Skin Moisturizer & Protection

Good Skin Care Element #3

Not everyone needs skin moisturizer, but everyone does need skin protection...
The objective of moisturizer is to create a barrier between the skin and the air, temporarily maintaining your skin's natural moisture by keeping the water in the skin (not replacing moisture as you may have thought).

Moisturizing the skin acts to "plump" up the skin giving the appearance of smoother skin. Skin moisturizer can also soothe itchy, aggravated skin and may even have the means to temporarily repair skin damage.

However, keep in mind if you have oily skin, or acne prone skin, moisturizers can block pores. If your skin is normal, you may not even need skin moisturizer and if it is oily, you very likely don't.

apple tip graphicMeet the need...

The best approach to moisturizing is just enough to effectively accommodate the need.

That may mean skin moisturizer application zones, not entire areas i.e. around the eyes and at the cheeks. Over moisturizing the skin can cause a variety of problems including clogged pores, skin cell turn over inhibition and irritation, which over time, will cause skin damage and contribute to its structural breakdown.

apple tip graphicProtect your skin too...

Protection of the skin from sun exposure is required for all races of people. Yes all.
Sun exposure is the primary culprit behind aging skin, wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and most definitely skin cancer (and these negative effects occur in varying degrees depending on your skin color).

apple tip graphicBest anti aging measure...

Sunscreen is the only product that can truthfully claim to prevent aging and wrinkles and it should be part of everyone's morning skin care program.

Skin Moisturizer Guide

When To Moisturize:
Skin moisturizer is the last element you apply to your skin; it follows cleansing, toner (if you use them), use of chemical exfoliants and skin lightening products. Since sunscreens are formulated with a moisturizing base, it can play the role of moisturizer too. If however, your skin is dry, apply your moisturizer to those dry areas, and then the sunscreen on top of that.

How To Moisturize:

Using moisturizer will be first of all determined by your skin's type and needs. To refer to the above, apply just enough to effectively meet the need of the skin; soothe dry areas, soften and feel good without being greasy.

Sparingly apply moisturizer at night by dabbing over the areas needed, not rubbing since it is hard on the skin, and let the moisturizer soak in on its own.

Eye Cream?

If your skin around the eye area tends to be drier than the rest of your face, it is a good idea to consider a separate eye cream. Other wise, the moisturizer you have for your general facial skin area, can be used around the eyes (unless otherwise advised-*always read packaging for warnings).

Here are a few great eye care products worth considering:
Clinique All About Eyes( hydrates plus deals with dark circles), SkinCeuticals Eye Balm ( addresses moisture loss, collagen breakdown, skin damage, puffiness...), AND Olay Regenerist Eye Serum (shown left; award winning, budget friendly addresses aging issues... and I hey, I presently use it and really like it too).

What about Night Cream?

Here is a great opportunity for your skin to receive treatment.  Receiving extra hydration while its at rest, and while it is not dealing with the interaction of ingredients (i.e. day treatments, moisturizer, SPF plus makeup) and exposure to the environment.

Again lots to choose from, however, I still would advise a fairly simple approach to your night routine ( proper removal of makeup, cleansing, chemical exfoliant like AHA, specialty night hydration cream).  A great night time moisturizer, suitable for all skin types, isn't hard on the wallet?  Try Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream.
In fact, this particular product line has an inexpensive price tag and great customer feedback.

Choosing a Facial Moisturizer and/or Daily Sunscreen:

There are so many amazing moisturizers on the market that offer everything from high SPF, AHAs, BHA, antioxidants (fighters against harmful molecules called free radicals), to vitamins, emollients, and humectants.

....There is also a ton of misleading advertising and disappointing products. Although they may still do a good job moisturizing the skin, they don't deliver the other proposed benefits.

skin moisturizer tipHere are a few guidelines to consider when choosing a skin moisturizer:

#1 Choose a skin moisturizer that can support its listed benefits, with proven scientific research, as well as, genuine testimonials from those who have tried the product.

#2 The second step is to ensure that your skin needs those proven benefits (ie. an normal to oily skin type does not need a skin moisturizer that is rich in emollients...)

#3 The third step is to ensure your day time moisturizer has a good SPF. If you don't use moisturizer, you should get an appropriate sunscreen for your skin type.

Dermatologists generally recommend a minimum sun protection factor of 15 and *effective ingredients like these TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ZINC OXIDE, AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789), MEXORYL SX, AND TINOSORB.

Although many products contain sunscreen agents, only the above protects against the full UV ray spectrum and generally, remain stable in most formulations (you would be horrified to know that the ingredients you think are protecting you, when combined in some formulations and exposed to UV rays, can become photo unstable and therefore, useless... not to mention potentially harmful).
Take care in your choice of sunscreen protection.

Products To Consider?

Here are a few suggestions for good skin moisturizer with sunscreen AND ideal sunscreen agents:

For Normal to Dry :
Try this great hydrating cream with highly effective sunscreen ingredients Murad Perfecting Day Cream SPF 30.

For Normal to Oily:

B.Kamins, Chemist Sunscreen (shown) with broad spectrum UVA/ UVB protection and Parsol 1789 (Avobenzone) which is an excellent ingredient.

Suitable For All Skin types:

Vichy Activ Daily Moisturizer Cream with Sunscreen SPF15. This product is a high quality light weight moisturizer with SPF 15 and using key broad spectrum sunscreen ingredient Mexoryl SX. It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive.

A budget friendly option?  Cetaphil For All Skin Types Daily Facial Moisturizer. (They are famous for their excellent and gentle skin cleanser...still around and still hard to beat performance wise).  It is light weight and uses Parsol 1789 (provides stable broad spectrum UVA/ UVB protection).

apple tip graphic It is always a good idea when using moisturizers with sunscreen ingredients, to avoid the eye area (use a regular eye cream for this zone).

Just need a good skin moisturizer? (sunscreen used separately):

There are so many products to choose from with wide ranging properties and issues being addressed.  Here are some good choices if you need to get pointed in the right direction.

Normal to Oily Skin:
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Peter Thomas Roth Oil-Free Moisturizer
Anti Aging Care:
Murad Environmental Shield Essential C Daily Renewl Complex . This is a daily treatment, that is part of a system, so you should combine it with a quality SPF like Murad Environmental Shield Essential - C Day Moisture SPF 15 (good broad spectrum UV protection ingredients).

A slightly more budget aware anti aging moisturizer? 

Try the Oil of Olay Regenerist product line.  I have used Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and the Eye Lifting Serum and they are effective, satisfying hydrators. The anti aging treatment benefits are not easy to measure unless you have been using a product for a longer stretch of time (it claims to compete with some of the most expensive top anti aging creams). I am, however, hopeful for the reported benefits.
This is from the official Olay website:

"Firm appearance in the areas most prone to sagging—even the jawline—with our highest-available concentration of amino-peptide complex.
• Hydrates better and longer than a $700 luxury face cream*
• Allows you to target and smooths problem areas
• Hydrates on an intracellular level to help firm and micro-sculpt your look
*Lab Testing conducted by an independent European lab versus the most expensive 32 European and Japanese luxury face creams in the U.K. costing as much as $700."

apple contour graphicLast word on skin moisturizer and protection....

Skin moisturizer and/or skin protection is a critical step to healthy skin at any age. You are never too young to start.

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