Vol.1, No.8

Choosing a good moisturizer

This article discusses how a woman can choose a good moisturizer that is right for her skin.

Moisturizer ingredients
Photo Credit: Ashok Rodrigues
Most women will find they eventually need a good moisturizer. Even if they've had oily skin all their lives, many will still benefit from a light moisturizer to apply after cleansing. There are so many available on the market, which is the right one to choose?

A women should think about several things when looking for a moisturizer. She needs to think about her skin type, her individual skin care needs and whether she has sensitive skin. There are three basic types of moisturizer available: gel, lotion and cream. Gel is the lightest preparation, followed by lotion, with cream providing the heaviest dose of moisture. In general, mostly older women use the cream, since their skin needs the most moisture. Also, moisturizers often have lighter formulas if they are designed for daytime use, under makeup, with a heavier formula for nighttime, after cleansing.

Women with normal skin, oily or normal with an oily "T-zone" (the forehead, nose and chin areas) will probably want to begin with a gel-type moisturizer. This will provide moisture without a greasy or heavy feeling. It is also a good choice for any skin type for a daytime moisturizer, under makeup. This is especially important in winter, when the drier, colder air can really sap the moisture from the skin. Women who live in more arid climates, such as the Southwest, also need to be more conscientious about applying moisturizer, since the air doesn't have a lot of ambient moisture.

Those women with normal or dry skin may want to try a moisturizing lotion. These will provide a heavier dose of moisture for skin that loses it more quickly. Dry skin also tends to be sensitive, so a woman will need to consider this. Fortunately, there are good moisturizers available that are fragrance-free, and designed especially for sensitive skin. A woman who knows ahead of time that her skin is dry and fussy will probably want to try one of these moisturizers first.

Women with more mature skin will probably opt for a cream moisturizer. They will also be looking for preparations that promise to make skin look younger and firmer. Again, this is largely a question of individual needs and how sensitive the skin is. Some women are very sensitive to products containing alpha-hydroxy derivatives, as well as citric acid, or Vitamin C.

Women who use products with alpha-hydroxy should also be aware that they should avoid sun exposure, since it can cause damage to the skin. Another modern innovation in the quest to have smooth skin is the addition of sunscreen. Many moisturizers will have sunscreen added. Many brands of foundation makeup also have sunscreen, so it may depend on what a woman's skin will best tolerate when she goes to choose a moisturizer. Some are sensitive to sunscreen, some aren't. However, a moisturizer with sunscreen will negate the need for it in foundation makeup, and the reverse is also true. Mostly, moisturizers with sunscreen are meant to be used under makeup, during the day. It isn't necessary to look for a formula containing sunscreen when choosing a nighttime preparation.

Some women feel that only the department store cosmetic lines carry quality products. This is not necessarily true. Many "drugstore" brands have good moisturizers. In fact, some are just the drugstore line for the department store products. And with the popularity of generic brands, even the higher-priced drugstore brands often have generic or store brand equivalents that are cheaper, and have the same ingredients. This is another area where a woman can compare. If the drugstore brand has essentially the same ingredient list as the department store line, she can buy the cheaper brand with confidence. Many department store cosmetic lines have their product ingredients listed on their Web sites.

Most reputable companies sell quality products, so it's a matter of a woman finding what suits her skin the best. With some comparison shopping, and a little experimentation, she's bound to find a daytime or nighttime moisturizer that makes her skin look great.