It’s impossible to say what the most important element of a skin care routine is, but for many of us, a day without moisturizer is like a day without water. Not only does it feel like the cherry on top of a comprehensive skincare routine, but it’s one of the primary ways to keep the look of those fine lines and wrinkles at bay and your skin feeling and looking its best. For dry or more mature skins in particular, moisturizer is a true lifesaver which is why in this article, we’ll look at what moisturizer actually is, how frequently you should be moisturizing your face, the benefits to moisturizing your skin, and the steps to take before and after moisturizing. By the time we’re done, you’ll know exactly how to apply moisturizer properly for perfect skin!
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways:Generally speaking, moisturizer should be used at least twice a day depending on skin type. Make sure to also include an eye cream in your moisturizing routine as the skin around the eye has little oil and is especially susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles.
Good to Know: Applying moisturizer to slightly damp skin will help increase absorption, allowing the moisturizer to work more effectively.
Recommended Products: Crème de la Cream Moisturizer.
What Is Moisturizer?
Although most of us think of moisturizer as products that simply moisturize the skin there’s actually a lot more to them than that. Moisturizers actually hydrate the skin in different ways and do different things depending on which kind of hydration they provide. For example, occlusive moisturizers form a barrier on the skin to prevent the loss of water from the skin. And yes, we mean a literal, physical barrier. Occlusive moisturizers are great for super-dry and mature skin that might lose hydration easily.
Other kinds of moisturizers include humectants which draw moisture up from the deeper layers of the skin to the top, giving skin a hydrated, healthy look. Humectants include ingredients like hyaluronic acid or butylene glycol.
Finally, there are emollients. Emollients are probably what most people think of when they think of moisturizers as they add moisture to the skin topically. A good example of an emollient is panthenol or cetearyl alcohol.
All of these types of moisturizers are wonderful for soothing the skin, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and preparing skin for make-up or sunscreen and there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use all three in your skincare routine.
How Frequently Should You Be Moisturizing Your Face?
Generally speaking, you should be moisturizing your face twice a day--once at night and again, once in the morning (see below for exact details). That said, you can adjust that depending on what kind of skin type you have or if the season necessitates it. If you have dry or mature skin, you can definitely add a third application during the day (just make sure you don’t do it on top of makeup or sunscreen) or even apply a thicker layer to the skin at night and let it sink in. If you feel like your skin gets drier in winter weather--or even during the dog days of summer if you live in an arid climate--go right ahead and give your skin a little extra hydration.
If you have oily skin, you can still moisturize twice a day (just make sure you’re using a product like our Crème de la Cream that’s made for all skin types), and then pull back just a little if you find yourself in humid conditions or are experiencing breakouts due to hormones, pregnancy, etc. If you have combination skin, you can just add a little extra moisture to the drier parts of the skin like the eye area with a little eye cream.
What Are the Benefits to Moisturizing Your Skin?
The benefits to moisturizing your skin are numerous but one of the biggest benefits is how moisturizer makes your skin feel. If you have dry or mature skin, you know that facial skin can get so dry that it can hurt to smile. A good moisturizer can fix that just about instantaneously. There is no question that moisturizer also seriously helps reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, especially on those delicate areas of the face like the eyes and around the mouth. A moisturizer will also help smooth the skin so that makeup and sunscreen go on evenly and with ease (if you’ve ever tried putting on make-up without it, you know how streaky it can look!).
Steps to Take Before and After Moisturizing
If you’ve read our blog posts before, you know how important it is to use your skincare products in the right order and moisturizer is no exception. Here are the steps you need to take both before and after moisturizing:
- Clean the skin. This step is kind of a no-brainer. You always want to start any skincare routine with nice clean skin. A one-step natural cleanser is an easy way to make sure your skin is free of surface dirt and oil.
- Tone the skin. All it takes is a couple of spritzes of a non-drying hydrating toner to soothe the skin and add moisture. Feel free to take it on the go with you and spritz throughout the day, especially in the summer!
- Apply serum. Those in the know understand that serum is really the secret sauce for bringing skin from “good” to “great.” All you need is a few drops of a vitamin C-filled brightening serum to make skin look incredible.
- Moisturize the skin--with both moisturizer and eye cream. It’s at this point that you should moisturize your skin and keep in mind that means both a hydrating moisturizer and a great eye cream for the delicate area around the eyes. Pro tip: Apply moisturizer before your toner and/or serum have been absorbed. Applying moisturizer to wet skin will help it absorb better and be more effective.
- Apply sunscreen. No matter what kind of skin you have, and even what the season is, you must apply sunscreen at this stage. Taking care of your skin each day and not protecting it with sunscreen is like buying an expensive alarm system and then not turning it on when you leave the house. Sunscreen will help keep your skin young looking better than just about anything else on the shelves.
Keep in mind this routine should be done once in the morning and once at night with a few little adjustments (like skipping cleansing in the morning occasionally if you have really dry skin).
How to Apply Moisturizer
One of the great things about moisturizer is that you don’t need anything special to apply it at all. Just use your (clean) hands to dab it on to your skin and then gently massage into your face. It’s not a bad idea to just apply a surface layer without massaging it completely into your skin first so you can see if you’ve missed any spots.
So that’s the skinny on how to use moisturizer! There’s really not much to it at all--the main thing is that you’re consistent and you listen to what your skin needs in terms of extra hydration. Follow these steps and we think you’ll find your skin will look substantially more hydrated in no time at all.