Lack of hydration is the leading cause of most skin problems. Regardless of skin type, having a moisturiser in your skincare regimen is essential. But do you know how to pick the right moisturiser for your skin type?
Well, there are different categories and types of moisturisers on the market. Each product variety has some specific properties that make it stand out. So, if you want to pick the correct type of moisturiser, here's what you need to know.
Categories of Moisturisers
Moisturisers fall under three main categories. The water-based ones are known as humectants, oil-based ones are known as emollients and the "water-fighting" occlusive agents.
1. Humectant Moisturisers
This category of moisturisers contains products with ingredients that can keep the skin moist. They usually work by drawing water or moisture from the lower dermis to the outer epidermis.
The main ingredients used to make humectants include urea, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium lactate, and ammonium lactate. Humectants are suitable for people with oily skin types.
Under this category, you will find products that contain "aqua" or "water" as their first ingredient on their label. This usually includes oil-free moisturisers, hydro-gels, and gel creams.
Humectants are ideal for humid climates because they provide the skin with a steady moisture supply.
They are lightweight and form a thin barrier on the skin. This property means that humectants don't clog the skin pores, which makes them ideal for oily skin.
Due to their versatile nature, you can also use this moisturiser category with any other skin type, including dry or sensitive skin.
But just like any other skincare product category, you must be careful when using humectants. Using such products on damaged skin will only worsen the pre-existing condition.
2. Emollient Moisturisers
This category features moisturisers that are made with ingredients to smoothen the skin. Emollients usually work by filling in the spaces between the flakes found on the crusty outer layer of the epidermis.
Generally, they help to improve the texture and appearance of the skin. These properties make emollients ideal for mature, dry, and dehydrated skin.
The products effectively improve the skin's elasticity and eliminate wrinkles or fine lines.
Emollient moisturisers are richer and thicker balms and skin. So, they work with the upper layer of the skin to make it smoother and softer. Most emollients are made with organic extracts with fatty acids.
This ingredient helps to improve the skin's structure naturally. The most common types of emollients include:
- Olive oil
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter and
- Colloidal oatmeal
3. Occlusive Moisturizers
They are agents that have "water-fighting" properties. Occlusive moisturisers help seal the skin's moisture content by forming a hydrophobic layer.
They have the most profound hydrating benefits for the skin since they essentially work by trapping water in the skin.
To create a protective film, these moisturisers have a thick texture.
They also feel greasy and, therefore, are the heaviest types of moisturisers. Common types of occlusive moisturisers include:
- Rosehip oil
- Lanolin and
- Avocado oil
Their creamy texture makes them ideal for improving dehydrated or dry skin types. Besides that, these products usually have healing properties. So you can use them on inflamed skin.
Most people typically pair occlusive moisturisers with humectants for a high level of effectiveness. Humectants contain hydrating benefits, while occlusives help to create a protective film.
If you want optimal results while using an occlusive moisturiser, you should dampen your skin. This way, the moisturiser will find water under the skin when you apply it.
Types of Moisturisers
Everyone has different skincare needs, and it's essential that you choose a moisturiser that works for you. There are several types of moisturisers designed with other profiles. The main categories include:
Lotions are popular due to their lightweight nature and effectiveness in offering hydration. They are the most commonly used moisturisers. Well, this is because they are mainly made of water.
As a result, these products can't clog the skin pores and cause breakouts. This makes them ideal for use by those people who have acne-prone skin.
The hydrating property of lotions also makes them ideal for nourishing dry skin. It should be noted that these products typically absorb quickly into the skin; hence they don't leave a greasy residue.
They usually are applied just like lotions. However, creams are greasier and heavier because they combine oil and water. Due to their heavy nature, creams should be used in moderation to avoid clogging the skin's pores. However, you will use more cream to attain the desired effects as lotions.
These products feature a combination of butter and essential oils. Additionally, they also contain hydrating ingredients with powerful properties. The body butter is considered the thickest moisturiser since they only contain a reasonable amount of water.
They are popular due to their healing properties. So, you can use them to improve the skin's appearance, smoothen rough patches, and treat dry skin. Compared to creams and lotions, butter usually lasts the longest.
These moisturisers get quickly absorbed into the skin due to their lightweight nature. They effectively provide the body with hydrating effects but minus the greasy residue. Gels usually feature a combination of alcohol and water in addition to other ingredients.
They are effective in helping to retain the skin's water content. This means that oils have to be used in conjunction with other moisturisers. They have moisturising benefits, but they don't have hydrating properties. So, you can use them with lotions or creams.
