Moisturizer is a critical component of any personal skin care regimen, but with all the specialized products to choose from, it's difficult to know what's right for you.
There are moisturizers formulated for day, night, oily skin, mature skin, and sensitive skin. There are firming, lifting and brightening creams; creams that replace collagen, boost elastin, hydrate, protect and battle age spots. It's no wonder selecting an appropriate product for your skin type and lifestyle can be a confusing, stressful and expensive process.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
You can simplify your moisturizer purchasing decisions by remembering two fundamental facts about your skin:
Fact One: Your skin faces major stressors during the day -- pollution, cigarette smoke, poor dietary and lifestyle choices, sun and wind, stress, makeup.
Fact Two: Your skin repairs itself three times faster at night than it does during the day. If you want massive beauty bang for your buck, this is not the place to scrimp.
With these facts in mind, experts recommend using two different moisturizers to properly address your skin's 24-hour needs -- one during the day and the other at night.
Your daytime moisturizer should provide hydration, but also protection against the sun and other elements. It should also contain emollient properties to provide a dewier, more youthful appearance to the surface of the skin.
Your nighttime product is your heavy-hitter in the beauty game and should be a moisturizer that is, at the very least, dual purpose, nourishing and evening skin tone while it firms and lifts. After a few nights of using a good nighttime cream, you'll be waking up to softer, healthier, more radiant skin (and who doesn't want that?).
Ingredients: The Good, The Bad And The Downright Icky
First, the bad news... In most mainstream moisturizers you’ll find ingredient decks that are full of names you can’t pronounce. Most fall into a couple of basic categories: hydrating ingredients, emulsifiers, preservatives and formulation binders/fillers. Mixed in there, depending upon the price of the moisturizer, you might find some actual active, therapeutic ingredients.
Many ingredients are used by manufacturers because they’re inexpensive and keep down the costs of formulation. They offer no real benefit to your skin and, in some cases, can cause allergic skin reactions, acne, mild to severe endocrine system disruption, hyperpigmentation and other unpleasant symptoms.
Some of the major offenders include: Mineral oil and other petroleum derived ingredients like Petrolatum; FD&C colors; formaldehyde-releasing preservatives like urea and the quaternary ammonium compounds (usually listed as ‘Quaternarium’ with a number designation at the end); sodium laureth and lauryl sulfates; propylene glycol; triethanolamine; various forms of aluminum salts and synthetic fragrances.
A former Hollywood special effects makeup artist, Carrie is a licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, Menopause Skin Care Specialist, Author, Public Speaker, President and Founder of Menopauserus.com, and co-host of the syndicated radio show 'Magnificent Menopause & Beyond'. You can learn more about Carrie at menopauserus.com