Moisturizers are probably the most unglamorous yet crucial step to our skin routine since dry skin can lead to a whole slew of DO NOT WANTs like slow barrier function, inflammation, and ultimately *gasp fine lines and wrinkles. Moisturizers can be divided roughly into 3 categories of ingredients that work together to maintain moisturized skin.
Humectants: Water loving ingredients that help hold water within your skin such as glycerin, urea, lactic acid, etc.
Emollients: These are typically oils, dimethicone, or esters like isononyl isonanoate, soften and smooth skin
Occlusives: Even fattier substances that can’t penetrate the skin and instead sit on top of the skin to seal in moisture and prevent water loss. Some common occlusive ingredients are petrolatum, butters/waxes, and heavier silicones.
Now some ingredients can even have multiple benefits. For example, panthenol (provitamin B5) is both a humectant and emollient, while dimethicone can function as both an emollient and occlusive.
Getting the right balance for your skin is key to winning the moisturizing game, so what’s your holy grail moisturizer? Now that it’s summer, any changes to your moisturizer? #happymonday #playinghooky #moistmaker #moisturizer101