What is a moisturizer? Whether moisturizer for oily skin or moisturizer for dry skin, a great moisturizer should reduce water loss from your skin, increase the water content, and bring out the youthfulness of your skin.
The more the water content in the epidermis (the first layer of your skin), the more youthful and wrinkle-free your skin will be.
What actually make up the 5 important groups that you should have in your moisturizer? You’ll get to know shortly.
5 Groups That Make Up the Best Moisturizer for Your Skin Care
- Emollients: Emollients help to preserve the water content of your skin. They also eliminate the tight-feeling, dry skin by lubricating the skin. Emollient fill the cracks between clusters of dead skin cells with alcohols and molecules of fatty acids and alcohols.
We have 2 types of Emollients:
- Oils: Oils are majorly the carrier oils extracted by the cold or hot press. They give the moisturizing feeling to the skin. Examples are Castor oil, Jojoba oil, olive oil, Coconut oil, and many other oils
- Phospholipids: They are contained in both plant cells and living human. Examples are soybeans and Lecithin
- Humectants: Every best moisturizer must have humectant as part of its ingredients: whether Oil free moisturizer, moisturizing cream or lotion, and even serums.
Humectants attract moisture from the air by bonding with water molecules and then releasing water gradually. Examples are sorbitol and glycerin.
- Emulsifiers (Surfactants): Emulsifiers are usually organic salts with a straight molecular structure where one end is Oil loving (lipophilic) and the other end is water-loving (hydrophilic).
The most commonly available ones are the Emulsifying Wax, which is derived from the chemical manipulation of Palm oil. They are usually available at a concentration of 6% to 15% by weight. Other examples are Cetyl olivate, Cetyl glucoside, Cetyl alcohol, lecithin, Beeswax, etc.
- Penetration Enhancers: This group allows your active ingredient in the moisturizer to be absorbed into the skin. They are the Essential Oils and WATER.
- Active Ingredients: These are ingredients that are added to your moisturizer to provide a solution to some skin problems or to shield your skin against environmental effects.
There are 5 types of the Active Ingredients:
- Antioxidants: They prevent some amount of the oxidative damage that depletes and destroys the skin’s structure and functions while also preventing some of the degenerative effects in the skin caused by sun exposure. Examples are vitamin E, vitamin C, green tea, Grapeseed extracts, Q10, etc.
- Skin-Identical Ingredients: They keep skin cells connected and help skin maintain its fundamental external structure. Examples are hyaluronic acid, amino acids, Lecithin, glycerin (from humectants), antioxidants (Yes, antioxidants), etc.
- Cell Communicating Ingredients: These moisturizing ingredients instruct the skin cell to look, act, and behave better, more like a normal, healthy skin cell would, or to stop other substances from commanding the skin cells to behave abnormally or badly.
Some examples are Adenosine Triphosphate, Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), etc.
- Anti-irritants: They allow the skin to heal while also bringing a soothing effect to the skin. Examples are Grapeseed extract, vitamin C, licorice root, Chamomile extract, willow herb, allantoin, etc.
- Sun Protectors: These are added to your moisturizer (lotion, serum, moisturizing cream, Oil free moisturizer, moisturizer for oily skin, moisturizer for dry skin, etc.) to shield your skin from the harsh effect of the sunlight (read more about sunlight). Examples are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, etc.