A good moisturizer lies at the core of any skincare routine. It doesn't matter if you follow an elaborate skincare routine or stick to a basic 3-step one; it is really difficult (or rather impossible) to skip moisturizing your face after cleaning it up!
But the key to ensuring that you get the most out of your moisturizer is to find the one that works perfectly for your skin.
Just like your skin, no two moisturizers are the same. They come in different types, are made of different components and work differently on different skin types.
If you are also struggling with finding the best face moisturizer, then here's a quick guide for you. We will explain some key components of a moisturizer and give you skin-type-based suggestions for a moisturizer.
Based on the components present in a moisturizer, it is broadly classified into four categories: humectants, occlusives, emollients, and natural moisturizing factors. Each varies in its functionality and is suitable for a particular skin type only.
Humectants: These are substances which attract moisture when applied to the skin and hence, improve hydration of the outermost layer of the skin. Examples of humectants include glycerine, AHAs, sorbitol and urea.
Occlusives: They block transepidermal water loss in the outermost layer of the skin and help to maintain water content. They generally have a greasy texture. Petroleum jelly is occlusive.
Emollients: These are long-chain saturated fatty acids (stearic, linoleic, oleic, lauric acid and fatty alcohols) which are commonly used in cosmetic formulations or topical applications. When incorporated into moisturizers, it helps to soften the skin through the filling of spaces between the skin cells.
The most important aspect of choosing a moisturizer for face is to identify your skin type:
Moisturizer for dry skin
If you have dry and flaky skin, then go for rich and heavy moisturizers. But at the same time, if you also have skin sensitivity, then make sure that your moisturizer is comedogenic, i.e, it won't clog pores. Make sure that the moisturizer that you buy gets easily absorbed into your skin so that your skin can regain its moisture balance. Do not overuse or over-apply the amount of moisturizer. Just get a well-balanced one. The best moisturizer for dry skin will not make your skin patchy and ensure proper hydration.
Moisturizer for oily skin
People with oily skin often struggle with finding the right moisturizer for the face. Some people altogether skip using a moisturizer just out of the fear that it will make their face look even more greasy. Some people with oily skin do not even apply a moisturizer! This is unacceptable.
Go for a moisturizer that is light and non-oily in texture; It shouldn't sit on your skin and accompany the oil, making your face look even more greasy. It needs to mix suitably and sink into the skin.
Moisturizer for normal skin
Things are not that difficult for people who are blessed with normal skin. Make sure that you do not choose anything that is not anything too heavy or watery. Have a look at the ingredients before making a decision.
Moisturizer for a combination skin
Combination skin is generally shiny around the t-zone but dehydrated elsewhere, so a light, water-based moisturizer is essential to restore balance within the complexion.
Additionally, many moisturizers on the market come with added benefits. For example, if you want something that not only hydrates your skin but also protects it from the harmful UV rays of the sun, then go for a moisturizing cream that also has an SPF. Similarly, there are many creams that come infused with different vitamins like Vit E that help make the skin feel better.
Things to avoid while buying a moisturizer
More isn't always better when it comes to moisturizers for the face or body. To get the most benefit for your skin, avoid some popular extras like colourings & perfumes. This is because the artificial fragrance is one of the most common causes of skin irritations and allergies. Also, remember that the ingredients that are good for your body aren't always good for your face. Finally, we suggest avoiding applying body moisturizers to your face. They can clog pores and make things go bad.
Don't forget to read the labels as you can learn a lot about a product by reading the label. Specifically, look for moisturizers that are labelled "allergy tested" (less likely to cause allergic reactions) and "non-comedogenic" (less likely to clog pores). Of course, these labels don't guarantee that a moisturizer won't irritate your skin, but they are a solid starting point for most people.
In the end, remember that moisturizing is essential for your skin's health. As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and the capacity to retain moisture. So investing in moisturizers helps in keeping your skin healthy and supple.