You listen to your heart, you listen to your head, you listen to your gut…..but do you ever listen to your skin? As your body’s largest organ, it deserves your ear every once in a while to determine its needs. And what you skin needs most is water – in fact, skin is 64% water, which means that good hydration is a crucial component for healthy, glowing skin. And good hydration is easy to achieve once you’ve found a moisturizer that protects, hydrates, and nourishes your specific skin type. Moisturizer products use a variety of ingredients to retain, trap, or attract water, and all skin types (even normal and blemish-free) can benefit from using a moisturizer to keep skin adequately hydrated. Just like you cannot always tell when you are thirsty, you may not always be able to tell when your skin is thirsty too – signs of skin dehydration include skin that feels tight, looks dull, has visible fine lines, itches, flakes, or cracks.
If you are ready to buy a moisturizer for your skin, choosing the right one may feel overwhelming – some stores dedicate an entire aisle to moisturizing products. And there are numerous types of moisturizers to choose from: creams, lotions, butters, ointments, and oils. Here are some simple questions you should answer first to help narrow down the selection and pick the best product for your skin.
What type of skin do you have?
- Dry skin: If you have dry, itchy, or irritated skin, look for thick moisturizers in the forms of creams, butters, or ointments. Cream-based products contain more oil to keep skin hydrated, and ointments with ingredients including petroleum, lanolin, or mineral oil create a protective barrier over the skin that seals in moisture. Also look for products that contain humectants – such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid – which trap moisture on the surface of the skin.
- If you have an inflammatory skin condition such as eczema, follow the same guidelines as choosing a moisturizer for dry skin. After an evening shower or bath, slather on a thick petroleum jelly to lock in moisture overnight and soothe inflamed skin.
- Oily and acne-prone skin: If you have oily skin with visible pores, choose a lighter, thinner lotion that won’t feel heavy. Oil-free lotions are excellent for oily and acne-prone skin because they are the thinnest form of moisturizer and their main ingredient is water, which hydrates skin without giving it a greasy, shiny appearance. Look for the term noncomedogenic, which means the product will not clog pores.
- Normal skin: If you have normal, blemish-free skin, you should still use a moisturizer daily for maintenance and to ensure adequate hydration. A light lotion or cream should suffice to preserve healthy skin.
- Sensitive skin: If you have sensitive, easily irritated skin, look for products that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Fragrances are one of the leading skin irritants found in personal care products. Choose a moisturizer with only a few, simple ingredients to avoid as many chemical irritants as possible. Look for the ingredient aloe, which is both a hydrating agent and a pain reliever for aggravated skin.
What time of day are you moisturizing?
- For daytime use, choose a lighter moisturizer that will not look or feel slick, greasy, or shiny. For your face, pick a product that contains sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for an added layer of protection against skin damaging UV rays. If you suffer from dry skin, use a heavier cream or ointment-based moisturizer at night after you shower or bathe. Apply the moisturizer while skin is still damp, which helps it absorb the product.
Which season is it?
- Winter is the worst season for your skin: low temperatures, strong winds, and low humidity conditions will leach all the moisture from your body, leaving you with irritated skin that may feel tight, flake, crack, itch, or break out in a rash. These conditions will also exacerbate inflammation if you have conditions like eczema or psoriasis. And use of central heating systems and long, hot baths to drive out the cold will also dry out the water from your skin. During winter months, switch to a heavier moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
- During the summer months, thick, humid air will help your skin retain water. Use a light, hydrating moisturizer with humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid to keep your summer glow fresh.
Choosing the right moisturizer may take trial and error – you should stop using any product that stings or causes your skin to feel irritated after use. Do the patch test on your arm or leg to check for irritation before applying the full product to your sensitive facial skin. Don’t use any product you are not enjoying; choose a thickness that feels comfortable and a scent that smells nice in close contact.
The moisturizer and personal care product industry is not well-regulated, and even products that claim to be organic, all-natural, or fragrance-free can be misleading and cause a skin reaction. Your best bet is to speak with a professional: here at Ageless Allure Medispa we employ licensed estheticians who can help you determine your skin type, skin care needs, and offer product suggestions. All of the products and services offered at Ageless Allure Medispa are designed with optimal skin health in mind – call us today at 863-292-2317 with any questions or concerns.