Moisturisers for People with Normal Skin
People with the normal skin type (not too dry or too oily) can get away with a wide range of moisturisers as long it works for them. This is a skin type that many people wish they would have because it doesn't have special requirements.
You need a good moisturiser that's light, neutral, and non-greasy to avoid clogging the skin's pores. Generally, you will find that moisturisers made for normal skin are usually made of silicone-based ingredients.
Moisturisers for People with Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, you might be tempted to think that a moisturiser is the last thing you need to add to your skincare regime. Well, this normally happens because most people usually think that oily skin is hydrated.
Oily skin isn't hydrated, but it only indicates that there is excess production of sebum.
All skin types need to be moisturised since they are susceptible to the different effects of various weather elements.
For instance, the hot summer months are usually hot, and they result in dehydration. On the other hand, the cold winter months are harsh, making the skin dry.
However, this type of skin is excellent at retaining moisture. The best moisturiser for people with oily skin must be less "heavy" or greasy. Those with this skin type should focus on oil-free moisturisers that contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
Generally, the best type of moisturiser for this skin type needs to provide the user with the right balance of hydration and oil production. The skin doesn't need to be too oily just because you are now hydrating it.
That's why it's essential that you choose the right product that has been specifically formulated for people with oily skin. It's also necessary that you use a high-quality product that's safe to avoid unwanted reactions.
So, when looking for the best moisturiser for people with oily skin, you must ensure that it doesn't contain numerous harsh ingredients or unfamiliar chemicals. This is because such components can end up interfering with sebum production, leading to over-drying of the skin.
In such a case, the skin pores will be forced to produce more oil from the sebaceous gland to counter this effect. The result is that you will end up in a constantly repeating loop of excess sebum production and dehydrated skin.
While trying to moisturise and hydrate your skin, there are also high chances of your skin reacting negatively due to these two extreme states.
So, it won't be strange if you find yourself dealing with clogged skin pores and experiencing massive breakouts and more skin issues such as hyperpigmentation and acne. Just ensure you pick the right product to nourish your skin and keep it healthy.
Moisturisers for People with Dry Skin
This skin type is the opposite of oily skin. Moisturisers have significant benefits for people with dry skin.
These products help to rehydrate the top layer of the skin cells. Besides that, they contain ingredients that help to seal in the moisture content. This is a combinational benefit that's highly effective in combating the adverse effects of dry skin.
It should be noted that there is a direct relationship between dry skin and skin complications. That's why people with skin conditions like eczema are more likely to have dry skin.
A moisturiser would definitely do a great job in combating the adverse effects of eczema. However, there are skincare products, such as lotions, that contain coconut oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter, which are effective.
But how does a quality moisturiser help to improve the health of dry skin? A good product will help soothe the skin and repair the damaged tissue.
Those with itchy conditions can relax because it will also help to reduce skin irritation that often leads to itchiness.
There is a wide range of moisturisers on the market designed to cater to those with this type of skin. You only need to find a product that suits your needs and budget.
The ingredients used to make moisturisers for dry skin need to have soothing and healing properties. Manufacturers typically use jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil.
Apart from their healing benefits, they also have a low comedogenic rating. This means they don't clog the skin pore because they are non-comedogenic.
On most occasions, dry skin tends to enhance the process of ageing. That's why most people with this skin type are more likely to have wrinkles and fine lines.
This means that products with collagen would be ideal for facilitating the growth of new cells that will counter the effects of premature ageing.
For those who have a combination of sensitive and dry skin, the ideal moisturiser would be fragrance-free. But what's the best moisturiser for sensitive skin?
Moisturiser for People with Sensitive Skin
If you have a sensitive skin type, it doesn't mean you should avoid moisturising it. You have to be careful and choose the right products to use. Sensitive skin type requires extra care.
This is because it usually occurs as a result of poor immune function. It's a common condition for people with psoriasis and eczema.
It's generally difficult for people with sensitive skin to handle it. This is because it's easy for this skin type to get irritated quickly, even when using products that are touted as natural. What type of moisturiser would be the most ideal for it?
Unscented and hypoallergenic moisturisers are the most effective, especially those that are made with chamomile or aloe.
You also need to ensure that you use a product that will offer the perfect balance of hydration without clogging the skin's pores. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best hydrants for people with dry and sensitive skin.
There are also other effective ingredients that are ideal for people with this type of skin. They include squalene and shea butter.
