Image credit: Kim Hee-Seon for DHC Korea Commercial
We all know that moisturizers are a key component of basic skin care and they ought to be applied to our face after each cleansing and toning as one of the crucial steps to keeping skin youthful and healthy. Moisturizers provide an immediate relief especially to dry skin and some are said to have anti-aging properties. But do we really know how moisturizers work and the best ways to optimize them?
If you look up information on moisturizers, you will find that moisturizers are used to restore the barrier function of the epidermis, cover tiny fissures in the skin, provide a soothing protective film, and increase the water-content of the epidermis.
The function of moisturizing compounds is to trap moisture in the superficial skin layer of dead keratinized cells. They work to keep water and necessary moisture from evaporating from the skin, thereby maintaining hydration and improving the appearance and tactile properties of dry and aging skin.
So what should we know about the application of moisturizers to make it work for our beauty regime? Here, I’m just going to touch on five dos and don’ts which I’ve come to learn over time.
1. Apply moisturizer to damp skin immediately after cleansing.
You may have read about this but you may not know why this is important. Applying moisturizer to a damp face helps to lock in the water from the upper layers of the skin, preventing evaporation. If you’re using a toner, always leave your toner damp before applying your moisturizer as the cream will help seal the hydrating benefits from the toner deep into the skin. Which is why it is always recommended to apply your moisturizer straight after cleansing your face. Don’t apply your moisturizer onto a dry face as it wouldn’t be able to trap in the excess moisture. But don’t apply to a wet face either because your cream will just slide off your skin.
2. Don’t apply moisturizer around your eye area.
I know some have said they do this all the time and it makes no difference. However, it should be noted that the skin around the eye area is different from the rest of the face. Moisturizers can be too rich and some can cause the growth of oil seeds if used on the eye area. In addition, the formulation of moisturizers can cause the delicate skin around the eye area to retain fluid and become puffy. So stick to a eye cream instead.
3. Don’t use a moisturizer with SPF at night.
While it is not really necessary to use a separate night cream to moisturize, one of the reasons why you would is because you might be using one with SPF protection. A moisturizer or lotion with SPF should only be used in the day for obvious reasons. Apply it in the night and you risk having your pores clogged in the long term.
4. Extend your moisturizer to your neck.
Remember to use your moisturizer on your neck as well, applying in an upward stroking motion. Most people tend to neglect their necks in their beauty regime but applying moisturizer is probably the most basic you can do.
5. Let your moisturizer dry before applying your foundation.
I always find that my foundation becomes streaky when I’m in a hurry. I realized that the trick is to always wait at least 5 to 10 minutes for the moisturizer to dry before putting on my foundation. Alternatively, I sweep a dry brush over my face before applying my foundation. The same applies when you apply sunscreen to your face.
I am aware that these tips aren’t rocket science but still, I know many women aren’t completely optimizing their moisturizers or using them the right way. Well, at least I know I didn’t at the beginning and I’m still learning along the way.