Facial Moisturizing Basics

Why is a facial moisturizer important?  The outermost layer of skin (the Stratum Corneum) is a barrier that helps protect everything underneath from the outside world.  It is made up of 30% water and lipids.  If this layer gets dried out and loses this water it stops being effective and can become brittle or even crack.  In this state your skin loses its shield and the skin underneath is exposed to the elements.  The skin then loses more moisture and can even get infected as bacteria have an easy time making their way through the cracked outer barrier.  This shows how important it is to use a face moisturizer.

Choosing a Facial Moisturizer

Know your skin type.  If you have oily skin a lighter product with natural oils is preferred while drier skin needs a little more oil or other barrier ingredients.  Either way natural oils are key because these oils won’t leave that slick or sticky feeling and also won’t clog your pores.  Some natural oils include almond and avocado oil.  Petroleum derivatives feel like they are smoothing to the skin but actually can leave a residue and clog pores.  Other compounds such humectants help attract moisture. One of the main humectants available is hyaluronic acid which is naturally a part of your skin.

In the Short Term...

 In the short term a Face Moisturizer will start to make the skin look healthier.  Using the ingredients above, a good strategy is to include both the natural oils and the humectants.  In a sense with both of those types of ingredients face moisturizers are adding water to the skin and then keeping it there. 

In the Long Term...

Keeping your skin moist allows your skin to operate at the peak level of performance.  Skin cells are more effective at repairing themselves and the surrounding tissue.  This includes making or repairing collagen, elastin, and many more proteins that keep the skin looking fresh and young.  The immune system is also able to function properly to help defend your skin from infections.