How to Choose the Best Moisturizer
Are all moisturizers created equal?
In the fall and winter, you might wash your hands more frequently to prevent contracting flus and colds. However, regular washing can lead to a compromised skin barrier, and the drying effect of cold weather can make parched skin even worse.
To maintain healthy, smooth skin in the winter, consistent moisturizing is key. It’s important to not only do it after the skin shows signs of stress. Instead, modify your routine to focus on maintenance. Applying moisturizer regularly throughout the day, without waiting for signs of dryness, keeps the skin barrier strong and supple.
How to Choose the Best Moisturizer
All moisturizers contain a unique blend of ingredients. But, they can still be roughly categorized into three types: water-based, oil-based and wax based, in order from runniest to stiffest consistency. The best way to determine if a moisturizer is the right fit for you isn’t to shake the bottle. Knowing what types of ingredients form the makeup, or formulation, of the product will help lead you to a perfect fit.
Generally, moisturizers that are formulated to be fragrance-free and hypoallergenic can be trusted to have thoughtful blends and high-quality ingredients that focus on skin health. The target audience for these products are often individuals experiencing skin sensitivities have a poor tolerance for filler ingredients. When we formulate for individuals with contact dermatitis for example, we eliminate fragrance from the recipe, to prevent unwanted inflammatory reactions.
Next, flip the product over to see its ingredients list. Is it high in humectants, emollients or occlusives?
Humectants hydrate your skin by drawing water up from your second layer of skin (dermis) to the topmost layer (epidermis). They also draw in water from humid surroundings to moisturize the epidermis, which is why it’s often suggested to use apply a moisturizer while the skin is still dampf from a shower. Lastly, humectants support the skin’s regeneration by helping you shed dead skin cells.
Effective and popular ones include:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Lactic acid
Emollients fill in the cracks caused by dryness, and also smooth and soften the skin. They can come from both animal and vegan sources. At Sade Baron, we use plant-based oils as emollients, which are packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids that are foundational to skin healing.
- Rosehip oil
- Jojoba oil
- Vegan glycerin
- Shea butter
Occlusives are a great partner for humectants. As the humectant ingredients feed moisture to the skin, the occlusive ingredients prevent moisture loss, helping your body stay hydrated and soft. In the winter, occlusives are super helpful for preventing that chapped feeling which appears after moments outside.
Look for ingredients such as:
- Petroleum jelly
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
So, how do you decide what works for you? When reading the bottle, start with the first listed ingredient. More often than not, it will be Aqua (H2O). This is always an indication that some of the subsequent ingredients are humectants, as the product will use the water in the formula to hydrate your skin.
If the product has an oil listed as the first ingredient, then the focus of the product is more on the emollient side of skin benefits. It will fill in dry cracks, provide radiance to rough skin, and nourish a weakened skin barrier.
Generally, lotions contain more water than creams. For the winter, creams and their richer consistency work best. Cream formulations have a higher proportion of oils to help maintain hydration and prevent dry air from whisking moisture away from your epidermis. If situations are particularly stripping, such as outdoor excursions that involve prolonged exposure to raw elements, you need a heavy occlusive product. Use balms and waxes that are thick and warming for a trip to see the Northern Lights. Recover after a skiing trip with Bond Body Salve for all your exposed body parts, including your nose, the edges of your ears, and your knuckles.
At Sade Baron, our goal is to not only provide moisture, but also provide nutrition to the skin. It’s not enough that your skin feels soft. We aren’t satisfied until your skin is also benefiting from ingredients that support its natural healing process. Discover our dry skin collection of softening bar soaps, souffles, and balms.