Actually, moisturizers include products that stop the epidermis from being dehydrated which aids in increasing the life of the skin cells. The moisturizing products available in the market do much more than that. Whether the cream defends the skin against environmental damage depends on the substances such as humectants, fragrances and emollients used in it. Many skin care formulations profess to achieve all of the above.
The primary step to choosing the perfect moisturizer for your face is finding out what goes into the moisturizer. Once you know a few basics you can use that knowledge to what you know of your skin type and make an educated decision when you stumble into the sea of face moisturizers.
Emollients are substances that fill the areas between cells in the skin. Skin issues are caused due to the loss of lipids from the skin, emollients restore the lipids in the skin improving the skin texture. Oil and water based emollients are available but most of the moisturizers on the shelves today have water as the primary ingredient. Products with oil as the main product are long lasting but they give the skin an oily look. The usual emollients are lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum.
Humectants behave like water magnets imbibing the moisture from the air and using it to replenish the skin. Softening thick or scaly skin is what humectants are most useful for. Some general humectants are glycerin, urea, and alpha hydroxy acids.
Fragrances are included to mask unpleasant odor of some of the other ingredients. Essential oils are also used to incorporate the benefits of aroma therapy. It is fragrances that are the main cause of most skin allergies experienced after using new creams.
Preservatives are another necessary ingredient used in moisturizers. Water and oil based substances are likely to get spoilt once the container has been opened due to bacterial contamination, preservatives are required to avoid this. Usually more than a single preservative is included. Some skin allergies or reactions can be caused by preservatives.
Apart from these essential ingredients vitamins, minerals, sun screens and a myriad of other elements may be included. Claims are made concerning many effects that have no scientific basis. Cosmetics are not expected to pass an identical effectiveness testing as food and drugs by the FDA.
Buy your moisturizer depending on your skin type, age and special skin conditions. When trying to find a moisturizer that suits your skin type and makes your skin soft, please understand that there is no association between effectiveness and price. You may use many brands before finding one you prefer so start with small quantities.
Skin can be categorized into 5 different types. Dry or oily spots are not seen on normal skin. For people with normal skin a light weight water based moisturizer is the best. Cetyl Alcohol or cyclomethicone are the general elements in these types of preparations. For dry skin an oil based cream to make skin hydrated is called for. Urea and Propylene glycol are the general ingredients in oil based products. Oily skin needs a water based product labeled "noncomedogenic." This type will not block pores which would cause acne. Artificial Color and fragrance are not used in items used on sensitive skin. Older skin necessitates the use of oil-based petrolatum rich moisturizers that have lactic acid or alpha hydroxy acids.