Most clients, even the minimalists, are using moisturizer to care for their skin. Yet most don't consider whether or not they are using the right formula. Plus the moisturizer your best friend is gaga about may not be the best formula for your unique skin type.
The primary reason for using a moisturizer is well... to moisturize of course. On top of everything else you need to do before you retire, moisturizing may feel like a chore, so why do it? Well, moisturizing doesn’t just feel great, it can help keep your skin clear, calm, smooth, and wrinkle-free. It is a great investment for the longevity of your skin.
Moisturizing reduces skin problems
Using the right kind of moisturizer for your skin can help maintain its balance. When skin is too dry or too oily, many common skin problems occur, like acne, eczema, dehydration, increased sensitivity, flakiness, dullness and more pronounced wrinkles. These become more obvious if you’re not moisturizing properly.
If your skin tends to be oily, you should look for a lightweight lotion instead of a cream. You might consider an oil free lotion. The important actives for oily skin are based on humectants. These are ingredients like glycerin or sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) because they attract and bind water to the skin, keeping it hydrated without feeling heavy or overbearing. A humectant based moisturizer keeps oily skin looking fresh. Skip this step and your sebaceous glands (oil glands) can go into overdrive by producing even more oil. Softer skin surfaces mean oil is less likely to get clogged in your pores. Make sure you don’t combine your moisturizer with harsh exfoliating ingredients that might increase inflammation. Exfoliation should be done as a separate step. Follow exfoliating ingredients with skin soothing antioxidants like niacinamide which reduces inflammation. Acne is a disease of inflammation so calming it is a key step in controlling it. Another option is to choose a light moisturizing lotion based on calming ingredients like polyphenol antioxidants (green tea, seawhip or niacinamide) which will reduce inflammation and get you the best results.
Scientists discovered that red wine and dark chocolate (both contain resveratrol a powerful antioxidant that has other skin boosting benefits) help clear away inflammation causing senescent cells. You'll find these polyphenols in a whole host of foods. Polyphenols, a family of chemicals with excellent calming and antioxidant properties that are antioxidants that fight free radicals - tiny thieves floating around your body stealing oxygen from your cells and causing them to become inflamed. Polyphenols are your body’s very own cell defenders, fighting off these naughty free radicals and stopping them from harming healthy skin cells, they keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. Polyphenols are particularly powerful antioxidants that are good to include in your moisturizing formula. This is one case where more is better. Also consuming polyphenols from food sources along with including them in your moisturizer is critically important for skin longevity.
One such anti-aging, anti-inflammatory food is green tea. Some say green tea is nature’s most powerful antioxidant. It’s certainly no accident that an extract of green tea, called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a key ingredient in longevity promoting moisturizers. A study published in a 2009 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry investigated the effects of polyphenols on the skin. Researchers found that the polyphenols protected the skin against ultraviolet radiation and enhanced the skin’s cell growth. In layman’s terms, they helped prevent the skin from aging prematurely and kept it healthy and glowing.
Sea Whip is a little known ingredient but a fantastic ingredient for skin care and one of my favorites. Sea Whip (also called Gorgonian Coral) is a marine plant found in very salty water. What makes it special is it has a powerful anti-inflammatory polyphenol. More powerful than hydrocortisone and other common anti-inflammatory ingredients typically found in prescription formulas. What makes seawhip so powerful is because it is an extremophile. Extremophiles are life forms that can survive in extremely hostile conditions, which would kill 99.9% other living things. They are marine plants or animals such as seaweeds or algae living in forbidding pockets of the ocean. Examples are:
– Extreme Heat
– Extreme Cold
– Extreme UV Exposure
– Extreme Dryness
– Extreme pH
– Extreme Saltiness
– Extreme Pressure
– Extreme lack of Oxygen
In other words, the absolute worst conditions on earth. Extremophiles can survive in these hostile environments because they possess protective and repair enzymes. These survival enzymes are great when topically applied to human skin. Enzymes harvested from these extremophiles protect DNA and protein in skin from environmental damage. Sea Whip also possesses anti-inflammatory compounds that interrupt the inflammation cascade early on. This significantly reduces the size of the inflammatory response. Our Seawhip Soothing Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer that works well for problem or oily skins. It can also work for dry skin but you really need another, more emollient formula over Seawhip Soothing Lotion to reinforce your skin’s protective barrier.
