We're all born with a certain skin type, which is generally categorized as normal, dry, oily, or combination. On top of that, any skin type can be temporarily dehydrated at times. And to make things more exciting, any skin type can be sensitive.
What is your Skin Type?
We tend to fit a certain skin type due to genetics, but occassionally, using the wrong type of products can cause your skin to secrete more oils, or become more dry. Let's first determine what is your skin type.
Signs of Oily Skin:
- larger pores, blackheads, blemishes
- visible oil on skin, grease spots on pillow
- makeup tends to slide off during the day
- blotting papers are your friend
- smaller pores
- prone to cracking, visible flakes, and dry patches
- no visible shine on the face
- makeup settles into fine lines
- moisturizers seep in very easily
Signs of Dehyrated Skin:
- Tight, inflexible skin
- Not soft or plump
- Dehydrated oily skin will feel like a pool of grease sitting on a sheet of brittle plastic
- Dry skin is more prone to dehydration because generally, oil tends to keep the skin moist
Types of Moisturizers
There are three main types of moisturizers: emollients, humectants, and occlusives. Here's a breakdown of what they are and who can benefit from each one:
These are oils and fatty acids such as cocoa butter, shea butter, most botanical oils like sunflower seed oil, olive oil, argan oil, etc. They also include ceramides, collagen, mineral oil, lanolin, or jojoba oil. The function of emollients is to improve texture and appearance of the skin. Some emollients have better absorption than others which can seep deep into the layers of your skin.
If you have oily skin, your skin naturally produces enough oleic acid, but lacks linoleic acid. Look for ingredients such as safflower seed oil, sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, evening primorse oil, meadowfoam seed oil, or rosehip oil, to name a few.
If you have dry skin, your skin is the opposite. It produces plenty of linoleic acid, but lacks oleic acid. You'll want to look for ingredients like avocado oil, olive oil, almond oil, marula oil, argan oil, sesame seed oil, or apricot oil, for example.
Humectants work by drawing moisture from the air to your skin. Ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are common humectants.
Humectants are superb for any skin type, especially if you have dry or dehydrated skin.
These ingredients are waxy and more heavy, such as beeswax, petroleum jelly, or silicones. They provide a protective seal over the skin to prevent moisture loss.
Occlusives are wonderful for dry or dehydrated skin. Think overnight repair creams, or overnight masks.
Choosing the Right Moisturizer
Different skin types have different needs, and we've broken it down for you below:
Best to look for water-based or gel moisturizers. If you do use a face oil or products with oil, look for ingredients like safflower seed oil, sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, evening primorse oil, meadowfoam seed oil, or rosehip oil.
A cream would be the best moisturizer for dry skin. The thickness can seep deep into the layers of the skin for maximum repair and replenishment. Also look for humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or lactic acid. Look for oil ingredients like avocado oil, olive oil, almond oil, marula oil, argan oil, sesame seed oil, or apricot oil, for example.
Lucky for you, any type of moisturizer will work. You may notice changes as the seasons progress, or as your skin needs change.
Avoid products that contain fragrances or parabens, and opt for more natural or naturally-derived ingredients.