While moisturizers also protect sensitive skin, improve skin texture, and conceal imperfections, their first task is to prevent and treat dry skin. A moisturizer’s basic function is to hold water in the outer layer of the skin. Most moisturizers are water-based lotions, creams, gels, and serums that contain humectants (ingredients that draw water into the skin) like glycerin, lactic acid, or urea, and emollients (which smoothens the skin) like lanolin, sunflower oil, and jojoba oil. The most suitable moisturizer for you depends on your skin type, your age, and whether you have certain conditions, such as acne.
Dry skin: If your skin tends to be flaky, itchy, or rough, it is said to be dry skin. In such cases, a heavier, oil-based moisturizer containing ingredients like lactic acid or lactic acid and urea, which help retain water, is most suitable, For extremely dry and cracked skin, ointments with petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) is better, since they work for a longer time than lotions, and are thus more effective at reducing water loss.
Normal skin: If your skin is not too oily or too dry, it is said to be normal skin. In such cases, a water-based moisturizer containing lightweight oils or silicone-derived ingredients like cyclomethicone are most suitable. These moisturizers have a light, non-greasy feel.
Oily skin: If your skin has a sheen, is greasy, and is prone to acne breakouts, then it is said to be oily skin. In such cases, a light moisturizer lotion containing a higher percentage of water than creams should be used, especially after using skin care products that remove oils and dry the skin. Such moisturizers should be labeled non-comedogenic, meaning they will not clog pores, and in case your skin is extremely oily, using a sunscreen would be more preferable than a moisturizer. In case your skin is more acne-prone, do not use products containing petroleum jelly, coconut oil, or cocoa butter.
Combination skin: In your skin has areas that are dry and oily, then it is said to be combination skin. In such cases, a medium-weight lotion with broad-spectrum sunscreen would be better.
Sensitive skin: If your skin is prone to itching, irritation, redness, or rashes, then it is said to be sensitive skin. In such cases, a moisturizer with soothing ingredients like chamomile or aloe is most suitable. Such moisturizers should be labeled as hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and for sensitive skin, and do not use products containing acids.
Mature skin: Your skin becomes thinner, drier, and less elastic as you grow older, and this is referred to as mature skin. In such cases, an oil-based moisturizer containing petroleum jelly would be the best choice, as it helps retain more moisture. Moisturizers with antioxidants or alpha hydroxy acid would be suitable for preventing flaky and scaly skin. Many anti-wrinkle creams are often moisturizer-based.