How to choose the right facial moisturiser

Lack of hydration is the main cause of most skin problems. Regardless of your skin type, it's important to have a moisturizer in your skincare regimen. But do you know how to pick the right moisturizer for your skin type?

Well, there are different categories and types of moisturizers on the market. Each product variety has some specific properties that make it stand out. So, if you want to pick the right type of moisturizer, then here's what you need to know.


Categories of Moisturisers

Moisturisers fall under three main categories. The water-based are known as humectants, oil-based are known as emollients and the "water-fighting" occlusive agents.


1.Humectant Moisturisers

This category of moisturizers contains products with ingredients that can keep the skin moist. They normally work by simply drawing water or moisture content 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 moisturizers, hydro-gels, and gel-creams.

Humectants are ideal for use in humid climates because they are effective in providing 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 and that's what makes them ideal for oily skin.

Due to their versatile nature, you can also use this category of moisturizers with any other skin type, including dry or sensitive skin.

But just like any other category of skincare product, you have to be careful when using humectants. This is because using such products on damaged skins will only worsen the pre-existing condition.


2.Emollient Moisturizers

This category features moisturizers that are made with ingredients to smoothen the skin. Emollients usually work by filling in the spaces between the flakes found on the outer crusty 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 are effective in improving the skin's elasticity and eliminating wrinkles or fine lines.

Emollient moisturizers 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 naturally improve the skin's structure. 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 moisturizers help to seal the moisture content on the skin by simply forming a hydrophobic layer. They are considered to have the deepest hydrating benefits for the skin since they essentially work by trapping water to the skin.

In order to create a protective film, these moisturizers have a thick texture.

They also feel greasy and, therefore, the heaviest types of moisturizers. Common types of occlusive moisturizers 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. For a high level of effectiveness, most people normally pair occlusive moisturizers with humectants. Humectants contain the hydrating benefits while occlusives help to create a protective film

If you want to attain optimal results while using an occlusive moisturiser, then you should dampen your skin. This way, the moisturiser will find water under the skin when you apply it.


Types of Moisturisers

There are several types of moisturisers designed with different profiles. Everyone has different skincare needs and it's important that you choose a moisturiser that works for you. The main categories include:



They are the most commonly used moisturizers. Lotions are popular due to their lightweight nature and effectiveness in offering hydration. 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 normally absorb quickly into the skin hence they don't leave a greasy residue.



They are normally applied just like lotions. However, creams are greasier and heavier because they feature a combination of oil and water. Due to their heavy nature, creams should be used in moderation to avoid clogging the skin pores. However, you will use more cream to attain the same desired effects as lotions.


Body Butters

These products feature a combination of butter and essential oils. Additionally, they also contain hydrating ingredients with powerful properties. The body butter is considered to be the thickest moisturizer 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 moisturizers get quickly absorbed into the skin due to their lightweight nature. Gels usually feature a combination of alcohol and water in addition to other ingredients. They are effective in providing the body with hydrating effects but minus the greasy residue.



They are effective in helping to retain the skin's water content. This means that oils have to be used in conjunction with other moisturizers. They have moisturizing 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 moisturizers as long it works for them. This is a skin type that a lot of people wish they would have because it doesn't have special requirements.

You simply need a good moisturiser that's light, neutral, and non-greasy to avoid clogging the skin 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 moisturizer 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 moisturized since they are susceptible to the different effects of various elements of weather. For instance, the hot summer months are usually hot and they result in dehydration. On the other hand, the cold winter months are harsh and they make the skin dry.

However, this type of skin is great at retaining moisture. The best moisturizers for people with oily skin type needs to be less "heavy" or greasy. In fact, those with this skin type should focus on oil-free moisturizers that contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

Generally, the best type of moisturizer 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 important that you choose the right product that has been specifically formulated for people with oily skin. It's also important that you use a high-quality product that's safe to avoid unwanted reactions.

So, when looking for the best moisturizer for people with oily skin, you need to ensure that it doesn't contain numerous harsh ingredients or unfamiliar chemicals. This is because such components can end up interfering with the production of sebum, 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 skin that's excessively dry.

