We spend a lot of time, effort, and money taking care of our skin. We have morning routines, evening rituals, and even special procedures done throughout the year. But one of the most basic skin care habits could possibly be the most important practice of all: we need to moisturize, and it needs to be done effectively.
Why We Need to Moisturize?
The most sensitive areas of our skin (face, ears, neck, and chest) replace themselves more often than any other area on your body. This constant loss of skin cells leaves these areas particularly vulnerable to outside elements. Moisturizing properly can help skin repair itself and stay healthy. In fact, the right type of moisturizer can help keep skin balanced and reduce common skin problems, including dry patches, acne, fine lines, and wrinkles.
How to Moisturize Effectively?
Now that we know our skin needs moisture to heal and protect itself, we need to find the right type of moisturizer. With the many different types of moisturizers available, what type is the most effective?
Creams and Lotions Versus Oils
Creams and lotions can feel luxurious, and with the endless assortment of colors, scents, and textures, they are a very tempting option. They also seem to deliver almost instantaneous results because the waxes in creams and lotions form an occlusive layer on the skin. This is literally a barrier on your skin, and the upside is that, in the short-term, creams and lotions hold moisture in. However, the downside is that this barrier also prevents the truly beneficial oil portion of the cream from penetrating deep into the skin’s layers, where the real changes need to happen. Additionally, wax build up can clog pores causing acne and other skin irritations.
Oils, on the other hand, sink right in penetrating beyond the surface layer of the skin. The vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants found in oils are superhero nutrients for your skin by helping to repair the surface layer of your skin in addition to preventing moisture loss. These nutrient-rich oils not only can show instant results, but also continue to work over time, not only replenishing oils lost due to aging, but certain oils can also help repair free radical damage and reduce inflammation and irritations. Over time and with continued use, you will notice your skin take on a healthy glow.
Another wonderful thing about oils is that they can give you healthier, younger-looking skin without harsh chemicals or toxins. When choosing oils to use on your skin, it’s important to choose products with a natural list of ingredients, and particularly, to choose botanical-based oils. Oils that are derived from plants, seeds or fruits typically have more active ingredients, like vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids. And thanks to their easy-to-absorb texture and liquid nature, a little goes a long way!
Some of the best oils to use are avocado, jojoba, olive, grapeseed, hazelnut, and argan because they mimic the natural lipids (fats) and sebum (oils) found in our skin. This is beneficial because the similarities can help regulate and repair your skin’s moisture barrier, which is responsible for your skin’s oil production. Even if you have oily skin, using natural oils that imitate your skin’s natural sebum help reduce oil production since your skin will no longer have to overcompensate.
Finally, in addition to providing a lovely natural smell, skin care oils can also have aromatherapeutic benefits. The aroma of botanical oils has been known to lift your spirit, relieve stress, or help you relax.
To Sum it All Up
Because of the waxes found in lotions, which stay on the surface of the skin, the beneficial oils found within can’t penetrate the lipid barrier, where they’re needed most, and over time that wax can clog pores. Oils, however, penetrate deep within the skin, giving our skin a healthy glow. Adding oil into your skin care routine is one of the most important ways you can support your skin, helping to add and retain moisture and keeping your skin at its healthiest and most radiant.