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Jun 18, 2020
by Vivant Skin Care
You’re probably already participating in skincare’s latest trend: multi-moisturizing. You’ve just never thought of it in those terms. Do you use an eye cream plus a moisturizer? If you said yes, you’re multi-moisturizing. Let’s look closer at the whys and hows of this multi-tasking scenario to understand how to layer up or tailor by zone for optimal moisture and your healthiest skin.
Why would you consider more than one moisturizer?
Different areas of your skin have different needs. Your skin is thinner and more prone to dryness around the eyes. For many people, skin tends to be oilier on the forehead, nose, and chin (the T-zone).
Have you ever noticed you breakout mostly around the chin (hormonal acne)? Or your cheeks and neck are drier than the rest of your face? And now, with masks becoming a necessary fashion accessory, there is the potential for irritation that requires soothing elements.
Giving special attention to the specific needs of those areas, whether through layering up or tailoring your product by zone, can go a long way to keeping your skin barrier healthy and resilient.
First, let’s make sure you understand the basic facts about moisturizers before trying to mix and match your perfect combo.
The job of a moisturizer is to bolster the skin barrier and protect the skin from irritation and environmental stressors. Moisturizers use lipids, humectants, emollients, occlusive elements, and ceramides to absorb and retain water in the skin.
Humectants attract water from the deeper layers of the dermis and from the environment to hydrate the dermis. Ingredients like honey, urea, glycols, glycerin, lactic acid, and hyaluronic acid, aloe, and algae extract are all humectants.
Emollients are lipids, fatty acids, and oils, things like botanical oils, including grape seed or olive oil. These ingredients strengthen the skin matrix, help reduce water loss and make skin softer and smoother.
Occlusives act as a hydrophobic barrier over the skin to seal in moisture and protect the skin barrier. These include silicones, petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil. Occlusive ingredients are essential for sealing in moisture, but some can cross the line to sealing pores. Occlusives that are comedogenic include cocoa butter, synthetic lanolin, myristyl myristate, octyl stearate, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Finally, remember that moisture doesn’t have to come in the form of a cream, gel, or lotion. Toners and serums can score high on the moisture scale too.
How to choose the right moisture combo for your skin type.
Don’t confuse dry skin with dehydration, which is a skin condition. In dry skin, the follicles aren’t producing enough sebum, and/or the cells aren’t retaining adequate moisture. Dehydration occurs when water is lost from the skin through a process known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). A dry climate or weakened skin barrier are contributors to water loss.
Put simply, dry skin lacks oil. Dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin needs emollients. Dehydrated skin needs humectants to draw in water but may also need emollients to help retain the moisture.
Oily on the forehead, nose, and chin. Dry on the cheeks. The perfect conditions for multiple moisturizers. Your cheeks need an oil-factor (emollient), your T-zone does not.
Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
Unless you have dry skin, which is uncommon with acne, you should be using little to no moisturizer during active acne treatment. Acne products are designed to mildly irritate the skin to cause peeling down inside the pore and to kill bacteria. Adding moisture can interfere with the process and slow clearing. However, if the drying from acne treatment feels excessive, you may want to add moisture, but not oil.
Sensitive or Rosacea Skin
Sensitive skin is usually dry skin and often thinner skin with blood vessels closer to the surface, which can mean more redness. Emollient, calming, and nourishing ingredients are essential for this highly reactive type.
Your concerns are more with maintenance and prevention. Retain moisture, keep skin in balance, and stave off signs of aging with formulas that incorporate antioxidants, collagen promoters, and photoprotective elements along with hydration.
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