MOISTURISERS are an essential part of skin care — they add moisture to the skin, help to prevent dryness, slow the signs of ageing, help fight acne, protect the skin from the sun, and soothe sensitive skin.
There are many products on the beauty store shelves claiming to moisturise, but how important is it to find the right product for your skin? Can any old moisturiser work for any skin type?
Aesthetician Nicola Meredith says no — and sometimes you have to spend money to get it right.
“The right product for you depends on whether you have dry skin or oily skin, conditions like eczema or psoriasis, how much time you spend in the sun, and even your age and diet,” she said.
“So you have to consider all these factors when choosing— and so you'll realise that just picking up a tub of cream from the pharmacy just won't do, nor is trying a product, natural or otherwise, just because it works for someone else.”
Here's what moisturising product you need, specific to your skin issues:
Dry skin is likely to cause tightness, skin that feels and looks rough, itching, flaking, scaling or peeling. It can also lead to fine lines or cracks. Dry skin can be caused by things as innocuous as the wrong soap, or bathing in hot showers regularly.
The solution: Start with changing your soap to a mild, fragrance-free soap that moisturises as it cleanses. Choose a soap that's specially formulated for dry skin. Then lock in moisture with a rich cream moisturiser with ingredients that will seal moisture into the skin and create an effective barrier. Choose products that include ingredients like vitamin E and collagen.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, this can cause issues with uneven pigmentation, dryness, age lines and scaly patches. Pick a moisturiser that incorporates a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, as well as ingredients containing glycerine, sorbitol, lactic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acid. Moisturisers with sunscreen address both dryness and sun protection.
As hormone levels change over the years, your skin will become thin and parched. Sometimes this happens years before your time, because of things like excess exposure to the sun, smoking, and poor diet. The signs of premature ageing on the skin will include fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, and bags or dark circles under the eyes.
The solution: You won't be able to erase the lines, but a rich cream in the morning and at night will help to relieve dryness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Look for moisturisers containing sunscreen, collagen, glycolic acid, lactic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and an oil like jojoba oil.
Whether this is caused from using the wrong detergent, eczema or other health issue, itchy skin can be helped by moisturising.
Pick moisturising products that are labelled fragrance and dye-free, and that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, look for ingredients that will reinforce the skin barrier with hydrating ingredients — such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine, ceramides, petrolatum, and oatmeal.