Emollients to Smooth and Soften
Emollients soften the skin, smooth out the edges of dry cells and leave everything lovely and fresh. Emollients smooth and soften the skin by filling in the gaps between skin cells or flaky skin with hydrating oils and lipids. They stay on the skin’s surface and also help your skin hold onto those fancy humectants you use. Examples of emollients are: Vitamin E, ceramides, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, along with a whole host of oil-like ingredients like silicone. Some emollients actually increase your skin's natural production of ceramides. One such ingredient comes from a liposomal form of rosemary. It is rich in natural Ursolic Acid, rebuilding skin’s protective moisture barrier by up to 450% in about nine days. This ingredient can be found in both Phytolipid Recovery Cream and Intensive Lipid Repair.
Occlusives for an Added Barrier
If you have very dry skin, which is often the case with more mature skin types you should think about using an occlusive rich moisturizing formula. Occlusives seal in moisture and stop water from evaporating. What that means is occlusives have large molecules, so rather than attracting water they repel it. Like emollients, they will seal moisture into your skin where it belongs, the difference is that occlusives are heavier, and therefore better for very dry skin while emollients work best for those with normal to dry or slightly oily skin. Examples of occlusive ingredients are beeswax, lanolin and shea butter.
While moisturizers are essential for good skin care they are not a panacea for all skin corrections. In general moisturizers are considered surface skincare formulas. That means they don’t get much past the stratum corneum. Creams are good for protecting the skin against UV rays, providing antioxidant protection and acting as a barrier against environmental damage caused by fine particles, pollution or cold, etc. We therefore always recommend boosting your skin's natural barrier function with a proper moisturizer. But how do skin care creams and their active ingredients work? Are they really absorbed by the skin?
For years, people have been searching for the perfect cream that truly penetrates. The term implies that the cream feeds and nourishes all your skin cells. But in reality, there is not much in creams that has been found to penetrates the lower layers. People who use creams hope the valuable actives go where they are needed and where the skin can get the most benefit. For effective penetration it is imperative to include an active serum in your routine. Serums are light weight solutions that contain excipients, or special ingredients that carry those actives to the deeper layers of the skin. This is where you will find the true magic in your skincare routine. Important actives for skin serums include stem cell stimulators, architectural peptides, Vitamin C, brighteners and retinol. One should invest in a serum to do this truly important work.
Sloughing off the dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin’s uppermost layer is essential for peak skincare absorption. Think of dead skin as a physical barrier that block ingredients from entering cell layers, but they also dull your skin, making it appear older. Dead skin cells can clog pores and ultimately cause the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. Clogged pores can potentially become inflamed and turn into pimples. Even if your pores aren’t clogged and acne isn’t your issue, dead skin cells can still prevent proper skincare penetration. When you remove the dead skin cell blockade, you allow your serums and even moisturizers to a certain extent to reach the healthy skin underneath and penetrate much deeper. Chemical exfoliation is more effective than physical scrub. Chemical exfoliators like AHAs get into the pores to ready a pathway to your skin cells. After exfoliation apply an active serum. Follow with an appropriate moisturizer which will seal in the actives and drive then even deeper into your skin.
Super Hydration for Better Penetration
Ever notice how much smoother and softer your body feels when you moisturize right after you step out of the shower. Much better than applying lotion to dry skin. Your face is the same. The skin is a lot more absorbent when it’s damp. Keep n mind this is also true for exfoliating acids and retinol. Which means these acids penetrate deeper and faster. This can make these products more effective but it might be a problem for more sensitive skin types. Back to your moisturizer. You can make your moisturizer more effective by applying it while your skin is still damp. Try adding an extra spritz with a humectant rich toner before serum application to increase its efficiency.
A Word About Peptides
Peptides are large protein molecules, when incorporated into skincare creams probably don't penetrate through the stratum corneum. The interesting thing though, about many peptides, is that they are cell signalers. That means that even though they don't penetrate they can however send a chemical message to lower layers, increasing hydration and collagen production. Go figure. So I would not discard the benefit of including peptides in your moisturizer. The same is true for topical vitamins and other antioxidants when they are in there at large enough percentages to make a difference. Vitamins listed at the very end of the ingredient list are probably more effective as preservatives in the product.
Moisturizer is an Essential Step
While it may seem like a simple product, skipping the moisturizing step may mean dull, dry, flaky skin. Here are some suggestions of great moisturizers for your skin type:
Oily Problem Skin: First Light Lotion
Oily Dehydrated Skin: Moisture Balance
Oily Maturing Skin: Creme Radiance
Oily Sensitive Skin: Seawhip Soothing Lotion
Normal to Oily Dehydrated Skin: Moisture Infusion
Combination to Dry Maturing Skin: Hawaiian Seaweed
Combination Maturing Skin: Hydraboost Vitamin Cream
Sensitive Normal to Dry Skin: The Pink Cream
Very Dry Sensitive Skin: Phytolipid Recovery Cream
Very Dry Mature Skin: Intensive Lipid Repair
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.