Understanding the Importance of Moisturisers in Your Skincare Routine

What does moisturiser do to make it such an invaluable part of your skincare routine? The answer is: a lot. When more than 50% of your body is comprised of water, anything with the ability to replenish and maintain moisture is bound to be beneficial in more What does moisturiser do to make it such an invaluable part of your skincare routine? The answer is: a lot. When more than 50% of your body is comprised of water, anything with the ability to replenish and maintain moisture is bound to be beneficial in more ways than one. In this blog we’ll go into some of the properties of moisturiser and explain why it’s a skincare step that no one should skip.

What is a Moisturiser?

Moisturisers, also referred to as emollients, are commonly found in gel or cream form and are products designed to provide skin with moisture and help to retain it. They usually contain water, oils and some form of humectant – an ingredient that helps to draw in moisture and keep it there. Common humectants include hyaluronic acids, glycerin, and even honey. With the help of various ingredients, moisturisers can be used to treat skin complaints and provide a wide range of skincare benefits.

Different types of moisturisers

Moisturisers can come in many forms, including:

  • Creams and lotions
  • Gels
  • Ointments
  • Solid bars

Different formulas will have different textures and be better suited for different skin types. For example, someone looking for a water-based moisturiser that is free from oils may have better luck with a gel instead of a cream. Creams tend to be richer, and better for dryer skin. Ointments tend to contain the most oil and may be medicated to help with specific skin complaints, such as eczema.

Benefits of Using Moisturisers

Here are some of the key benefits of moisturisers when used regularly.

Hydration: Keeping skin supple and preventing dryness

Moisturisers may claim to leave you with radiant, hydrated skin but do you understand what happens to create this effect? Moisturisers apply hydrating ingredients directly to the surface of the skin, and often contain components designed to trap that moisture there so that it can be absorbed. Dry skin is prone to irritation and damage, whereas regularly moisturised skin has better protection against the elements.

Barrier Protection: Strengthening the skin’s natural barrier

Your skin barrier, also known as the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of your skin. When you moisturise, you are reinforcing this barrier, which may have become damaged over time. Environmental factors and harsh skincare ingredients can damage your skin barrier, leading to dryness, redness, and increased sensitivity.

Anti-Ageing: Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Does moisturiser work to reverse the ageing process? Technically, no. But dryness makes the signs of ageing more obvious. Well-moisturised skin is likely to be plump and radiant, and less likely to show the signs of ageing – especially as our skin gets drier as we age.

Skin Repair: Aiding the healing of damaged skin

Moisturising the scabs that come from acne and scratches can help them to heal with minimal scarring. Dry, taught scabs are more likely to catch and drag away before your skin has had time to heal, so keeping them moisturised reduces the risk of this happening.

Choosing the Right Moisturiser for Your Skin Type

It’s important to pick a moisturiser that complements the natural qualities of your skin and can address any skin concerns you may have.

Identifying your skin type

If you don’t already know, it’s a good idea to identify your skin type before choosing a moisturiser. Your skin will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Dry – characterised by rough, uneven texture, flakiness and irritation.
  • Oily – characterised by excessive sebum production and a tendency to have clogged pores.
  • Combination – characterised by the features of both dry and oily skin in different regions of the face, e.g. an oily T-Zone.
  • Sensitive – characterised by a tendency towards strong reactions to the environment and facial products e.g. redness, itching, hives.
  • Normal – characterised by not experiencing any of the above.

Depending on your skin type, your skin will react differently to ingredients. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to avoid an oil-based moisturiser.

Recommended moisturisers for each skin type

Dry skin types will appreciate as much moisture as possible, but may also need to avoid any ingredients that may further irritate existing dry patches. Similarly, Sensitive skin will want moisture and very little else. The La Roche-Posay Hydraphase HA Rich Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser and the CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion are both good examples of dermatologically-tested moisturisers that will provide dry skin with some much-needed hydration without being irritating.
For Oily skin, hydration isn’t an issue – or is it? There’s a common misconception that if your skin is oily, it’s also automatically moisturised, but this isn’t the case. Moisturising can actually help to balance your sebum production. Look for products that are water based, and include enzymic, mattifying ingredients, such as those in the My Clarins RE-BOOST Hydra-Mattifying Cream.
For Combination or Normal skin, you may want to lean towards products that address whichever aspect of your skin it is you’re most concerned about.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, and always do a patch test when trying a new skincare product.

Key ingredients

Here are some of the key ingredients you might find in your moisturiser.

  • Hyaluronic Acid – is a naturally occurring substance that not only moisturises your skin, but also helps to keep your eyes moist and your joints lubricated.
  • Glycerin – is a humectant, meaning it will draw moisture to your skin and keep it there.
  • Shea Butter – is a natural product with high concentrations of fatty acids, making it great for softening skin.
  • Ceramides – are the fats and lipids found in skin cells that help you to retain moisture.

How to Properly Apply Moisturiser

Dab your moisturiser across your face before gently massaging it in, being careful not to tug at the sensitive skin around your eyes and mouth. Rubbing the moisturiser between your hands or fingers before applying is simply wasting product.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

  • Oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser. Incorrect - oily skin can still technically be dry and should be moisturised regularly.
  • You can use the same moisturiser for your whole body. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as ingredients intended to be used on your body may upset the delicate skin of your face.
  • You can moisturise the same way year-round. Not necessarily untrue, but not accurate for everyone – harsh wind and cold weather in winter can dry your skin out and make it very sensitive, resulting in a need for more intense hydration.
  • Skin can become addicted to moisturiser. Not in the traditional sense but slathering on thick coats of product doesn’t necessarily mean adding more moisture and can upset your skin’s balance.

Tips for Maximising the Benefits of Moisturising

Here are our top tips for how to get the most out of your moisturiser.

  • Moisturise your face when it is still slightly damp after cleansing – but not so damp that it prevents the moisturiser from being absorbed.
  • If you’re planning on applying makeup but don’t need full coverage, you can mix some foundation into your moisturiser for a tinted moisturiser look.
  • Remember to moisturise the skin of your neck as well as your face.
  • Apply your morning moisturiser before applying your daily SPF, and make sure it has had time to sink in before continuing with your skincare routine.
  • Moisturiser isn’t a substitute for hydrating from the inside out! Remember to drink plenty of water.

Ready to experience the benefits of moisturiser?

Find your perfect moisturisers for both face and body in our wide range of moisturising products. The key to happy, healthy, hydrated skin is at your fingertips.