My beauty tip of the week:
Why it is important to use a moisturiser
In keeping up with your beauty and skincare routines, we have already covered Step 1: Cleansers – in particular, how to use a face cleanser properly (and the do and don’ts associated with them). Step 2 looked at using a toner after your cleanse (I mention my favourite toners). Finally in step 3 we looked at the benefits of using a face scrub. This week we will be covering why you should use a moisturiser and which one you should use for your particular skin type.
Moisturising keeps your skin balanced
When you use the correct kind of moisturiser for your skin you are maintaining its balance and ensuring any problems are reduced. If your skin is too dry or too oily then that causes a breakout and acne follows like a dirty plague. No one wants acne! no-one! You can’t apply your foundation properly, you feel so down about it and some pimples really hurt!! So best to keep your skin healthy to prevent acne from appearing in the first place. Disclaimer – acne is also brought about by poor hygiene and poor diet – but this is a whole other blog post.
Moisturising helps with the appearance of blemishes
When you cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin fresh and clean. Freshly cleansed, toned and moisturised skin will leave you glowing with a sheen effect. This is helpful for evening out your tone and any existing pimples. If you have uneven tone then there are certain moisturisers on the market that are designed specifically for this and some tinted moisturisers are also good for evening out skin tone and blemishes.
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Moisturising prevents signs of ageing
The most sensitive areas of your skin – the face, ears, neck, and chest – replace themselves more often than any other area on your skin. This daily loss of skin cells leaves these areas vulnerable to the dryness and the elements – in fact, they are highest-risk areas for skin cancer. Moisturizing can help give your sensitive skin the boost it needs to repair itself and stay healthy.
Another cause of early ageing is sun damage and of course sun damage may lead to skin cancer and no one wants this. It is sooo easy to ruin your skin with unnecessary sun exposure and even if you don’t think it’s that sunny, there are still harmful rays in the sky. That is why you should always use sunscreen. Whether this is by applying a separate sunscreen altogether (the recommended amount of SPF is actually 50 for the face) or by ensuring that your foundation has a minimum of SPF 15. I like this (US link) SPF for my face as it is not oily and can be worn under makeup. My foundation is also SPF15 so I pretty much have a good coverage of SPF. Don’t let your face be exposed to harmful sun rays without protection.
Moisturising reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fines lines
Have you ever noticed that when you moisturise with a good moisturiser and the right one for your skin type, you not only get that fresh and quenched feeling in your face, but your skin feels plump and firm? Well that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen with the right kind of moisturiser. Your skin is not supposed to be feel dehydrated, tight or dead. It is supposed to feel like your skin has come alive and you feel fabulous. If you don’t feel these things then your moisturiser is not doing what it is supposed to be doing or it is not the right one for you.
Plump and firm skin means no wrinkles or fine lines. Once your skin loses its elasticity and firmness you are more likely than not going to end up with wrinkles. As our skin ages it loses the ability to bounce back and it loses its firmness. Skin gradually becomes more saggy, less firm and less plump. When you see little babies with their youthful skin their skin is bouncy, soft and amazing to the touch. As we grow older our bodies stop producing the firmness and plumpness so we end up sagging and it becomes really difficult to keep your skin toned up. That of course is the same thing that happens to our figures. When we are younger it is easier to stay in shape then it is when we are older as it just becomes inherently harder to keep our skin toned up and firm.
Moisturising with the correct products should at least help bring back some of that firmness. This leads to a discussion on eye creams and how to prevent fine lines and wrinkles but will get back to that another week.
Moisturising is a great base for applying your makeup
After you cleanse, scrub, tone and moisturise you will most likely be doing your makeup and when you moisturise you are preparing your face and skin for the application of foundation. Ok some people do like to use a primer before their foundation so we will cover this another time. I personally am in mixed minds about primers as they don’t really suit me and my skin.
