If you go from soft, dewy skin to suddenly resembling your favorite snake skin bag or shoes more and more, you’re most probably suffering from the malady that is dry skin. As humans age, our skin tends to lose its ability to retain moisture. Salvation comes in the form of little bottles of emollients, otherwise known as moisturizers.
Whether you’re male or female, a moisturizing regime shouldn’t be skipped if you want to keep your skin healthy and young. Skin type doesn’t matter either; whether you have naturally dry or oily skin, proper moisturizing will go a long way. In fact, hydrating your skin will help it become healthier and skin that’s healthy can repair itself faster. If you choose to ignore this important step, your skin might start to suffer from redness and flaking and in time, allow wrinkles and other signs of aging show up sooner than you’d like. Take note however that there certainly are moisturizers specifically created based on skin type – there are formulas for dry skin, oily or acne-prone skin, sensitive skin and mature skin.
Moisturizers were created to help your skin retain water. Remember, the average human adult’s body is composed of 60% water which is why moisture is so important for all organs – yes, including your skin. Moisturizing products often contain humectants and emollients. Humectants like glycerin and lactic acid help attract and absorb moisture while emollients such as fatty acids and ceramides soften the skin, finally, occlusives such as petrolatum and lanolin work by sealing in the moisture. The next time you find yourself in the moisturizing aisle, look for these ingredients in the product.
But once you have the best moisturizer for you, how exactly do you apply it? Is it just like any other cream or lotion that you slather on? When is the best time to apply it – before bed or upon waking up? Here are some tips on how to properly apply moisturizer:
1. Prime your skin first. Whilst you’re still in the shower, use a loofah or an exfoliating scrub a few times a week. This way, you’ll be removing dead skin cells and help your healthy skin cells absorb more product and increase hydration.
2. Apply immediately after shower. Within three minutes after turning off the water, you should go ahead and apply the moisturizer because it works best when skin is still slightly damp. This goes for both your face and body.
3. Scoop, squeeze out or pump only a dollop of the product. Most people would do the five-dot technique of putting on moisturizer – one dot for the forehead, two for the cheeks, one of the nose and one for the chin but that actually might not be the best way to do it and you might end up over moisturizing or using up too much of the product. Especially if your skin can’t absorb that much and it’ll end up creating a film on the surface making your skin feel oily. Instead, what you should do is put about a pea-sized amount on your palm then rub your palms together about twice or thrice to warm up the moisturizer before applying onto your face.
4. Start with your cheeks. Your cheeks are the driest part of your face whereas your T-zone (forehead and nose) and chin would usually be oilier so you won’t need as much hydration there. This way, you’ll be able to target the area that needs it the most while preventing the oilier areas from taking in too much.
5. Don’t press or pull. Always use a gentle touch and do your best not to press down hard or pull on your skin. Instead, use light and even pressure, moving in upward strokes. When you get to the skin around your eyes, be extra careful and gentle as the skin here is particularly thin and sensitive.
There have it, those are simple but important guidelines to follow when applying your moisturizer. Remember, if you’re struggling with skin irritation, redness or flaking, the best course is to consult with your dermatologist.