Anyone who has dry skin knows that a face moisturizer can help relieve and prevent it, but claims by manufacturers and endorsers make choosing one too complicated. The truth is that water is the only hydration that your skin needs, and it already lies just below the surface. The best products can retain the moistness and prevent it from escaping as it nourishes your skin cells.

Understanding the Benefits of Moisturizers

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Aside from making your skin feel soft and supple instead of taut and stretched, healthy products offer sun protection and treat some dry skin conditions as well. By trapping water in your skin’s outer layers, they give you a dewy and healthy glow. Application soon after you shower or shave provides the maximum benefit as your wet skin accepts and absorbs a lotion within a few minutes. Consider these positive outcomes:

  • Flexible and elastic skin makes you look younger at any age, and hydration helps achieve that effect.
  • Lessening the appearance of wrinkles is a consequence of keeping your skin hydrated. Lines soften in the presence of moisture and become more well defined in its absence. Skin that dries out shows lines clearly and distinctly.
  • As a preparation for makeup, a nourishing cream or lotion does a better job of hiding fine lines under your eye than a concealer can ever do. By giving your skin a few minutes to absorb it before you apply makeup, you can minimize the appearance of the lines.
  • Using an enriching cream or lotion can defeat the effect of wintry conditions that deplete humidity levels. A good product can prevent the dry air from dehydrating your skin and stripping its outer layer of essential and protective nutrients. Avoiding dull and flaky skin in the winter is often a matter of remembering to use a moisturizing product.

Choosing Healthy Ingredients

You do not want to put anything on your face that has any questionable ingredients, and this list describes the safe ones.

  • Humectants and Emollients: To accomplish the goal of drawing moisture into your skin, you need a lotion or cream that contains humectants. Although their names sound scary, humectants like collagen, triethylene glycol, glycerin, urea, propylene glycol and sorbitol are good for your skin. Emollients that can block hydrating qualities from escaping include emulsifying ointment, lanolin and liquid paraffin.
  • Mineral Sunscreen: Moisturizing products that you apply in the daytime must have 30 SPF. They need to offer broad spectrum protection to guard against UVA and UVB rays. You can use them at night as well. However, you may prefer a product that contains nourishing ingredients that help repair any damage from exposure to the elements or free radicals during the day. Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, ingredients that do not aggravate sensitive skin or create allergic reactions. The sun’s rays bounce off the physical UV block that the minerals create, and they cannot penetrate the skin.
  • Moisturizers without Retinoids: Nighttime applications of hydrating lotions that contain no sunscreen can contribute to healthy outcomes. They can reduce wrinkles, smooth the skin and diminish pigmentation variations.
  • Peptides: Beauty sleep is not a myth that your grandmother created. It is real, and getting enough of it gives your body a chance to rejuvenate and repair while you sleep. The short strings of proteins in peptides help your body produce hyaluronic acid and collagen that have the ability to soften lines on your face while reducing wrinkles and sags as well.

Your body’s ability to produce them slows down with age, making it a good idea to use a hydrating product that contains them. Unnecessary in daytime products, they can perform a valuable service in night-time creams.

Avoiding Potentially Unhealthy Products

  • Fragrances: The ingredients that create scents may or may not have an undesirable effect on you, but the uncertainty may make you want to stay away from them. Companies can use a variety of chemicals to create a fragrance, and some of them may produce sensitivities or allergic reactions.
  • Mineral Oil: While it resembles emollients by preventing moisture from escaping, it does so with a heavy hand. As an occlusive, it remains on the surface of your skin instead of soaking in as emollients do. Just as you do not want the clogging effect of petroleum jelly on your skin, you need to reject mineral oil as well. Some companies use it as a cheap filler, but its contribution to the condition of your skin is not worth the trouble to rinse it clean.
  • Chemical Sunscreen: Broad spectrum chemical sunscreen products with 30 SPF can block both UVA and UVB rays, but they contain octisalate, oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, homosalate and avobenzone that may irritate your skin.
  • Retinoids: A complicated debate about whether or not to apply products that contain retinoids may convince you to avoid them until research proves them safe to use. Retinoids include retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate and retinol, forms of vitamin A that seem magical in an ability to diminish signs of aging.

While products with retinoids are enjoying popularity currently, a study shows that they can increase the occurrence of skin tumors in laboratory mice. The debate presents opinions from those who think that retinoids make the skin vulnerable to damage from the sun. Others claim that they counteract photo-aging.

Taking Action to Protect Your Skin

Now that you understand how a moisturizer can gently support your delicate facial skin, you need to find out whether you have normal, dry, oily, sensitive or combination skin.

  • Normal: Neither too oily nor too dry, normal skin has tiny pores, few imperfections, no sensitivities and a radiant appearance.
  • Dry: The pores in dry skin are nearly invisible, and the tissue may appear dull and inelastic. Red patches may occur, and lines are usually easy to see.
  • Oily: Pimples and blemishes may occur in oily skin that usually has large pores.
  • Sensitive: Itching and burning feelings may accompany redness and dryness on sensitive skin.

All types of skin require sunscreen, moisturizing and hydrating. With a guide to the options that you can choose, you can take action to protect the beauty of your skin for a lifetime.