There seems to be a common misconception out there that you don’t need a moisturizer unless your skin is dry, scaly, raw, or itchy. Some people believe they should use a moisturizer when the weather turns cold and their heat is cranked up, blowing warm, dry air. Some think of it as an aesthetically-inclined habit, necessary only for the vain.
Those couldn’t be farther from the truth. Having oily skin isn’t an exception, either!
Daily moisturizing is actually vital for healthy skin. The human skin is the body’s largest organ. In order to keep it young, blemish-free, and healthy, it requires some regular attention and upkeep.
Moisturizing For More Reasons
Preventing dry skin is a definite reason to moisturize, but it’s far from the only one! There are many reasons that your skin will benefit from a moisturizer, including cutting down on the number of wrinkles you develop later in life. “When the skin barrier is compromised, which is what we see when it becomes dry, there’s actually a low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs in the skin,” warns dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. “Low levels of ongoing inflammation ultimately lead to a breakdown of collagen and accelerated aging.” Also keep in mind that dehydrated skin will show more of the fine lines.
Cracked skin is open to irritants. “In the winter, humidity levels plummet, and the dry air can dehydrate your skin and strip it of lipids, which are part of its protective outer layer – so irritants can enter more easily and cause redness and flaking,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and author of Skin Rules.
Moisturizing is even essential when you suffer from acne. Dryness can actually make your acne worse. There are options that can suit your needs. “For patients with acne-prone skin, I recommend using an oil-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic [formulated to not cause blocked pores] moisturizer along with their acne regimen,” says Dr. Debbie Palmer, dermatologist and founder of Replere Skin Care.
“Effective skin care ingredients like retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide tend to be very drying,” says Bowe. If you don’t follow them up with a moisturizer, you run the risk of side effects like red, peeling skin. This causes most people to stop using them regularly, losing the benefits.
A well-moisturized face will look better under makeup. Those little lines under your eyes where your concealer creases looks worse without a base layer of hydration. “Makeup sticks to dry areas on the skin and even seeps into fine lines,” warns Bowe.
How to Choose a Moisturizer
It can be frustrating to search for the perfect moisturizer for your skin. You could be looking to satisfy any one of a number of needs: banishing rough patches, soothing sensitive skin, or keeping hydration levels in check. “A good moisturizer should absorb right into the skin and relieve any tightness or dryness,” says New York City-based dermatologist Lokita Singh. “It should be lightweight so you can’t feel it as a distinct layer on the skin.”
It’s important to choose a moisturizer that offers you the best benefits for your skin’s needs. All skin is different, so everyone has unique skincare product needs. A moisturizer is a staple in both day and evening skin care routines, so we find ourselves wearing it 24/7/365. Looking at it that way, it better be the right product for your skin type and suit your needs!
Just about the only general rule that you must follow pertains to SPF. You should always be sure that your daytime moisturizer contains sunscreen. Since sunscreen is essential for skin preservation, incorporating it into your moisturizer saves you time! If you’re prone to clogged pores or oily skin, choose one that won’t feel greasy or cause breakouts.
On the flip side, skip the SPF at night. Your skin has different needs during beauty sleep. This is the optimal time to load up with reparative nighttime ingredients like retinol, peptides, and antioxidants.
Normal Skin: Neither too dry, nor too oily, you should opt for a water-based moisturizer with a light, non-greasy feeling.
Dry Skin: You should elect a product that will help to restore moisture to the skin. To keep your skin hydrated, use an oil-based moisturizer that also contains moisturizing ingredients.
Oily Skin: Those with oily skin also commonly suffer acne. Contrary to your first instinct, you should still apply a suitable moisturizer to your skin. Apply a light moisturizer that can help to remove oil.
Sensitive Skin: Always stay away from any products that contain fragrances, dyes, or acids. Search for a moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera.
Mature Skin: Your oil glands are less active, and therefore drier as you age. To keep your skin soft and well-hydrated, opt for an oil-based moisturizer that contains antioxidants to combat age-related problems like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
When and How To Apply Moisturizer
- Immediately after drying your skin after taking a bath
- Every time you wash your hands
- Within 60 seconds of cleansing your face
- As a protective base for makeup
- Apply evenly over your entire face, blending gently
- Don’t neglect your neck. Apply your moisturizer with SPF generously, even on the neckline.