Whether you have dry or oily skin, a good moisturizer can help your skin look and feel better. If you have dry skin, you may have experienced the discomfort of itching, flaking, or cracking. Those with oily skin often think that they should not wear a moisturizer, but sometimes oily skin will try to overcompensate during dry seasons by producing extra oil. The right moisturizer will help replenish the moisture your skin loses over the day and keep your skin more hydrated and comfortable.
The Right Ingredients
Most Australian skincare moisturizers are made of three ingredients, blended into a custom mix that the manufacturer creates. Humectants attract water into the top layer of your skin cells, called the epidermis. This makes the skin swell just a bit, which temporarily makes it appear smoother and less wrinkled. Occlusives create a protective barrier over your skin to stop it from losing moisture. Emollients help fill in the cracks or spaces between skin cells, making the surface look and feel smoother.
The blend of humectants, occlusives, and emollients will change depending on the type of skin that the moisturizing product is designed for. For instance, facial moisturizers often have fewer occlusives, as the protective layer can also clog your pores. On the other hand, foot or elbow moisturizers often contain plenty of occlusives to protect these areas with thicker skin.
Here are some of the most common ingredients you will see in your moisturizing product.
This common humectant is considered one of the most effective ingredients to draw in water to your skin. Glycerin draws in this moisture to the top layers of your skin both from the air and from the lower layers that you cannot see. When the environment is dry, and glycerin cannot pull in moisture from the air, it will continue to draw moisture from the lower layers of your skin, resulting in dryness. Combining glycerin with an emollient can help to make this vital ingredient effective in any climate.
If you prefer all-natural ingredients, the emollient shea butter is a fat that is extracted directly from shea tree seeds. It has been used as an ingredient in skincare for centuries. Shea butter is safe for all skin types, and although it is a tree nut product, it has little to none of the proteins that often cause allergies. It is very safe for your skin to absorb, and it does not make your skin look oily. Some experts even claim that shea butter has some anti-inflammatory properties.
Sometimes also known as petroleum jelly, the occlusive petrolatum creates a protective layer over your skin that will reduce the evaporation of moisture throughout the day. Petrolatum is suitable for all skin types, and rarely causes any sort of reaction. It forms a long-lasting barrier that can also promote healing. Petrolatum is gentle enough to be a frequent ingredient in baby lotions and diaper creams.
Naturally found in the human body, hyaluronic acid binds to water to help retain moisture in your skin. It is also found in your connective tissue and eyes. Aging and radiation from the sun can reduce the amount of hyaluronic acid in your skin, so supplementing with a topical application can help to keep your skin looking strong, smooth, and youthful. This humectant is a common ingredient in anti-aging moisturizers and skin care products.
Choosing the best moisturizer for your skin can take some trial and error, so take your time choosing a product you can build into your routine. There are plenty of effective over-the-counter products found at leading pharmacies and grocery chains within Australia.