Consistently using a moisturizer or lotion is one of the most important parts of a daily anti-aging regimen.
Moisturizers help hydrate your skin and protect them from the damaging effects of the sun and elements.
How though do you choose the best moisturizer for your skin?
We’ve put together a basic guide to help you understand some of the biggest questions to ask about moisturizers and identify some things you should look for.
Why You Need to Moisturize
A lot of people, especially men, almost never use a moisturizer. This is a major mistake.
The human body is about 60% water. If your skin is consistently dried out it’s going to age faster and generally feel rougher than properly lotioned skin.
If you live in a dry, cold or windy climate it’s even more important that you properly moisturize. Heat and wind are your skin’s natural enemies. They remove more moisture over time and can leave your skin looking dull, tired, and lined.
If you wash your face regularly but don’t lotion you’re making the situation much worse. Face washes remove sebum, the natural oil of your face, and can leave your skin vulnerable to dryness.
Lotions vs Creams vs Moisturizers
In the skincare world, there’s a major debate between the use of lotions, creams, and moisturizers. Lotions are generally the most affordable while creams are marketed as the most effective and nutrient packed.
The truth is a bit more complicated. Price alone won’t tell you whether your moisturizer is high-quality. Even very expensive creams with buzz-worthy ingredients like collagen or snail mucus may fail as basic moisturizers.
If you only plan to use one product a lotion is your best bet. They contain more water than do creams or other moisturizers and do the best job of hydrating your skin. Many lotions lack added ingredients but will often contain things like antioxidants. These work to prevent free radicals in your skin that accelerate the effects of aging.
Something like body butter is perfect for everything but your face. They have a densely hydrating formula that helps soften and protect your skin all day long.
Are Natural Lotions Worth It?
Reducing chemicals and processed ingredients is a major goal for many consumers. With lotions though, you may be better off going with the old school brands. In theory, natural and organic lotions are made with traditional ingredients without all the potentially damaging chemicals and artificial ingredients of major brands.
In practice, though the natural lotion and beauty market is almost totally unregulated. Anyone can label their lotion as natural without any accreditation process.
A natural lavender body lotion could be made by Vermont homesteaders in small batches, or it could be rebottled from the same manufacturing line that produces the store brand available for half the price.
Even lotions that are made from all natural ingredients are often less effective than more modern ones. Olive oil is commonly used in natural lotions but actually encourages water loss from the skin.
If you absolutely want to go natural with your beauty routine you need to spend the time researching your products.
Scented or Unscented
Choosing between scented or fragrance-free is a big choice for many people. The scent of a nice lavender body lotion adds a splash of class to your day but for many people can be a bad idea.
Some people have fragrance sensitivities. Most are mild and cause things like tearing up, gentle skin reactions, and light coughing. In severe cases, though they can cause migraines, respiratory distress, or significant skin problems.
Thankfully this is a very small percentage of people. Other than those with fragrance sensitivities scented lotions and creams are much more delightful than unscented ones.
Moisturize Early and Often
Moisturizing your skin to prevent aging only works if you keep at it. The best way to do this is to create a daily regimen of care and follow it religiously. This makes it second nature to protect and hydrate your skin and can help reduce the effects of the sun, wind, and heat on your face and other exposed skin.
Whether you’re using a quality lotion or a pricey moisturizing cream make sure you don’t skip days often.