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  • Writer's pictureSarah Walsh

Sarah's Skin School: Moisturizer for All Skin Types

When it comes to skincare, moisturizing is often seen as a step that only those with dry skin need to worry about. However, the truth is that moisturizing is crucial for every skin type—whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin. Here’s why:

Moisturizers play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin by ensuring it stays hydrated, protected, and functioning optimally. Scientifically, moisturizers work by creating a barrier on the skin's surface to lock in moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Moisturizers typically contain three main types of ingredients: humectants, which attract water to the skin (e.g., hyaluronic acid, glycerin); emollients, which smooth and soften the skin by filling in gaps between skin cells (e.g., oils, lipids); and occlusives, which form a protective layer to seal in moisture (e.g., petroleum, silicone). This combination of ingredients not only keeps the skin hydrated but also helps to repair and strengthen the skin barrier, protecting against environmental damage, irritants, and allergens. Additionally, moisturizers can deliver essential nutrients and active ingredients, such as antioxidants and peptides, which can improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, and support overall skin health.

Moisturizers for Different Skin Types -- How Do I Choose?

Dry Skin

For those with dry skin, moisturizers should be rich and hydrating to replenish moisture and restore the skin barrier. Look for products containing emollients and occlusives like shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients help to attract and retain moisture, creating a protective barrier that prevents further water loss. Creams and balms are typically more effective than lotions for dry skin.

Oily Skin

Contrary to popular belief, oily skin still needs moisture to stay balanced. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers that hydrate without clogging pores. Gel-based moisturizers or oil-free formulations containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and niacinamide are ideal. These help maintain hydration while regulating oil production and minimizing the appearance of pores.

Combination Skin

Combination skin requires a balanced approach to moisturizing, addressing both dry and oily areas. Lightweight, hydrating lotions or gels that contain a mix of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and squalane can provide hydration without making the oily areas greasy or the dry areas too dry.

Normal Skin

For those with "normal" skin (AKA: skin that is neither dry nor oily), maintaining a healthy balance is key. Lightweight lotions or creams with a blend of different ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and jojoba oil can help maintain hydration and skin health. By understanding your skin’s unique needs and selecting products with suitable ingredients, you can ensure that your skin stays hydrated, protected, and resilient. Regular moisturizing not only improves your skin’s appearance but also enhances its overall health and function!

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