Basic Skincare, Part 4: Moisturizers
*Written by Rachel Smith. Edited by Casey Martin.
Now that you’ve figured out your skin type and have learned how to properly cleanse and exfoliate your face, we need to talk about using moisturizers. Every skin type needs to be moisturized in some way after every cleansing. There are many different types of moisturizers for all skin types and conditions, but you have to be aware of how something as simple as the consistency, or oil to water ratio, may affect your skin. Also, how and when you apply your moisturizer can help you maximize the benefits of this final basic skincare step.
So, why do we have to moisturize our skin after cleansing? Washing your face disrupts something called the “acid-mantle barrier”, which is essential for keeping your skin properly hydrated, preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), and maintaining the balance of oil production. So when you disturb this natural layer of protection without replacing what you’ve stripped, your skin goes into a response mode and does the only thing it can do to try and replace it quickly.. produce more oil. How? Simply put, this phenomenon is controlled by hormones, and hormones are a secretion regulated by the body itself. What your body CAN’T do is produce more water. So you’re left with an overproduction of oil to compensate for the lack of water, thus the “grease pit” and “oily skin problems” begin. Even normal skin types can start to seem problematic, dry/combination skin becomes aggravated, and havoc is wreaked on already oily skin causing pores to clog and stretch and the skin to breakout. By keeping your skin’s moisture and oil levels balanced, you can avoid this disaster and end up with nothing but supple skin with less visible pores and wrinkles and a nice, natural glow.
Now, you’re probably picturing your favorite beauty counter or nearest drug store filled wall to wall with skin products...how in the world are you supposed to choose?? This is where knowing your skin type will help (see our previous post to find out yours). First and foremost, let’s start with the importance of a daily moisturizer that includes SPF, which should be applied every day, no matter the weather, after cleansing and before any makeup. We at Pin-Ups use an exclusive line called “theBackBar”, which offers an SPF moisturizer packed with skin-loving ingredients, less fillers, and less “junk”, making it perfect for any skin type. We recommend using just a pea-sized amount mixed with a small drop of water and applying it in an upward and inward circular motion (as any skin care product should be applied, really). A product like this is also gentle and safe enough to use at night, especially if you have sensitive skin and have trouble finding a good night moisturizer. (A sunscreen at night..?! Yes, you read that right).
If you prefer to get more specific and based on your skin type, the options out there can be overwhelming. Creams are specifically designed for dry skin, as they are heavier in oils to help replace whats missing from this rarer skin type (usually reserved for mature skin). Products like moisturizing gels are for oily skin types, hence the all-water base product with no oils. But buyer beware.. if you use this, you will need another step for applying your SPF, as you won’t find it in a gel. And while we’re here, let us take a second to say oils are NOT bad for oily skin, it just depends on the types used (another great post to come!). Our personal favorite go-to for oily skin and combination skin is to take a lightweight and quality water-based moisturizing SPF, like theBackBar, and apply it to a clean but still wet face. What you’re doing is using the extra water to add even more hydration to the skin and then trapping it underneath with the light oil-phase already contained in the moisturizer, thus resulting in one of the best things you can do for skin- adding water from the outside in. And for normal skin, well.. you can pretty much get away with any basic water-oil emulsion, you lucky dog.
Properly moisturizing after each time you wash your face is absolutely essential and the key to keeping your precious skin looking and feeling its best. This post wraps up the four part series on our thoughts, research, and recommendations for basic skin care. Throughout the next few weeks we will be delving deeper into care dealing with specific skin condition do’s and don’ts. In the meantime, feel free to send suggestions or questions to us via our Facebook, Instagram, or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.