Irrespective of your skin type, every skin needs a moisturizer. With so many options available to choose from here is the list of 4 main broad categories of ingredients found in your moisturizers and their purpose-:
- Humectants-: As the name suggests they provide hydration to the skin by absorbing moisture from the surrounding. Popular humectants are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These types of moisturizers are great for people with very dry skin. Using a humectant alone would be very drying if the environment around you is dry as the ingredients will draw water from your skin.
- Ceramides-: Ceramides are naturally occurring lipids on our skin. They prevent our skin from moisture loss. Aging and other lifestyle factors contribute to the loss of ceramides. A ceramide based moisturizer helps in providing the protective barrier and controlling the dryness.
- Emmoliants-: These are fatty substances with lubricating property and provide instant smoothness to your skin. Silicones and plant oils (shea butter, almond oil castor oil, tamanu, and argan oil) are the most common type of emollient found in moisturizers. They seal the dry patches on your skin.
- Occlusives: - Occlusives help in sealing the water content by forming a physical layer on the skin by preventing any evaporation. Petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin are some common occlusives found in moisturizers. They leave a greasy feeling on the skin.
The best practice for your skincare routine is to use humectant combined with occlusive or emollient. Occlusives and emollient may inhibit identical properties mostly. It is best to use occlusives and emollients on damp skin. People with oily skin should a lighter formulation of emollients and occlusives as it can cause more oiliness and may even clog pores. Most of the formulations available in the market contain a mixture of these ingredients to work for different skin type.