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How to choose the moisturizer: 3 principles

While the choice of a good concealer or a good mascara is essentially based on moisturizerits  quality/price ratio, there are more factors to be considered when  looking for a good moisturizer! That is why many women struggle with finding a product that works well on their skin.

3 key factors should be considered when looking for the right moisturizer for you:

  1. INCI,
  2. your skin type,
  3. your lifestyle.

1) The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI)

INCI moisturizerThe International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, abbreviated INCI, is a unified naming system for identifying the ingredient content. It is based on scientific names and other Latin and English words, so for example you’ll see “Aqua” instead of water. A list of of several common ingredients and their corresponding INCI names can be found here.

The ingredients are indicated one after the other starting from the substance present in greater quantities and up to that in smaller quantities.  If you wander what each name corresponds to, you can decode the INCI of your product here. Just type in the name of the product, and you’ll get the list of  ingredients and their explanation! If you don’t find it this way, type in the name of the brand, then choose your product from the list.

Having excluded any ingredient you are allergic to, the general recommendation is to avoid the following ingredients, often found in moisturizers:

  • petroleum/paraffin/mineral oil: chemicals  derived from petroleum (sounds scary, doesn’t it?).  dangerous ingredients moisturizerThey seal off  the skin creating a barrier that doesn’t allow the skin to breath. Petroleum derivatives can therefore clog pores and promote the development of comedonal acne;
  • parabens: commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. These chemicals can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system.

2) Your skin type

skin typesNot every product is made for everyone! There are moisturizer with a super good INCI that may, however, not be good for your skin type. Using products that are too harsh, even if they are recommended for oily skin, may send the information to your skin that more oil is  needed. Conversely, applying moisturizers that are too heavy can result in less natural oil production, which, in turns, lead to  drier skin. Understanding  your specific skin type is a crucial step in taking  care of your skin!

What skin type are you?

  • normal skin: well balanced skin. Not too oily and not too dry.
  • dry skin: dry skin produces less sebum than normal skin. It can feel tight, and may experience flaking.
  • oily skin: this skin type is characterized by an excessive sebum production. Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and to  forms of acne.
  • combination skin: a combination skin is characterized by dryness on the cheeks, and an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) .

The best moisturizers for dry skin are those containing hyaluronic acid (often listed as sodium hyaluronate), glycerin, and marine actives like algae. Look also for ingredients with emollient-like properties that will help keep your skin soft and smooth . Common natural emollients include squalane (derived from olive oil),  jojoba and avocado oils.

If you have oily skin, you may feel that moisturizer is your enemy, but this is a aloe moisturizermistake! Without it, your skin will become dehydrated, and it will overcompensate by producing even more oil! If your skin type is oily, look for a light oil-free moisturizer that’s labeled noncomedogenic. The formula should contain  ingredients that control sebum production, such as   dimethicone, glycolic acid, and clay. Aloe vera and antioxidants do not do any harm to oily skin, so definitely go for formulas that also include these super ingredients. Needless to say, if you suffer from moderate to severe acne, it is always a good idea to visit a dermatologist first. You’ll be given  the right treatment (often drugs that contains benzoyl peroxide) to kill the bacteria associated with acne.

Finding a good moisturizer for combination skin is a bit of a challenge. In fact, you need to keep  your cheeks hydrated, while  shining down the T-zone at the same time. It may sound impossible, but it’s not! My skin  is combination type, and after trying several products, I finally found a moisturizer that doesn’t clog my pores, and keeps my cheeks hydrated even in the cold scandinavian winters ! As for the oily type, the rule is to avoid heavy moisturizers that may clog pores. Instead, opt for an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula, that also includes dimethicone, glycolic acid, and clay to keep the sebum production under control. Since the cheeks area is much drier than the T-zone, look for formulas that include a heavy-hitting hydrator like hyaluronic acid.

Normal skin types are lucky, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need a moisturizer! If you’re lucky enough to be this skin type, a good moisturizer for combination skin is the best option for you!

3) Your lifestyle

The choice of your moisturizer should also take into account your lifestyle. How much time do you spend outside? Where do you live?

