While the choice of a good concealer or a good mascara is essentially based on its 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:
- your skin type,
- your lifestyle.
1) The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI)
The 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?). They 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
Not 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 mistake! 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!
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 🙂