When you were a much younger little lady, all you needed to ensure that your baby-soft skin stayed that way was water and soap. While bathing, you would apply creamy soap lather on your cheeks, pretending to be a woman from one of those facial wash commercials and carefully applying the soap in gentle circles, and then rinsing it off with a flourishing splash of water and then giggling with secretive joy as you patted your freshly washed, pink, glowing skin with a towel (or if you were like me- pretending you were Santa Claus- one of the two). That was all there was to skin care when you were much younger — you saw the same supple, youthful skin every time you looked at the mirror back then.
Several years later, however, you learn that it takes quite a lot of work to keep your skin healthy and free from irritations and breakouts. Plain soap is no longer part of your regimen — now, you have a countertop littered with creams, serums, lotions, and makeup of all kinds that help you look “pretty, radiant and presentable” every day.
Of course, no matter how simple or complex your facial care and makeup regimen may be, there is one vital component that you should never consider leaving out: the use of moisturizer. Otherwise, no matter how religiously you keep your skin clean, or no matter how much makeup you put on (using clever application techniques, of course!), you will never really achieve the youthful, fresh glow that only dewy, well-moisturized skin can present.
But with so many products available today, how will you be able to find the best moisturizer for you to use? Ladies, confusion need not be a part of your beauty product shopping experience. Keep these tried-and-tested rules for choosing a moisturizer that beauty experts have been touting for years:
Matching the formulation to your skin type
Every woman should use moisturizer, regardless of whether she has oily, dry, normal or combination skin. It’s just a matter of properly identifying your specific type and matching the right products for such.
Moisturizers typically come in cream, lotion or ointment form. For women with dry skin, a thick ointment will be more effectively absorbed by their skin. Women with normal or combination skin, on the other hand, fare well from using creams which are thinner and more hydrating than ointments. And for women with oily skin, only the lightest moisturizers will work — lotions, which use water as their main ingredient, would be perfect.
Acknowledge the time of day when you will be applying the moisturizer
During the daytime when temperatures are higher and you spend time outdoors, a lighter moisturizer would be best (hydrating ones are great for summers). Heavier formulations are ideal in the evenings.
Know the ingredients that address your specific skin issues
Moisturizers can come with special ingredients designed to resolve certain skin problems:
Itchiness and skin sensitivities- Pick a moisturizer that is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free — and ideally with less than 10 ingredients. For more persistent cases, a cream with 1% hydrocortisone steroid would be good to use for a week. If itching is still present, you should consult a doctor.
Eczema- Petroleum jelly would be a preferable moisturizing agent to soothe cracks and help the skin become supple. Moisturizers with petrolatum are also good. (For more natural alternatives to petroleum jelly, use the following link: http://learningandyearning.com/7-alternatives-to-petroleum-jelly-for-taking-care-of-your-skin)
Oily or acne-prone skin- Make sure to choose a moisturizer with the words “non-comedogenic” on the label; this means that the product does not clog pores. Alpha-hydroxy acids are also essential in the ingredient list as they address acne.
Dry skin- Heavier moisturizers with dimethicone and hyaluronic acid have extra hydrating properties that are best for this skin type. Ingredients like proteins, propylene glycol, glycerin and urea also help draw water to the skin. To lock in moisture, the product should also have lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil.
Signs of aging- If getting younger-looking skin is your goal, your best bet is to choose moisturizers with anti-aging ingredients like pomegranate, chamomile, licorice root extract or green tea, which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are the molecules that break down skin cells and stimulate aging.
Sun protection- Everyone, no matter what the skin type, should choose skincare products that contain a sunscreen of at least SPF30. Fragrance- and oil-free moisturizers with sunscreen would work wonders on your face.