By: Remy Raccuia
Moisturizer is one of the most important steps in a skincare routine. I know for some a skincare routine can seem overwhelming and unnecessary, but a good moisturizer is definitely essential. Moisturizers help keep skin smooth, hydrated, and youthful (Draelos, 2018).
As the temperatures start to cool down, our skin begins going into a winter transition. The combination of cold outdoor temperature and warm heat inside affects our skin greatly. While it is imperative that you moisturize all year round, your winter moisturizer is especially important (even if you have oily skin!). Moisturizing doesn’t just apply to the face either. It is important to use a moisturizing lip balm, hand cream, and body lotion to prevent flaky lips and dry skin.
I am a firm believer in knowing what ingredients are in your skincare. If I can’t pronounce an ingredient, I do my research right away. When shopping for a new moisturizer, there are a few key ingredients to keep an eye out for. I always look for antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and a skin-replenishing ingredient, such as ceramides or glycerin. Antioxidants- green tea, pomegranate, vitamin C, and licorice extract to name a few – can help to keep your skin looking fresh. In addition, hyaluronic acid helps to keep skin moisturized and reduces fine lines (Julson, 2018). Lastly, ceramides are fatty acids that help hold our skin cells together, serving as a protective barrier to allow for optimal hydration (Cherney, 2018).
With an abundance of moisturizers to choose from it can be hard to know which one is right for you and your skin. So to help save you some time, I’ve compiled a moisturizer cheat sheet.
- Moisturizing Gel
- If you have naturally oily or acne-prone skin, a gel moisturizer might be best. Gels are light-weight and help to maintain oil-free hydration.
- Moisturizing Lotion
- Lotions fall in between a gel and a cream. Lotions are extremely easy to apply and absorb quickly into the skin. If you have normal or combination skin, a lotion is perfect for you.
- Moisturizing Cream
- If you have extremely dry or flaky skin, a cream is definitely for you. Creams have an even ratio of oil to water, allowing for a thick consistency.
Also, here are a few more general tips and tricks to help everyone from low to high maintenance.
- Avoid hot showers. While it sounds like the best thing to do after a cold day outside, overly hot water can dry out our skin.
- Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower. Applying moisturizer after a shower allows your skin to trap water (Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d.).
- Drink plenty of water! We can hydrate our skin from the inside and outside. By aiming for 8 glasses of water per day, our skin will be hydrated.
- Use a humidifier if you suffer from stubborn dry skin. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which allows your skin to maintain hydration (“Moisturizers: Do They Work?, 2019).
- SPF!! Even though it may be snowing outside where you live, the sun is still powerful. It is important to use a moisturizer with SPF or separate sunscreen all year round to protect your skin.
- Make sure to bring a hand lotion with you on the go. Between the cold weather and constant hand washing, our hands become extremely dry and brittle.
- Your diet can also help to hydrate your skin. Try to incorporate moisturizing foods such as avocados, sweet potatoes, coconuts, and extra virgin olive oil (Feiereisen, 2020).
- Lastly, don’t break the bank! A moisturizer is simply used to maintain moisture in your skin, you don’t need anything fancy. With skincare basics, you can find affordable options that deliver effective results.
2019. Moisturizers: Do They Work? Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work
Cherney, K. (2018). Everything You Should Know About Using Ceramides. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/ceramide
Draelos, Z. (2018), The science behind skin care: Moisturizers. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 17(2), 138-144. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12490
Feiereisen, S. (2020). 22 Naturally Moisturizing Foods To Eat When You Have Dry Skin. Eat This, Not That! Retrieved from https://www.eatthis.com/foods-to-combat-winter-skin/
Julson, E. (2018). 7 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hyaluronic-acid-benefits
Mayo Clinic Staff (n.d.). Moisturizers: Options for Softer Skin. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved fromhttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/in-depth/moisturizers/art-20044232