Moisturising pre-foundation gives your skin that dewy (or matte) base or canvas if you like, to prepare a smooth finish for you to apply your foundation on top of. After you apply your moisturiser make sure you wait 5 minutes before applying the foundation. This allows the skin time to absorb the moisturiser and ensure the benefits actually apply to your skin. Unfortunately I am culprit when it comes to this step. If I am in a rush to get out – which I nearly always am – I never wait 5 minutes before applying foundation. I really do try to but it just adds more time and with an annoyed baby and hubby waiting on me to get out of the house I don’t always get the chance to do this. Will have to work a little harder at following my own advice. LOL!
Which Moisturiser should you buy?
When choosing the correct moisturiser to buy you need to first think about your skin type and then about your current skin problems and problem zones.
If you have dry skin: You should opt for a cream rather than lotions. A heavy cream would help combat dry skin but be careful here not to get a really heavy one as this may make the situation worse rather than better. Heavy creams have a tendency to (i) clog up your pores, (ii) leave a slippery base for your foundation (plus you may look really oily), and (iii) cause breakouts if you didn’t have them before. Breakouts are usually caused by clogged pores and heavy creams and makeup – so be careful.
Heavy creams also give you a more dewy effect when applying foundation. Make sure to check how dewy your foundation is as well so that you don’t over do it and look oily. Remember Makeup should look flawless and natural, not overdone, heavy and oily. Best tip here is to opt for a mid-dewy and mid-matte foundation or use setting powder if needed.
One drawback of course to using a matte foundation and setting powder or foundation-type powders if you have dry skin is that it may cause your face to look even more dry and flaky. I suffered from this on many occasions and could not stand how I looked. It is important to find the right balance for your skin type when choosing the moisturiser, foundation and powder (you may even just skip the powder if it does not agree with you).
It may help if you apply different moisturisers to different areas of your face e.g. where it is more dry the apply the heavy moisturiser and apply a lighter oil-free moisturiser to the t-zone which is more prone to getting oily.
If you have dry sensitive skin: If it isn’t enough that your skin is dry, flaky, tight and uncomfortable, let’s just add sensitive to the mix to make things even better. Sensitive skin sufferers understand that at any given moment of the day your skin can flare up, turn red and become very itchy for no reason whatsoever. Sidepoint – there may be a reason related to your diet or lifestyle but that’s a whole other story for another day.
I honestly hate that feeling. My skin is soo itchy and it can be after I have washed my face. It can be after I have eaten something and of course it can be after I have used a new product on my face. To prevent this from happening I have to be careful with what I put on my face. Sometimes you need something to calm your face as well once it has happened.
This Avene rich cream (US link) is very good if you have dry sensitive skin as the Avene range is designed specifically for sensitive skin. Another good product which I would like to try out is the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturising Cream (US link) which contains oatmeal and colloidal which soothes irritated skin and hydrates without feeling heavy or sticky. If a product is formulated to be safe for babies then why wouldn’t it be great for adult skin too?!
If you have oily skin: if your skin tends to be oily, you should look for lotions instead of creams, and try to find a moisturizer with exfoliant ingredient. However, even the most oily skin sufferers need hydration for their skin too so your skin is able to maintain skin barrier health. If you use anti-acne products (as oily skin is more prone to being clogged and therefore breakout in acne) it is important to hydrate your skin well to prevent overproduction of sebum to combat the dryness.
It is possible that normal skin or even the dry skin sufferers will have an oily t-zone (the forehead and nose area) – just like me. In this instance it is best to use different moisturisers for the different problem areas e.g. one for oily skin in the t-zone and one for dry skin on the cheeks or wherever your skin is dry and flaky.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works for you and hopefully this blog post will help you a little bit. This Eucerin moisturiser (US alternative link) is good for oily skin as the mattifying fluid delivers an anti-shine effect whilst working against blemishes and excess sebum as it contains salicylic acid and the mattifying particles provide an anti-shone effect to prevent clogging.
