Whether your skin is perfectly balanced (aka normal) or tips towards being dry, sensitive, oily or acne-prone, there’s one basic skin care step you can’t afford to skip. The unsung hero of a beauty routine, using a face moisturizer can have a significant impact on any skin type. Proper moisturizing can be the difference between a soft, supple complexion and one that’s acting out by being rough, irritated, or even excessively oily. From key ingredients to essential application tips, here’s everything you need to know about how to moisturize your face.
Why Using a Face Moisturizer Makes a Difference
A hydrating moisturizer is a staple in any skin care routine because it helps skin to maintain optimal moisture levels. Operating much like a piece of outerwear does in your wardrobe, its primary function is to provide a form of nourishing protection and act as a layer between your skin and the environment. While delivering hydration to achieve softness, a moisturizer also supports a strong skin barrier which can minimize bouts of irritation and inflammation.
If you have a normal skin type, it helps to keep skin’s equilibrium in check. If your complexion is naturally dry or reactive, a moisturizer can help skin defend itself against on-going water loss which contributes to uncomfortable feelings of tightness, roughness and chapping. And even those with oily skin need to have a face moisturizer as part of a daily routine. When oily skin lacks moisture and becomes dehydrated, sebum production can flip into overdrive and encourage clogged pores and breakouts to develop.
Befriending the Best Moisturizer Ingredients
While every skin type benefits from using a moisturizer, knowing which tried-and-true ingredients to look for will lead you to a hardworking formula that’s perfect for you. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are humectant ingredients that attract water from the environment and hold it in the skin, while Vitamin E, avocado, jojoba and soybean oils are all emollient ingredients that can help to replenish natural oils within the dermis. Occlusive ingredients, such as olive and mineral oils, play an important role, too. They help to trap water in the skin, reducing moisture evaporation. Prebiotics, peptides and antioxidants, such as Vitamin C or retinol, are additional ingredients that can be found in a face moisturizer that delivers results and reduces signs of aging.
How to Choose the Right Moisturizer for AM, PM, and Beyond
The texture of a moisturizer can range from a lightweight gel or lotion to a rich cream or thick, buttery balm. Typically, people with oily skin may prefer lighter textures that feature humectants, and those with drier complexions find heavier ones with higher emollient or occlusive content more comforting – but it all comes down to personal preference. You may also find that a lighter texture works best for you during the day, especially under makeup, but that your skin benefits from a richer formula at night.
How to moisturize can also be influenced by changes in the weather. Just as you would switch from a heavy parka in winter to a light trench coat in the spring, you may also need to change up the type of moisturizer you’re using depending on a seasonal shift, or when travelling to a different climate.
The Ideal Moment to Moisturize is...
Once you find a moisturizer that’s a match for your skin, the final step is knowing when to moisturize. It’s ideal to use a face moisturizer twice a day, after cleansing and after applying a few drops of a targeted serum treatment. In both the morning and evening, use a pea-size amount and massage moisturizer on to your face and neck using circular motions. In the AM, follow up with an application of a sunscreen to protect skin from UV rays.
Skin that’s soft, supple and strong is the goal for all. And now that you know everything about an essential step in any skin care routine, including how to moisturize your face, you can help to minimize water loss and reinforce skin’s barrier function. Try using moisturizer twice a day, and you’ll be sure to notice a difference in your complexion promptly.