Any good skin care routine involves the use of a moisturiser. It keeps your skin soft, prevents flaking and helps to protect from the effects of UV rays and free radicals.
However, with so many different moisturisers to choose from, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. There are organic moisturisers, natural moisturisers, vegan skin care products, non-grease products and an endless parade of heavily touted ingredients that may or may not be worth the money.
However, choosing a moisturiser doesn’t have to be a confusing process. For those having a hard time finding the right product, we’ve created a simple guide to help you choose the right moisturiser for you.
What does a Moisturiser Do?
First, why is it important to use a moisturiser? Well, without the proper levels of moisture, your skin will begin to dry out. This can cause flaking, itchiness and acne.
Additionally, some moisturisers offer UV and free radical protection. Without such protection, you might experience early signs of aging such as wrinkles, leathery skin and lack of elasticity.
It’s important to note that dry skin can be caused by poor eating habits, genetics and your surrounding environment. So, if you’re using a moisturiser and it’s not as effective as you’d like it to be, other factors might be influencing your skin. For the best results, it’s best to use moisturisers while maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
What is your Skin Type?
Before you dive into the world of moisturisers, it’s essential to understand what your skin type is. Here are common skin types and the general moisturisers that suit them.
- Dry skin
If your skin is dry, you will need a product that your skin can fully absorb and retain.
For this purpose, it’s best to use a heavy, oil-based moisturiser. Additionally, you can look out for products with hyaluronic acid. This acid binds to water and helps retain moisture.
- Oily skin
If your body’s producing an excessive amount of oil, you will need a lighter, water-based moisturiser. Heavy, oil-based products can clog your pores, potentially causing even more damage to your skin.
The ingredients and features to look out for are hyaluronic acid, non-grease, oil-free and non-comedogenic (non-clogging).
- Mature skin
As we get older, our skin will start to lose its tone, elasticity and moisture. For mature skin, look for products that contain naturally occurring antioxidants, collagen boosters and anti-inflammatory acids. A moisturiser with a high sun protection factor (SPF) is also recommended.
Of course, as we age, it becomes even more important to limit our sugar intake and improve the quality of our sleep. Using the right moisturiser and leading a healthy lifestyle will lead to better looking skin.
Sensitive Skin and Allergies
If you have sensitive skin or have certain allergies, you should be careful about the cosmetics you use.
When choosing a moisturiser for sensitive skin, it’s best to look for soothing ingredients that won’t irritate. This includes ceramides, green tea, humectants, hyaluronic acid, soy and aloe.
If you’ve had problems with skin products in the past, see if you can find out the ingredients used in it. If you’re unsure you can always test the product on your skin before you incorporate it in your routine.
When choosing moisturiser, it’s best to choose a product with a decent SPF. A product with high SPF will protect you from the harmful effects of UV rays.
Without protection, too much exposure to direct sunlight can cause premature signs of aging, sunburns and a weakened immune system. Not using a high SPF product will also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Australian health professionals recommend skin products with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Natural, organic and vegan products
Generally speaking, natural products come from botanical sources that may involve the use of chemicals and pesticides. Organic products on the other hand use ingredients that do not involve artificial fertilisers and chemicals.
If you’re a vegan, you’ll also need to know the common animal ingredients used in cosmetics. As a vegan, you should look out for bee products, lanolin (from sheep skin), tallow (from beef and mutton fat) and keratin (from feathers and wool). Additionally, The previously mentioned hyaluronic acid can be derived from rooster combs and so may not be vegan friendly. However, via biofermentation, there are ways to manufacture a vegan alternative.
It’s also important to note ingredients that might have some serious effects on your health.
Parabens, for example, are used in cosmetics as a preservative. It was said to have properties that could lead to cancer if not used properly. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, suggests that it is safe to use at “low levels”.
Additionally, there are also phthalates found in cosmetics, lotions and deodorants. In 2008, there was public concern that using phthalates could lead to infertility or cancer. In response, the cosmetics industry has lowered its use in certain products. The American Chemistry Council suggests that the adverse effects of phthalates are more likely to occur in rodents than in humans.
Hopefully, this blog has given you a solid starting point. All skin types are different, so it’s best to try various products before settling on one.
Of course, your safety is always a top priority. So, if you have serious allergies or other health issues, be sure to double check the ingredients that make up a product before you use it. If you have to, you can also talk to a skincare consultant or a healthcare professional.