While you will be trying to moisture 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 that you pick the right product that will 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 to 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 negative effects of dry skin.

 It should be noted that there is a direct relationship between dry skin and skin complications. That's why you find that people with skin conditions like eczema are more likely to have dry skin. A moisturiser would definitely do a great job in combating the negative 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? Well, a good product will help to 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 moisturizers 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 moisturizers for dry skin need to have soothing and healing properties. Manufacturers normally use jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil. Apart from their healing benefits, they also have a low comedogenic rating. This means that they don't clog the skin pore because they are non-comedogenic.

 On most occasions, dry skin tends to enhance the process of aging. That's why most people who have this skin type are more likely to have wrinkles and fine lines. This means that products with collagen would be ideal in facilitating the growth of new cells that will counter the effects of premature aging.

For those who have a combination of sensitive and dry skin, the most ideal moisturizer would be fragrance-free. But what's the best moisturizer for sensitive skin?


Moisturiser for People with Sensitive Skin

If you have a sensitive skin type, it doesn't mean that you should avoid moisturizing it. You simply have to be careful and choose the right products to use. Sensitive skin type requires extra care. This is because it normally 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 easily get irritated even when you are using products that are touted as natural. So, what type of moisturizer 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 pores. Hyaluronic acid is one of the best hydrants for people with dry as well as 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 ideal 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 own 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 need to 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 skin's sensitivity rather than creating more issues.

When choosing a moisturizer for sensitive skin, check the product label to determine the type of ingredients. One thing that you will notice is that moisturizers 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 important that you take care of it. This will pay in the long-run, especially 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, it's important to buy a moisturizer designed for this skin type. This means that the product needs to have anti-aging benefits and as well as antioxidant properties.

In addition to that, it should consist of nourishing and hydrating ingredients. Old age usually comes with lots of changes and one of the most prominent evidence of mature skin is dryness. So, these two ingredients will help to nourish and hydrate it as you grow older. 

Besides that, it's important to choose a moisturiser that will help to minimize the growth of wrinkles and fine lines. Ingredients that also promote the growth of new skin cells are important. Some of the ingredients that you should, therefore, consider include:


  • Fruit acids
  • Fatty acids
  • Collagen
  • Squalene
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Retin A/Retinol
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E


Moisturisers for People with Combination Skin

Managing a combination skin may at times feel like you are handling sensitive skin. It's a challenging process because it's not even easy to identify a combination skin type in the first place. You will find that it bears resemblance to 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 texture, 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 important to look for the ingredients contained in these products. The T-Zone, for instance, is usually shinny and glossy due to the excess production of sebum. So, you might need a product that has sebum-controlling properties. Besides that, you might want something that has a mattifying finish in order to reduce the radiance of the shine.

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, then you need to apply two different types of moistures to ensure that you effectively cater to different needs. 

This is definitely a demanding process. However, your skin will definitely thank you for the outstanding results. Meanwhile, you have to do research and consider different products in order to find the right products that will work for you.


Body vs Facial Moisturisers

Body and facial moisturisers seem to have the same properties. Well, to some extent, they may even have almost similar ingredients since they are designed for the same purpose, to moisturize the skin. So, can you use body moisturizer on your face and vice versa?

Well, you might want to reduce your spending and by a consolidated product that you can use on different parts of the body. Note that these two products are different but it's funny how they bear lots of resemblances. You might even find out that they are packaged in similar bottles or tubes.

 But while they are identical in their functionality and packaging, one can't be used for the purpose of the other. There are reasons why face moisturisers are supposed to be used on the facial region only. On the other hand, there are several reasons why body moisturisers need to be used from the shoulders to the toes. 

These two types of products are designed to offer targeted benefits. So, they have different working mechanisms and properties despite the fact that they are supposed to soften and hydrate the skin. Look at the body, 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 normally 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 parts of the body is usually thicker. That's why they are ideal for use on areas such as 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 and hence it's important to use lighter products. Although you can use a facial moisturizer on your body, it's important that you keep these two products different if you want to develop well-nourished and hydrated skin.


The Bottom Line

Knowing how to pick the right moisturiser is important 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

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