By Rachel Lamont
Medical Esthetician & Owner of The Natural Art Of Skin Care
Cleansers and moisturizers are the most important skin products, so finding a suitable one for your individual skin type is very important. A skin moisturizer works by nourishing the skin, hydrating it, protecting it and feeding it; this very important organ! Sometimes finding the perfect moisturizer is a bit of a trial and error game. Working with a professional helps because they know their products best and can also take a look at your skin and ask some individual questions about skin history, daily routine and allergies, just to name a few.
This is a big one for me; Very important! This is maybe the most important thing I will say to you; You always want to choose chemical free skin, hair and nail products. Just like you want to eat real food. The skin is the largest organ and anything we put on it will adsorb into the body to a certain degree; approximately 30% of what we put on our skin will absorb directly into our bloodstream! The synthetic chemicals that are commonly found in cosmetics and skin care products are not healthy for the skin. Some cause hormonal disruptions, thyroid problems, various cancers, eye sensitivities, skin sensitivities and rashes, pigmentation, signs of aging, liver toxicity, pore clogging, and more. I always tell my clientele to avoid artificial fillers, talc, chemical SPFs, parabens & phthalates, and products free of artificial dyes and synthetic oils, like petroleum.
Note Important Nourishing Key Ingredients
- The key beneficial ingredients that make up a good moisturizer are as follows:
- Naturally sourced oils (I have listed a few of my most commonly used), such as;
- Coconut oils, which are great for everyone. It has natural anti-bacterials for lesioned skin, acne, sunburns, sensitive, aging, as well as fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin K and minerals such as iron;
- Jojoba oil, as it is the only oil that closely resembles human sebum. Therefore, another great oil for sensitive, dehydrated, dry, healing and acne skin;
- Argan Oil, as it is high in vitamin E;
- Rosehip oil, for high levels of vitamin C;
- Sea buckthorn for hydration, elasticity, skin regeneration and an oil that acts as an anti-inflammatory;
- Evening primrose, because it is great for aging skin;
- And Calendula Oil, as it is anti-inflammatory, hydrating and healing.
The list can literally go on forever! The point is this; Natural oils are great for the skin and the skin loves them and grows healthy, hydrated and glows when applied in a daily routine suitable for your skin type.
These are some of most favourite ingredients to play around with and some of the most potent ones available. These are some of my favourites, but certainly not the only ones I use. Remember, these oils are very powerful medicine from mother nature so it is important to always dilute them down to prevent concentrated chemical burns; these will appear like a rash, sensitivity, pigmentation or lesion to the skin.
- Myrrh - Anti-inflammatory and healing
- Chamomile - Calming and soothing
- Mandarin Orange - Vitamin C
- Carrot Seed - Vitamin A
- Rosemary - Stimulating and regenerative
- Geranium - Anti-aging
- Clove Oil - Great for mouth lesions
- Tea tree - Anti-bacterial
Natural fruits, Vegetable, Herbs, Spices & Natural vitamins
Naturally Derived Acids - Some moisturizers that also contain natural acids help to remove dead skin cells and aid the skin to turn over, exposing younger and more youthful skin underneath. This will help rid the skin of old dull skin cells and help with the appearance of lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and scarring.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) - Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a group of natural acids found in foods that are water soluble. Alpha Hydroxy Acids include Glycolic Acid (derived from cane sugar), Citric Acid (found in citrus fruits), Lactic Acid (from in sour milk), Malic Acid (found in apples), Tartaric Acid (found in grapes), plus others. Used topically to moisturize and remove dead skin cells, these acids are great for treating acne and improving the appearance of acne scars. They are also useful for improving the appearance of photo-aged skin, and firming and smoothing skin.
Bata Hydroxy (BHA) - Bata Hydroxides are a lipid soluble oil, that can also break through oil, so it makes it a great acid for acne and deep peels. Salicylic Acid is an example of one. Salicylic acid has no humectant properties, and in fact, it will likely causes the skin to become dryer. If these oils are over used however, it is common for them to cause rashes.
Retinol (Vitamin A) - Retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin that has several important functions in the body. It helps cells reproduce normally, a process called “Cellular Turnover.” This is a key ingredient for anti-aging and scar correction, and also important for normalizing the skin. Vitamin A helps keep skin and mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses, and mouth healthy. It also plays a role in healthy immune system function, growing new skin cells, and wound healing - which is great for after peels! Vitamin A comes from two sources; One group, called Retinoids, comes from animal sources and includes Retinol. The other group, called Carotenoids, comes from plants and includes Beta-Carotene. The body converts Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A. Major Carotenoids, including Lycopene, Lutein and Zeaxantuin, have important biological properties, including antioxidant and photo-protective activities. I advise using them at night when the skin is rejuvenating.
A natural SPF is imperative for healthy skin. It helps prevent collagen loss and protect the skin on a daily basis, especially the sensitive and new skin that will be developing after a good acid peel! To use acids and not follow with a daily SPF is not a wise decision. The new skin that is being produced by peeling is photo-sensitive and therefore exposure to the sun can cause it to become damaged, kill any new collagen it has built and sunburn the skin; All reversing the effects of your peel! If you are trying to prevent or reverse scarring and all the signs of aging, then I advise you to have proper sun protection so you can prevent your skin from suffering from over-exposure. So, I always recommend a daily SPF for every day use, however, don’t wear sunscreens at night. Some artificial and synthetically derived sunscreen ingredients are linked to carcinogenic effects in the body. Chemical-free options are always my preference.
Make it skin type appropriate
The skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than other areas, so it’s a good idea to use a different moisturizer on your face than you do on your body. Of course, choose one that’s right for your skin type. If you know you have sensitive skin, it’s always a good idea to look for a moisturizer with sensitive ingredients like chamomile, calendula, natural oils or rose. For Acne prone skin, you don’t necessary need a low oil moisturizer. That is not always the solution; Sometimes acne prone skin needs to be hydrated to be balanced and normalize. If you have oily skin, go with a light, oil-free moisturizer. If you have dry skin, get something richer. And if you have combination skin, go with a lighter moisturizer for your whole face and add oils on top on the dryer areas. Keep in mind that you may need a lighter lotion in the summer, and a richer one with added oils over the top in the winter.
When should you use Moisturize?
Once you find the right product for your individual skin type and needs, when should you use them? You should moisturize every day; this simple practice will go a long way toward preserving the look and health of your skin. Always make sure you have clean hands and face before applying moisturizer. Wash your skin with your skin-appropriate cleanser and exfoliate fn needed. I like to tone my skin and add a serum under my moisturizer. Scoop out the cream of choice with a clean applicator, and personally, I like to add water to all my moisturizers to dilute them down as I find they will absorb better. Wait 10-15 minutes before applying any makeup.
I hope this helps answer some of the questions you may have about moisturizers! If you have any other questions, book an appointment with an Esthetician at The Natural Art Of Skin Care today and we can help advise you further and specifically for your skin-type!