Another popular choice for oily skin is this Kiehl’s moisturiser (US link). This moisturiser is oil-free, mattifies skin and the amazonian white clay in this moisturiser absorbs excess oil which is great for oily skin sufferers and it is lightweight which is what you need.
If you have acne-prone skin: Using a good moisturiser is very important for acne-prone skin because moisturised skin ensures that there is less sebum clogged in the pores. When you are bombarded with the MANY products out there claiming to be great for acne make sure you look for moisturisers that do not clog your pores. You need to ensure that they do not contain ingredients like petroleum, mineral oil or silicones like dimethicone, which can cause acne. Another important ingredient to steer clear of is alcohol. Alcohol dries out your skin and will produce more oil leading to more inflammation of the skin and further breakouts.
It is best to use moisturisers that are gel, oil free or water based with a lightweight formula to ensure your skin is moisturised. Products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are actually quite good as the two fight any existing breakouts as well as prevent any future ones from occurring.
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If you have red and eczema prone skin: you need to be careful with what moisturisers you use as some moisturisers may cause more issues and flare ups instead of making things better. Certain moisturisers contain more oil then others – that bit you know. What you may not have known (I didn’t know this until I read some things on the National Eczema Association’s website) is that the more oil in a moisturiser the better it is at treating eczema. You need to use ointments (as opposed to creams and lotions as they contain less oil) that actually feel greasy as they contain more oil and they apparently keep moisture in and irritants out.
Aveeno Mositurising Cream (US link) – this is actually for babies so it is safe to assume that if it is perfect for babies it is even more perfect for adults. Nothing beats baby cream. I personally have used the Aveeno Baby products on my little angel and they have really cleared up his dry skin and eczema like symptoms. I will be trying the other products in their range so will report back shortly.
CeraVe Healing Ointment (US link) – this product combines vital ceramides with a gentle, lanolin-free formula to protect and soothe dry skin with a lightweight, non-greasy feel.
I really advise looking at the National Eczema Association’s website for more approved products (including household products) that eczema sufferers should be using. There is a seal of approval that you need to look for on certain products and the website lists these products for you!
If you have combination skin (which is dry and oily t-zones): As discussed above people with combination skin usually have to use two different types of moisturisers. One for their dry areas and one for their t-zone. Finding a good moisturiser is therefore very difficult. A few products I think may suit combination skin include the Clarins Hydra Essentials (US link) and Clarins Multi-Active Cream (US link). These are both products I can comment on as I have used them and love them. In my opinion they are better suited for combination skin so will work wonders for you.
If you have normal skin: WOW you are amazing. In that case you are able to go for pretty much any standard moisturiser on the market and most probably don’t need to spend too much on products in order to find something amazing for your skin. I would still recommend you go for the lighter/oil-free type moisturisers as this will just ensure a good habit for unclogged pores and oily patches of makeup throughout the day. Daily moisturisers for normal skin include Nivea (US link) and La Roche-Posay (US alternative)
Should you splurge or save on skincare products?
I’ll be covering a separate blog post on this as this is a hot topic when it comes to talking about skincare. In short – I believe you don’t need to spend hundreds and hundreds but you should definitely invest in a few slightly more expensive products as long as (i) they suit your skin and (ii) you actually see a benefit. Don’t waste too much money trying to find that product as not everything will suit you.
I have been down this road and can’t even count the amount of money I have spent on unused products. See if you can get some samples first. eBay and Amazon are your best bet on finding some sample sizes for pretty much any product out there. Now that’s what I usually do. If you can’t find a sample size to purchase then go to a beauty counter talk through your concerns with the sales person and see if they can give you a sample. I know some luxury brands allow you to return an item if it does not suit your skin type e.g. Clarins have done this for me in the past. You will have to return the product of course so there is that hassle but worth it if you have spent a lot of money on it. Make sure you check with the brand/ store before buying the product to be on the safe side.
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What’s your favourite moisturiser? Tell me in the comments below…
Til next time XX Monica XX
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