Facial Skin Care: Moisturizing Basics

By: Aileen Fitzharris


We all recognize the importance of keeping our skin hydrated. We might have different motivations. Perhaps the discomfort of itchiness associated with dry skin or pronounced lines in your hands have pushed you to better moisturize. Doesn't matter why, keep in mind a few important things when it comes to properly moisturizing facial dry skin, including what different ingredients do and how effective they are.
Types of Dry Face Skin Moisturizers
If dry skin is your problem, look into balms and creams as these are the thickest moisturizers available.
Lotions are good for normal skin (even slightly dry or slightly oily) as they are lighter.
For oily skin types, go for a gel as they are the lightest and most fluid moisturizers.
Ingredients: What You Should Know
The following moisturizer ingredients are recommended by experts:
Emollients, like plant or mineral oils, shea and cocoa butter, petrolatum, cholesterol, silicones or animal oils. Jojoba, squalene and lanolin are recommended as the best emollients as they are the most similar to sebum, the skin's natural moisturizer, and therefore are the most compatible with the skin's biochemistry. They are also the least pore-clogging. A thickening agent is also needed as the base and to lend texture to the moisturizer.
Water-binding agents. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, elastin and amino acids are different ingredients that prevent water from escaping the skin. Humectants attract water to skin but won't actually help your skin retain that water.
Soothing agents and anti-irritants help prevent uncomfortable irritation that other ingredients might cause, especially to sensitive skin. They might include allantoin, licorice root, aloe, chamomile or green tea extract and bisabolol.
Antioxidants stop a type of extrinsic aging by combating damaging free radicals. Since antioxidants deteriorate rapidly with air and sun exposure, choose products that come in opaque packaging with a small opening.
Skin rejuvenation stimulators help the skin reactivate its own natural processes. Some recent breakthroughs have been in retinoids and the glycoconjugates of the Helix Aspersa Muller, or the garden snail. These types of ingredients trigger the production of natural skin proteins as well as the skin's own natural moisturizers.
Other Dry Skin Moisturizer Tips
Other things to keep in mind when looking for a dry skin cream: The sun's rays are the primary cause of premature skin aging. Look for moisturizers with a sun protection factor of at least 15 and a way to block UVA rays.
Facial moisturizers, factoring in the special needs of facial skin care, lean towards the thinner and more concentrated side. Don't use other types of moisturizers on the face.
Put on moisturizers when you are fresh out of the shower.
Try a new moisturizer on a small patch of skin first to avoid any possible reactions. They should also look for moisturizers without perfumes and other skin-irritating ingredients.

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