As skin is the largest organ in our body, taking care of it should be an utmost priority. And one of the best ways to protect this key part of our body? Using moisturizers regularly! “Moisturizers add a layer of protection to your skin,” explains Sandra Johnson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Arkansas. “Skipping out on regular moisturizing could lead to skin irritation, rash or infections.” If you’re new to using moisturizer, or would like to make improvements, here are a few helpful tips and tricks to consider:
- Apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp (not too wet as to dilate the formula). Waiting until your skin is dry could potentially make dryness worse.
- Consider a different product for your face and your body.
- Switch to lighter formulas in warmer weather and thicker ones in colder months.
What’s in Your Moisturizer?
According to Rosalyn George, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in North Carolina, most moisturizers contain a mixture of three ingredient categories: occlusives, emollients and humectants. Here’s how they differ:
- Occlusives work to lock in moisture. Examples are petrolatum, lanolin, dimethicone, mineral oil and other oils like coconut and jojoba oil and shea butter.
- Emollients help soften and smooth the skin by filling in the cracks. Examples are ceramides, cetyl alcohol and lineoleic acid, grape seed oil and sesame seed oil.
- Humectants bring moisture into the top layer of your skin. This type is usually paired with at least one of the other two categories, Dr. George notes, “because too much of a good thing can actually cause irritation.” Examples are hyaluronic acid, urea, lactic acid, propylene glycol and glycerin.
Choosing a Moisturizer Based on Your Skin Type
When choosing a moisturizer, consider your skin type and concern. Is your skin oily and breaks out easily, or is it so dry that nothing you apply seems to keep the flakes away? Do your skin concerns include sensitivity or wrinkles? If you’re in the market for a good moisturizer, we’re here to help! Scroll down to see our top picks based on your needs,
Best Moisturizers for Normal Skin
“Normal” refers to skin that’s neither overly oily nor dry, but just because your skin is balanced doesn’t mean you should skip using a moisturizer. Maintaining a healthy skin barrier and protecting it against damaging pollutants and UV rays should be your primary focus. Dr. Johnson recommends choosing a simple moisturizer with as few ingredients as possible, naming SkinMedica as one of her top choices.