They are suitable for nourishing sensitive skin because they have healing and protective properties. Besides that, they have minimal side effects.
Overall, make sure that you take time and do your research. Managing sensitive skin is a complex process, and you don't have the luxury of trying several products before you can settle for what works for you.
So, the best way to do this is by ensuring that you research extensively when buying a new product because the stakes are usually high.
You must be cautious because a new product can easily lead to breakouts. You may end up with reddened skin, irritation, increased skin sensitivity, and uneven patches, among others.
The product you choose needs to improve the state of the skin's sensitivity rather than create more issues.
When choosing a moisturiser for sensitive skin, check the product label to determine the type of ingredients. One thing that you will notice is that moisturisers designed for sensitive skin types usually have fewer ingredients.
Moisturisers for People with Mature Skin
We've seen older people with vibrant and youthful skin. You need to understand that the skin ages naturally, but it's still essential that you take care of it.
This will pay in the long run, primarily if you use quality and effective products. Bad habits and contaminated products will, on the other hand, lead to old and unattractive skin.
There are skincare products designed to cater to the needs of different people. For mature skin, buying a moisturiser designed for this skin type is essential. This means that the product needs to have anti-ageing benefits as well as antioxidant properties.
In addition to that, it should consist of nourishing and hydrating ingredients. Old age usually comes with many changes; one of the most prominent evidence of mature skin is dryness. So, these two ingredients will help nourish and hydrate it as you age.
Besides that, choosing a moisturiser is essential to help minimise the growth of wrinkles and fine lines. Ingredients that also promote the development of new skin cells are crucial. Some of the ingredients that you should, therefore, consider include:
- Fruit acids
- Fatty acids
- Hyaluronic acid
- Retin A/Retinol
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Moisturisers for People with Combination Skin
Managing a combination of skin may, at times, feel like you are handling sensitive skin. It's a challenging process because it takes work to identify a combination skin type in the first place.
You will find that it resembles oil skin in terms of texture. However, you will also find normal-dry patches of the skin on the check. So, this area, on most occasions, will resemble dry skin.
Due to its different textures, combination skin may require you to use more than one skincare product. For instance, you might need a product for the T-bone because it's oily.
On the other hand, you might need a different product for the chin and cheeks because these areas are dry or normal.
Just like other skin types, it's essential to look for the ingredients in these products. The T-Zone, for instance, is usually shiny and glossy due to the excess production of sebum.
You might need a product that has sebum-controlling properties. Besides that, I suggest something that has a mattifying finish to reduce the shine's radiance.
The dry patches may need a strong hydrating formula that helps with cell regeneration. That's why if you are dealing with a combination type of skin, you must apply two different types of moisture to ensure that you effectively cater to different needs.
This is a demanding process. However, your skin will thank you for the outstanding results. Meanwhile, you have to research and consider different products to find the right products that will work for you.
Body vs Facial Moisturisers
Body and facial moisturisers have the same properties. Well, they may even have similar ingredients since they are designed for the same purpose, to moisturise the skin. So, can you use body moisturiser on your face and vice versa?
You might want to reduce your spending and buy a consolidated product that you can use on different parts of the body.
These two products are different, but it's funny how they bear many resemblances. You may find out that they are packaged in similar bottles or tubes.
There are reasons why face moisturisers are supposed to be used on the facial region only. But while they are identical in their functionality and packaging, one can't be used for the other.
On the other hand, there are several reasons why body moisturisers need to be used from the shoulders to the toes.
Look at the body. These two types of products are designed to offer targeted benefits. So, they have different working mechanisms and properties despite being supposed to soften and hydrate the skin.
For instance, a body moisturiser is supposed to address issues such as cellulite, spider veins, sagged skin, and firming.
On the other hand, face moisturisers are generally used to address issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, clogged pores, excess oil production, and dark spots, among others.
Body moisturisers usually come in the form of ointments and lotions. This is because the skin on other body parts is generally thicker. That's why they are ideal for use on elbows and knees.
Body moisturisers are too heavy and not ideal for use on the face since they can cause clogging. The skin around the facial region is usually thin, so it's important to use lighter products.
Although you can use a facial moisturiser on your body, it's essential that you keep these two products different if you want to develop well-nourished and hydrated skin.
The Bottom Line
Knowing the right moisturiser is essential for healthy and well-nourished skin. However, the selection process requires that you do extensive research. You have to know your skin type and have an understanding of the different categories of moisturisers. This way, you will be able to get a suitable product.