultation to take the guesswork out!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I look for a moisturiser with an SPF?
We are often asked if using an SPF moisturiser in my skincare routine is enough protection. The short answer is no! If you use your moisturiser first thing in the morning it will only be giving you UV protection for around 2 hours. SPF needs to be reapplied and your skin would feel quite greasy if you popped on moisturiser every couple of hours!
Can I use one product for my face and body?
The skin on your face is much thinner, with less fat underneath than the rest of our bodies – meaning that as a result, we have more transepidermal water loss from it! This means we require different ingredients to get the best hydration for our skin and it could get incredibly expensive to use a facial product all over, and body products are normally thicker in texture which can block the delicate pores of the face. It is recommended to have products that will treat the face and the body accordingly.
Do I need a different product for AM and PM?
While it is not essential it can be a very beneficial way to improve your overall skin health! Our skin needs more protection from external elements during the day and does its regeneration overnight. Vitamin-rich moisturisers can help protect against free radical damage during the day, and our skin can get more benefits out of collagen-stimulating peptides and retinol overnight. This is a great way to take your skincare routine to the next level – seeing more results!
We hope you found this article helpful and informative. If not, we’d love to hear from you! Our team is here to help with any queries or questions about skincare products and what will work best for your skin type. So don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have an inquiry – our experts are always happy to chat!