Nothing beats a moisturizer for keeping our skin well hydrated. But moisturizers can serve a treatment too, if you choose the right one for your skin type, since key ingredients in moisturizers target specific conditions. Here’s what to look for.
Dry, flaky skin
Look for: hyaluronic acid, shea butter
Dry skin needs a moisturizer that can be easily absorbed and offer serious hydration. Hyaluronic acid is a natural, powerful humectant (moisture-magnet) that binds water to the skin. Derma E’s Hydrating Night Creme with Hyaluronic Acid plumps and rehydrates skin overnight. Another potent moisturizer is unrefined shea butter, rich in fatty acids that keep skin soft and supple. Try evanhealy’s Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf to soothe and re-moisturize extremely dry skin.
Look for: squalane
Although it may seem like moisturizer is the last thing oily skin needs, just the opposite is true. Drying ingredients used in acne and oily skin products often make the skin produce even more oil to compensate for the oil loss it detects. Squalane, a naturally occurring lipid in plants, is a good remedy since it looks and feels like a light-weight oil, isn’t greasy and balances oil production. Sanitas’ Oil-Free Moisturizer contains squalane, is non-comedogenic (won’t cause breakouts) and leaves a non-shiny finish. Another one to look for: MyChelle’s Oil Free Grapefruit Cream, which combines squalane with sea buckthorn and rooibos extracts to help repair acne-damaged skin.
Look for: peptides, antioxidants
Peptides are big news in the anti-aging arena, known for their ability to stimulate collagen production and decrease the look of wrinkles. Together with antioxidants, which combat free radicals that accelerate aging, these ingredients bring radiance to mature skin. Sanitas’ PeptiDerm Moisturizing Cream’s high concentration of peptides and antioxidants helps renew elasticity, reduce fine lines and intensely hydrate. MyChelle’s Supreme Polypeptide Cream offers a blend of natural botanicals and potent peptides that get rave reviews for giving skin a more youthful appearance.
Sensitive or Irritated skin
Look for: calendula, chamomile
Skin that is easily irritated needs pure, calming ingredients. Calendula eases inflammation and chamomile soothes itchy skin (and relieves sunburn). Evanhealy’s Blue Chamomile Day Moisturizer blends chamomile with argan oil and elderberry flowers to gently hydrate and calm sensitive, allergic or inflamed skin. Jurlique’s Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturizing Cream uses chamomile, calendula and echinacea to restore optimal hydration levels and comfort irritated skin.
Dark Spots or Discoloration
Look for: citrus extracts, licorice extract
Natural botanicals can work more safely and effectively than strong pharmaceutical drugs in lightening skin discoloration from aging or sun damage. Licorice slows melanin production and lightens dark spots. Unshiu citrus peel extracts (from tangerines and mandarin oranges) stops the enzyme that causes skin darkening. Find it and plum extracts as the effective lighteners in Jurlique’s Purely Bright Day Moisturizer. Licorice, vitamin C and bearberry extracts fade age spots and help even skin tone in Derma E’s Skin Lighten Natural Fade & Age Spot Cream.
Talk to an esthetician at Pharmaca about your skin’s needs—and which moisturizer is right for you.