Forming a fundamental part of the daily skincare routine, moisturisers are an essential step for all skin types. Moisturisers lock in hydration and seal in any products applied prior. A well-formulated moisturiser will contain two key elements: emollients (which prevent water loss and soften the skin) and humectants (which pull moisture from the air into the skin). Emollient moisturisers are typically cream formulations containing oils, butters, lipids and fatty acids. Humectant moisturisers, on the other hand, are water-based and often found in gel formulations containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Like any product in your skincare regime, its selection is based on your skin type and skin concerns. There are so many different formulations and textures to choose from including creams, gels, liquids and lotions. Known for their hydrating and nourishing properties moisturisers can also get quite targeted and aid in a slew of different skin concerns such as healing scarring, assisting with blemish control, reducing inflammation, and improving skin tone and texture, and the list goes on…
Even for those with the most simple and streamlined skincare routines, always apply a moisturiser day and night to help keep the skin firm, supple and hydrated, which will allow for plumper more vibrant complexion. While the same moisturiser can be used morning and night, there are moisturisers formulated for specific times of the day. Simply put the difference between a day cream and a night cream generally comes down to texture, however, key ingredients can also play a part, with night creams often containing key ingredients such as retinol which is best placed in an evening routine as it becomes unstable when exposed to sunlight.
With such a vast variety of moisturisers available it can be hard to know where to begin. Below are my tips for choosing the perfect moisturiser matched to your skin type.
Moisturisers for dry skin
Those with dry skin are often tempted to just slather on the thickest, densest, heaviest cream they can find, but when it comes to moisturisers the ingredients themselves are often worth considering over texture alone. Look for an oil-based moisturiser formulated with key ingredients such as squalane, fatty acids, rosehip oil, shea butter and ceramides to replenish the skin with missing moisture.
Moisturisers for oily skin
Don’t skip the moisturiser but rather select one strategically. Look for a humectant moisturiser to add in moisture without clogging the pores or overloading the skin with more oil. Look for key ingredients hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and glycerin.
Moisturisers for acne-prone skin
Contrary to labelling claims, I always recommend those with acne-prone skin to avoid moisturisers marketed toward acne-prone skin as these can contain drying, stripping ingredients that do more harm than good. Acne is the result of inflammation, so look for soothing and restorative ingredients like niacinamide, which has proven anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and swelling.
Moisturisers for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin types would be wise to choose moisturisers free from fragrance, active ingredients (like AHAs or BHAs) and stripping alcohols (benzyl alcohol, SD alcohol, denatured alcohol/alcohol denat, and isopropyl alcohol) as these can be irritating. You’ll want to select a moisturiser with gentle ingredients. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide can generally be tolerated by even the most sensitive skins. Plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile can make calming additions, as with cica (or Tiger Grass) for its restorative qualities.