As someone who lives in a nordic country  and  spends long hours in the office, I don’t  need a moisturizer with high UV protection most of the time.  If you live, however, in sunnier countries, and find yourself spending time outside, especially during midday hours, it is very important that you choose a  moisturizer with a minimum SPF of 30.  I would also recommend wearing a hat. Stay stylish & safe!

SPF moisturizer


I hope this post will help you choose the right moisturizer for you! Please let me know, in the comment section below, what is your skin type, and if you are experiencing any particular issues  (dryness, irritation, acne etc…). I will be very happy to help you out, and target those issues in the next posts!

See you soon 🙂

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Face skin care – my favourite minimalist routine

daily skin care routine

Not having much time to dedicate to my skin care routine during weekdays, and not having enough money to buy expensive products, I had to come up with a fast and affordable skin care routine. I did some research online, and after trying a bunch of products and face massages, I implemented a routine that really works well on my skin. It consists of 5 simple steps that I’m going to list here.



1) Wash your face with cold watercold water face

You skin care routine starts by washing your face. Splashing cold water on your face not only wakes you up, but also has 3 wonderful effects on your skin:

  •      It tones your skin
  •      It closes your pores
  •      It promotes blood  circulation, reducing inflammation and swelling.

2) Perform a 3 minutes facial massage with your favourite cream

facial massage

With your favourite cream, give yourself a Japanese facial massage. It is simple, fast, and super effective. You can easily find several tutorials online. Personally, I really like the  Yukuko Tanaka’s face massage , invented by Yukuko Tanaka, a Japanese makeup artist. By stimulating lymphatic drainage, this massage speeds up the discharge of toxins and excess fluids from the face. If performed regularly, it will reduce wrinkles, lift the face, reduce pore size, restore the skin’s original elasticity, and make the bags under your eyes disappear.

After only 2 weeks of doing this massage every morning,  I  started to notice a huge difference: my skin looked definitely younger, and the fine lines due to stress and lack of sleep had almost disappeared!!!


3) Use a good  concealer

Unfortunately, lack of sleep and stress can really affect the area under your eyes. For those of us who work long hours, t is almost impossible not to be affected by under eyes bags and dark circles, that is why a good concealer can save your day! Make sure to use the right color for your skin: it should blend into your skin, and appear natural. If it matches your skin tone, you won’t have to apply any foundation on top of it. The whole point of this low-maintenance strategy is to look naturally flawless!

4) Apply a veil to matify and blurr your complexion

I like to keep things light by only applying a translucent powder -it  gives my skin a matte finish by soaking up excess oil, and it does not alter my natural skin tone. Translucent powders will work great on you as well, if you look for a natural, fresh look. I always keep one in my purse, so that I can go powder my nose whenever I want! Keep in mind that powders with shimmer only accentuate pores and highlight shine, so always go for a mattifying powder.

I am not  a fan of heavy skin foundations: they can clog your pores, alter the natural color of your skin, and give you an unnatural look.  With a good skin care routine, you will no longer need to apply any foundation; however, if you really don’t want to give them up completely, you  can use a natural mineral foundation which is comparatively less harmful.

5) Gently clean off your skin with micellar water

Before going to bed, make sure you remove any trace of make-up!  Micellar water is one of the  most gentle, simple, and affordable make-up removers. It is made of tiny micelle particles that work like a magnet, attracting the impurities in your skin: these particles contain hydrophilic tails that draw out the sebum and dirt on your skin, leaving it clean, fresh, and soft. Another bonus is that the solution doesn’t contain alcohol, so you can use it on sensitive areas too. Since micellar water doesn’t require any rinsing, it is a convenient cleansing option for anyone who’s travelling, at the gym, or simply always on the go.  And that’s it! Make it your evening routine, and start seeing benefits immediately!

This simple skin care routine only takes you 5 minutes of your day. If you do it regularly, you will soon see amazing results. Not only will your skin look much better, the Tanaka massage will also prevent the appearance of wrinkles, slowing down the aging process. Do try this routine for at least a couple of weeks, and let me know what you think 🙂

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