What you’re all looking for.
Statistically, finding the perfect moisturiser is the one thing women are more interested in than any other skin care product.
When I read this little bit of info, I was a little, well, confounded. In fact, I’ve been known to say, more than once. When it comes to moisturising your skin, it’s probably the least important part of your beauty regimen. But of course, you’ve probably never heard me say it, but if we met, well, I’d say it.
Despite this, I rarely go a day without applying a moisturising cream to my skin, in fact, there are times when it is the ONLY thing that ends up on my face. I love the benefits my skin gains from a well-formulated moisturiser, but there is more to moisturising than just a well-meaning cream in a jar. If all our hopes hang on the best moisturiser we can find, then disappointment is sure to follow, and the quest for the perfect moisturiser will continue.
It’s that one thing in the bathroom cabinet.
If I were to take a peak in your bathroom cabinet, amongst all the other products you’ve tried, it’s your moisturiser you’ve come to rely upon. If all else fails, or your beauty routine falls to just one thing, then, of course, a moisturiser will provide comfort to the skin and assist in protecting the lipid barrier. But is it enough?
In search of the holy grail.
Sometimes looking for a good ‘all round’ moisturiser comes down to economics. Perhaps, spending a little bit more on your moisturiser means you can save on buying other products, like serums. If you can just find that one product that does it all.
If that’s what you’re looking for, there are those who will happily agree with you and make promises that can’t be kept and sell you something full of hope, yet fails to deliver.
The truth is, no matter how wonderful that jar of cream is or how hopeful the promises are. Skimp on the basics in your beauty regimen, and you’ll always be expecting more from your moisturiser than it can ever deliver. You’ll never be happy. No matter how much you spend.
Hanging all your hopes on just one thing.
The reason why I say a moisturising cream is the least important aspect of caring for you skin is, not because you don’t need it, you do.
Too much time in the sun, years of over cleansing and scrubbing can all take their toll on the skin and damage the natural lipid barrier of your skin. Sometimes it seems the only thing between you and the damage inflicted upon the deeper layers of your skin is a good moisturiser. But it’s rarely enough.
Balance your skin with a gentle cleanser, regularly exfoliate with an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) serum, wear sun protection every day and the condition of your skin will begin to improve to a point where the skin starts to function as it should. Optimally. Your skin will become responsive, and you’ll start to notice you need a whole lot less moisturisation.
Your reliance on a moisturising cream will begin to diminish. (now, that’s good economics!!). Buy more, use less.
The least important, but not unimportant.
But of course, sometimes, even with all your best intentions, the skin still feels like it needs more. Seasonal changes take their toll and even though you’ve been diligent with proper cleansing and you’ve been using an AHA serum to improve cell turnover. You’re still not happy with your moisturiser or your skin. It could be your skin is struggling to retain moisture because the balance of ingredients in your moisturiser are not perfectly mimicking your skin’s protective lipid barrier. It just doesn’t feel right on your skin.
Here’s what to look for.
The best ingredients for a well-formulated moisturiser are known as ‘skin identical’. Or in other words, these are the ingredients that mimic the skin’s natural protective structure and when topically applied are accepted as part of the skin. A combination of Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF) and lipids come together to form a stable structure to the skin and the protective barrier.
There is an extensive list of ingredients that contribute to the composition of your skins NMF’s including, ceramides, glycerin, polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, amino acids, cholesterol, lecithin, glycerol, phospholipids, glycosphingolipids, glycosaminoglycans, glycerides and fatty acids.
When a moisturiser contains a combination of these ingredients, you are assisting the skin in its natural protective qualities and allowing your skin to function normally. Often the very best will also include antioxidants to boost the skins defence against free radical damage.
When your skin is dry.
When the skin is particularly dry, combining NMF’s with ingredients that mimic the lipid content of the skin will provide you with an excellent moisturiser. Look for ingredients such as apricot oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, starflower oil, lanolin, lecithin, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, shea butter, soybean oil, squalane, and sweet almond oil. Your cream doesn’t need to contain all of them, but in the right combination of a few of these can be extremely helpful in making dry skin look and feel better.
Reclaim age management formula.
Ideal for dry skins, or when ageing is a definite concern. Loaded with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants as well as a few other interesting ingredients like Hematite and Trylagen, which the manufacturer claims will boost collagen production. Any cream that protects your skin will indirectly protect your collagen and elastin. However, if stimulating collagen is what you want (and who doesn’t) then I’d most certainly combine this cream with other concentrated serums from the Synergie Skin range for collagen synthesis. But even so, as a stand-alone product, this is a well-formulated moisturiser and deserves a place in your bathroom cabinet. You can find stockists for this product here.
Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream
This cream will provide you with a brilliant list of skin-identical ingredients to protect the skin from dryness and dehydration. An impressive moisturising cream, which hydrates the skin through the action of peptides on your skin’s natural moisturising factors (NMF’s) and stimulates hyaluronic acid from within. If you want a moisturiser that attempts to do more than just moisturise but rejuvenate and encourage cell turnover, then this cream by Alpha H has the added benefits of Alpha Hydroxy Acids to remove dead skin cells gently and is a good place to start. You can shop for this brand here in Australia or over at cultbeauty.com in the UK
When your skin is not so dry, perhaps even a little oily?
The natural lipids that make up the intercellular matrix of your skin are created in your epidermis but are quickly depleted by the environment. Even an oily or combination oily skin can be robbed of natural lipids, especially if there has been a tendency to over-cleanse and scrub the oil away. This disruption is why oily skins despite their natural sebaceous oil flow can lack the natural lipids that make up the intercellular matrix. Oily skins, can often and confusingly feel dehydrated, so the same lipid protecting ingredients for dry skin can help, but in less concentrated amounts.
Ultra Brightening Moisturiser Cream
Another great moisturiser for all skin types with an impressive list of ingredients. The cream includes Niacinamide (B3), Salicin from willow bark and Melissa Officinalis which all have an anti-inflammatory and brightening effect on the skin. Yep, who doesn’t want a brighter, healthier looking skin? All of us, right? One of my favourite brands, and I am quite sure if not this moisturiser then one of the other hydrators in the range will become a favourite in your bathroom cabinet. No dust will collect on these wonderful products!! You can shop for this brand here.
How much do you need?
Using more moisturiser or opting for thick, rich creams to combat the dryness of dehydration will leave you with a skin that feels heavy and yet still dry or parched, which is a confusing outcome. As I’ve mentioned today, get the basics right and you’ll find your moisturiser of choice will begin to do its job effortlessly.
If you’d like to know more about finding the perfect balance act for your skin, I’ve written about it and so much more in my E-book. 30 Ways to Ageless Beauty. You can buy it here.
The key to a good moisturiser is to consider it as the supporting act in a balanced skin care regimen.
And now you?
As you can see, when it comes to your skin care choices, I’ve always got something to say. How about you? Have you found the perfect moisturiser for your skin? Why not share your findings by leaving a comment below. Or, if you liked this article and found it useful then why not share it with your friends.
See you next time,