Before there were serums, facial oils, and cream cleansers, there were moisturisers—the grandparent of the skincare world. If you're not using moisturiser, you're missing out on several great benefits.
Moisturisers are a blend of three primary types of skin-conditioning ingredients, each offering different benefits. There's a great deal of variety in the 'moisturisers' category, with each product having a slightly different balance of these three ingredients.
|Ingredient||How it works||Best suited to|
|Humectant||Water magnet that attracts hydration to skin and locks it in, e.g. glycerine or hyaluronic acid||Oily, dehydrated skin|
|Emollient||Conditions skin by softening and soothing, e.g. rosehip seed oil or shea butter||All skin types|
|Occlusive||Creates an invisible, breathable barrier atop skin to halt hydration loss, e.g. beeswax or mineral oil||Dry, damaged skin|
You can see that humectants, emollients, and occlusives act in different ways to provide ultimate skin conditioning. Moisturisers hydrate, repair, revive, and replenish skin's store of anti-ageing antioxidants to increase its resiliency.
Why you need moisturiser: free radicals
Every day, your skin defends itself against environmental stressors. It does this quietly and effectively. Over time, you'll see the accumulation of daily stress.
Your skin has a vital supply of natural antioxidants, ingredients that interrupt the ageing effects of stressors such as UV light and air pollution. These reserves replenish themselves naturally, and the speed at which they do this depends on your health, diet, well-being, and age.
Moisturisers aid skin by providing a secondary supply of antioxidants. Using a moisturiser increases your skin's resiliency and the grace with which it ages. Just be sure to use one suited to your skin type:
|Skin type||Recommended moisturisers|
Why you need moisturiser: artificially controlled environments
Modern inventions bring with them modern challenges. Have you experienced the skin-dehydrating effects of a long-haul flight? the dryness caused by air conditioning? skin changes caused by central heating?
Hydrated skin is healthy, resilient, and adaptive. Dehydrated skin is dull-looking, slow, and unhealthy, as if your skin is suffering a hangover.
Exposure to climate control depletes skin's hydration levels, reducing the health of your complexion. Moisturiser reverses the negative effects of controlled environments.
Why you need moisturiser: exposure
You may have noticed that skincare aisles place significant focus on your face. That's because facial skin is constantly experiencing daily stressors. For the most part, your upper arms, torso, and legs are kindly protected from the elements by your clothes.
Areas of skin that are exposed on a regular basis often need help to maintain their barrier function. Moisturiser protects against dehydration, dryness, infection, and ageing.
With all these reasons to use moisturiser, you may be bursting to grab a jar and slather some on. Before you do, be sure to read our Ultimate Guide article, 'When is the best time to use moisturiser?'