Moisturizing 101

Many types and brands of moisturizer can be bought in the market today. Too many, in fact, that quite a few women are confused on what specific moisturizer would really solve their facial problems or simply work best for their faces. From relatively cheap moisturizers to creams worth thousands of dollars, it can be hard to discern which is the proper one to buy. Hence, here are some basic guide questions that may help in the process of choosing and applying our beloved moisturizer.

1 1. What is my facial skin type?

The type of moisturizer you choose should depend on your skin type. People who are often exposed to chemicals or to the sun tend to have dry skin. If you have dry skin, it is best to apply a more hypoallergenic moisturizer as this calms the skin. It is also best to use an oil-based moisturizer and increase the frequency of application. People with oily skin should use oil-free moisturizers such as water-based ones. For sensitive skin, make sure the moisturizer does not have any fragrance and is hypoallergenic. Meanwhile, combination skin is a bit trickier as it has both the characteristics of dry and oily skin. Usually the oily part is the forehead area, nose and chin collectively known as the T-zone, while the dry area is usually around the eyes, outer cheek, and neck. Before applying moisturizer on combination facial skin, wash face with a good facial wash and then apply a cream cleanser and freshener to dry areas and a strong astringent to the oily areas. After this you may apply hypoallergenic moisturizer on the entire face, concentrating on the drier parts.

2. What ingredients should I look for?

It all depends on the need of your skin. For instance, if you live in a big city and are often exposed to pollution, free radicals are released from the face and may cause fine lines and spots to appear. You need moisturizers with a good amount of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E to help neutralize the free radicals. Usually it’s the same case if your job requires you be exposed to the sun for longer periods of time. Choose moisturizers with a strong sun protection factor or SPF (at least 20) to protect your face from drying up. If your skin has darkened and thickened and you wish to exfoliate, choose a moisturizer with fruit acid or Vitamin A that helps get rid of old skin. However this is not advisable to older women whose skin are generally thinner. Cholesterol and fatty acids also work great as these mimic the structure of your skin. Antioxidants like green tea and Vitamin C induce a better glow.

3. What ingredients should I avoid?

People with dry skin should avoid moisturizers that have fragrances as this can irritate the skin. Avoid glycolic acid as this can cause unhealthy thinning of the skin. If you’re prone to acne, avoid “comedogenic” products as this can block pores.

4. What is the proper method of application?

Before applying moisturizer, make sure your hands are clean. Surely you do not want any more dirt to enter your face. When your hands are clean, wash your face thoroughly and then wipe with a clean towel. This is the time to apply moisturizer on the still damp facial skin, as applying moisturizer to a damp face helps lock in the moisture. Don’t apply moisturizer on a dry face because this doesn’t trap excess moisture. Of course, don’t apply moisturizer to a wet face as well as the cream and water will just slide off your face.

Remember to spread the moisturizer in your face by way of gentle massaging, all the way to the neck. Do not miss any crucial area. Use slow and soft upward strokes to counter the direction of gravity that tends to pull down the face over time. 😉

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