Moisturizer: Are You Doing It Right?

comments

Moisturizer-IntroIllustrated by Caitlin Owens.
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.

Moisturizer-IntroIllustrated by Caitlin Owens.
Moisturizer is possibly the single most important skin care product we use every day; it’s crucial to both our morning and evening routines. Because it's a staple we find ourselves wearing practically 24 hours a day and 365 days per year, you want to be sure you're moisturizing effectively. Ahead, you'll find my guidelines to ensure your moisturizing habits are the right ones.
Moisturizer2Illustrated by Caitlin Owens.
Do choose a moisturizer made exclusively for your skin type

Skin care is not one size fits all. It’s always difficult for me to understand how skin care companies are able to say that their moisturizer is “suitable for all skin types” when all types of skin clearly have different needs. Of course, I'm not just talking about dry, normal, or oily skin, but also your levels of sensitivity, breakout frequency, and maturity.

Do wear moisturizer with sunscreen built-in during the day

Not only is sunscreen essential for preventing wrinkles and the dangerous rays from the sun, but wearing moisturizer with built-in SPF saves time. If it’s possible to combine two steps into one, especially vital steps such as these, why not conquer hydrating the skin and SPF application in one fell swoop?

Do use a non-sunscreen moisturizer at night

I’m always amazed when clients mention that they use their daytime moisturizer at night, especially when their moisturizer contains SPF. If not for the independent reason that you do not need SPF while you’re in bed, then ditch you sunscreen moisturizer at night because it’s simply not what your skin needs. Sunscreen prevents skin from being damaged by the harsh environment, so let your skin relax at night with a nourishing moisturizer that will aid your skin while it’s in its all-so-important repair mode.

Do avoid moisturizer containing synthetic fragrance if your skin is sensitive

Individuals with sensitive skin can react negatively to synthetic perfumes added to skin care products. Before purchasing your moisturizer take a look at the ingredients and avoid products that list “parfum” or “fragrance” as ingredients. Information regarding artificial fragrance ingredients is usually listed down toward the end. And, even though they're not usually hyper-concentrated, they're best to avoid to prevent unnecessary irritation and redness.



Do apply moisturizer to both to the face and neck

The neck is an extension of the face and needs attention, too. Apply both daytime moisturizer (with sunscreen) and nighttime moisturizer on the neck. Your 80-year-old self with thank you for it.

Do apply moisturizer evenly

I find that many clients have clogged pores around their hairline and close to their ears. This might be a result of an incompatible hair product, but often, it's caused by the way they apply moisturizer. When you apply from the middle of your face, pushing outward, moisturizer settles more abundantly at the perimeter of your face. These extra layers may clog the pores, excess oil will appear, and breakouts can occur.

Do switch moisturizers every summer and winter, if necessary

Your skin’s ability to retain moisture is directly correlated to the climate in which you live. If you are more accustomed to a humid environment, you may want to use a lightweight moisturizer, and the opposite applies, as well. This idea then extends into the changing seasons. A moisturizer that you use in the summer might not be emollient enough for a colder autumn or winter air. Cold air tends to dry us out, so if you're noticing any dryness, peeling or redness, protect you complexion with a heavier, thicker coat.
Moisturizer1Illustrated by Caitlin Owens.
Don’t overuse moisturizer

Adding multiple coats of moisturizer isn't the most effective way to alleviate dry, flaky skin. Because your skin will only absorb what it needs, extra moisturizer will just sit on top the skin, and may result in clogged pores (and a waste of product). If your skin still feels dry after applying one coat, it might be time to look for a heavier formula, specifically one with hyaluronic acid, which sinks into skin.

Don’t count exclusively on moisturizer to give your skin the hydration it needs

If your skin feels tight, dehydrated, and you feel like you always need more, don't underestimate the hydrating benefits of alcohol-free toners and serums. You might need them in your daily routine to amplify the effects of your regular moisturizer. Be sure to leave your skin damp after applying toner, apply a few drops of a skin serum for your skin type, and immediately apply moisturizer to seal in all the hydrating benefits.

Don’t leave the skin bare for longer than 60 seconds after cleansing, before applying moisturizer

After cleansing, you must immediately use an alcohol-free toner and moisturizer. If you leave your skin bare for more than one minute, it will start to dehydrate as the dry air attracts moisture out of the skin. Perform your skin care routine quickly, and be sure to always leave your toner damp on the skin. This will leave your skin protected and avoid the tight and dry feeling.

Don’t be afraid of oil in moisturizer

If you pick up a jar of moisturizer and see an ingredient with the word “oil” in it, you might skip over it in fear that it'll clog your pores — especially if you have naturally oily skin. It's time to break the oil-free strike: Virtually all creams and lotions use some form of oil or emollient to make the product slip across the skin. But, not all oils are comedogenic and pore-clogging.

Of course, everyone's experience varies, but the one type of oil I don’t recommend is mineral oil, which can clog the pores. The emollients I also suggest you avoid are isopropyl myristate, isopropyl palmitate, and petrolatum. These can also be pore clogging, but because they don’t have the word “oil” in their name, you wouldn’t know that these were pore-clogging ingredients. The “safe” oils are natural ones like borage oil, safflower oil, jojoba oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil and macadamia nut oil.

NEXT: How To Banish Blackheads (Without Scarring!)

When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.