Facial moisturizer – it can be a total love affair, but only if we find the right one. A number of things determine our best facial moisturizer match. Genetics, season and lifestyle can all influence how and why certain moisturizers work (and don’t work) on our faces. In general, moisturizers are responsible for both infusing skin with hydration and locking in existing moisture. But how can we choose which facial moisturizer is best for our skin type?
Facial moisturizer for dry skin
Cold weather, long flights, and not drinking enough water can all contribute to dry, flaky skin. Skin becomes thinner as you age and loses the ability to retain moisture (i.e. Dehydration Station).
For those looking to soothe and hydrate dry skin, there are certain ingredients to look for when choosing a facial moisturizer. Ingredients that repair skin’s moisture barrier and help prevent water loss are key to restoring hydration. Moisturizing agents including hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, shea butter, squalene and B vitamins are skin’s new BFF.
So what exactly do these facial moisturizer ingredients do? Ceramides are an emollient that help repair the skin barrier, which can become compromised when skin is dry. Hyaluronic acid is another must-have – as a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture by drawing water up from the dermis to the epidermis, and it can also absorb moisture from the air. Glycerin, another humectant, is non-irritating and safe for use on dry skin, too.
Facial moisturizer for oily skin
If you have oily skin, resist fighting oil production too aggressively because it can actually hurt more than it can help. Oil-control products strip the skin of its natural moisture, leading skin to overcompensate and produce oil in excess. Round and round we go.
Finding a facial moisturizer that can absorb the surface oil and hydrate your skin is the goal for those with oily skin. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are both powerful humectants – they’re capable of hydrating skin without emollients that are usually too heavy for oily skin. Another important moisturizer ingredient to look for to combat oily skin is niacinamide (Vitamin B3). It’s an anti-inflammatory that helps absorb sebum and strengthen the skin barrier.
Facial moisturizer for acne-prone skin
Acne, along with acne medication, can damage the skin's barrier. A compromised barrier layer leaves skin exposed to additional environmental stressors. Choosing an appropriate facial moisturizer for breakout-prone skin is key in order to hydrate, protect, soothe and also prevent acne medications from drying out skin.
When dealing with acne, look for moisturizers that are noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores) and have salicylic acid (actively works to unclog pores). Hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide are also important to hydrate and decrease inflammation.
To get the most out of a facial moisturizer when dealing with acne or inflamed skin, layering products correctly is essential. If prescribed, apply acne medication directly to clean skin, followed by moisturizer and then topped off with sunscreen.
Facial moisturizer for aging skin
Wrinkles, fine lines and uneven skin tone are often top priorities on a skin concern list. If they bother you, lean towards products that stimulate collagen production, fight oxidizing agents, and hydrate for a dewy, youthful glow.
It’s never too early to start a skincare routine that will slow down aging. During the day, use a moisturizer with Vitamin C, which is loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect against free radical damage. At night, turn to a retinol-based cream, aka Vitamin A. Retinol-based moisturizers promote skin cell turnover and collagen production, preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Also – don’t forget that the delicate skin around the eyes is often the first to reveal age! To treat the specific needs of this area, layer on a targeted eye cream that can hydrate, smooth and contour.