The Best Moisturizing Ingredients for Dry Skin

Winter is coming – and you should come prepared with a hydrating moisturizer to keep dry skin at bay. When the temperatures drop, the air becomes dry and less humid, and your skin has a harder time retaining moisture. Taking a hot shower and using central heating when the weather is cold also creates dry, less humid conditions that deplete your skin of water. Dry skin can be red, itchy, flaky, cracked, and irritated. It can also look dull and thin.

One of the best ways to prevent dry skin is using moisturizers daily. You may need to change the moisturizer you use during the summer months – during winter, most people need thicker products like jellies, ointments, and oil-based creams that help skin hold on to moisture.

But with so many choices in your local store, what products should you choose? Here, we’ve listed some of the best moisturizing ingredients for dewy, glowing skin.

1. Humectants

There are two types of humectants: synthetic humectants and natural humectants.

Synthetic humectants draw moisture from the middle layer of your skin (the dermis) to hydrate the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis). They can also pull water from the air. Synthetic humectants help your skin look less chapped and flaky by hydrating the dead skin cells in the epidermis.

Natural humectants pull moisture from the dermis for hydration, but they also promote the growth of new skin cells in the epidermis. Skin cell renewal keeps your skin looking and feeling healthy, smooth, and fresh during the cold winter months. One of the most powerful natural humectants is hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to one thousand times its weight in water.

Look for moisturizers with:

  • Urea (synthetic)
  • Glycerin (synthetic)
  • Hyaluronic acid (natural)
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like lactic acid and glycolic acid (natural)

2. Occlusive Agents

Occlusive agents form a protective barrier over the outer layer of your skin – the epidermis. This barrier locks in moisture and prevents it from being stripped away by environmental elements like harsh winds or dry air. Moisturizers with occlusive agents are thick, oily creams, jellies, and ointments.

Look for moisturizers with:

  • Petroleum
  • Shea butter
  • Mineral oil
  • Lanolin

3. Ceramides

Ceramides are fatty lipids that hold your skin cells together. They strengthen and maintain the skin barrier to keep moisture in and environmental elements, toxins, and bacteria out. While your body naturally produces ceramides, its stores deplete when you get older and when elements such as cold, dry air and whipping winds leach them away. Find a moisturizing product with ceramides to keep your skin looking firm, plump, and hydrated this winter.

4. SPF

Wear SPF-containing products for skin safety all year round, including during the winter. SPF helps protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation damage from the sun. UV rays break down skin cells, damage your skin’s DNA, and cause premature signs of aging like sunspots and wrinkles. And don’t skip your SPF on gloomy, cloudy days – UV rays breakthrough cloud coverage. Look for moisturizers with SPF of at least 30 and broad-spectrum coverage.

Moisturizing Ingredients to Avoid

When your skin is drier and more prone to irritation during the winter, there are some skin products ingredients you should avoid:

  • Alcohol, which dries out the skin
  • Fragrances, which contain chemicals that cause skin irritation
  • Too many acids, which sting and burn chapped or broken skin

Choose hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products, and always perform a skin patch test before applying a new moisturizer to your body or face.

Show your skin a little love at Ageless Allure Medispa. Schedule the Watercress Moisture Wave Hydrating and Balancing Facial, a treatment package that hydrates and rejuvenates your skin with a rich blend of products that contain antioxidants, vitamins, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. For the month of November, we’re offering this treatment package at a reduced special price.

Contact Ageless Allure Medispa today to book your treatment session.