If you thought that only dry skin needed moisturising, think again. Moisturisers are integral to any skincare routine, and keeping your skin happy, hydrated, and nourished is the first step to a radiant and healthy glow. Using the right moisturiser every day is a sure-fire way to ensure that.
Sure, your other skincare products might come and go, but skipping your moisturiser should never be an option. It has, after all, been a mainstay in skincare routines for decades and continues to be so even today.
In fact, layering your serums, mists, and actives with a moisturiser to lock it all in only doubles up their efficacy and boosts the benefits for your skin. It restores the elasticity and softness of the top layer of your skin while protecting its barrier function.
So, if you find that perfect moisturiser for yourself, never let it go. And if you’re still on the hunt for the ideal one for you and your skin type, read on to know more.
How to choose the best moisturisers for your skin type?
Much like any other skincare product, you should always use a moisturiser that’s ideal for your skin type and helps you deal with any skin concerns you may have. Using one that’s not meant for your skin may not necessary have adverse effects on your skin, but it won’t solve your biggest skincare woes. Here’s how you can choose one according to your skin type.
If you have dry skin, you should opt for rich moisturisers that are cream, oil or milk based. It should be ultra hydrating and have nourishing ingredients in its formulation.
People who have oily skin should opt for a non-comedogenic and lightweight moisturiser. Water and gel-based formulations work the best for such skin types.
Normal or combination skin
People with combination or normal skin will benefit the most from moisturisers that are neither too heavy and oily nor too watery. A light to medium-weight hydrating moisturiser like the L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Face Cream (Buy it for SGD 48.95 on Amazon) should be your go-to.
If you have sensitive skin (that is also acne-prone or dry), a mild, barrier-repairing moisturiser with soothing and skin-loving ingredients like aloe vera would work best for you. You must avoid products that are infused with harsh ingredients, chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes. Always opt for non-pore clogging and hypoallergenic moisturisers that are gentle on the skin like the Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator (Buy it for SGD 79 on Sephora).
Types of moisturiers
There are three different types of moisturisers that one should know about before choosing the best one for themselves.
Humectants are ingredients that attract and draw out moisture from the environment to the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis and lock it in. They keep the skin replenished and feeling hydrated. Moisturisers with humectants include hyaluronic acid, glycerin and chemical exfoliants like lactic acid.
Emollients are oil and lipid-based moisturisers that are designed to improve the skin’s texture and appearance. They work by filling in the crevices and gaps in the skin barrier to lend a softened and smooth texture. Such moisturisers are formulated with ingredients including jojoba oil, rosehip oil, cocoa butter, ceramides, shea butter and even collagen (that’s known for its anti-ageing properties).
Wax, silicone or oil-based, such moisturisers act as a physical barrier on the skin to prevent water loss. Recommended for extremely dry skin, these moisturisers are thicker in consistency and heavier than others. Beeswax, lanolin, petroleum jelly and silicones are some of most commonly used occlusives.
What is the difference between natural and other moisturisers?
Natural moisturisers typically include natural ingredients available in your kitchen that help in keeping your skin hydrated and nourished when applied topically. Some of these ingredients include honey, coconut oil, aloe vera, olive oil, shea butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and argan oil.
As for other moisturisers that are available on the market, they include formulations that are developed to cater to different skin types and concerns. While they could be a mix of all-natural and vegan ingredients, they can also have a blend of chemically derived components to work for your skin without harming it negatively.
How to use a moisturiser?
A moisturiser should always be applied on a cleansed face as it prevents the skin from drying out. This means you should use a moisturiser both in the morning and at night after you’ve washed your face with a cleanser. Additionally, using a moisturiser on slightly damp skin increases its effectiveness as it seals in moisture.
Here’s a list of the best moisturisers depending on your skin type
(Hero and featured image credit: Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm/Getty Images)
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- Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
- L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Face Cream
- Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
- Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
- Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
- Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Emulsion EX
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
- Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
- Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel
- Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Moisturiser
- Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturiser
- Dermalogica Cooling Aqua Jelly
The Lait-Crème Concentré by Embryolisse is one of the best moisturizers as it does more than just hydrate the skin. Besides nourishing it, this cream also works as a cleanser, a primer under your makeup and a soothing after-sun and aftershave-protect.
Formulated with aloe vera, beeswax, shea butter and soy proteins, it leaves the skin feeling plumper and restores its moisture barrier while diminishing the appearance of fine lines. It is ideal for both the face and body and suits the most sensitive skin types.
Image: Courtesy Embryolisse
Enriched with five percent shea butter to deliver instant comfort and 24-hour hydration is the L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Face Cream that’s developed for sensitive and normal to combination skin. While it has a lightweight texture, the moisturizer has also been tested under extreme urban conditions to ensure its efficiency in keeping the skin nourished. It takes care of your skin even when it’s exposed to the harshness of environmental stressors like pollution and temperature changes.
Image: Courtesy L’Occitane
Suitable for dry to mature skin types with conditions like dullness and dryness, The Dewy Skin Cream by Tatcha is highly moisturizing. It is infused with antioxidant-rich Japanese purple rice that lends a dewy and healthy glow to the skin. Offering plumping hydration, this cream can also be used by people with combination skin who desire a moisturizer with a rather rich texture.
Image: Courtesy Sephora
The Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is a protein moisturizer that contains a potent blend of signal peptides, supportive amino acids and pygmy waterlily for immediate improvement in skin tone, texture and firmness. It replenishes and restores the skin back to its healthy state for younger and revived look. It reduces fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage while strengthening the skin. 100 percent free of silicones, essential oils and fragrances, it is also vegan and cruelty-free.
Image: Courtesy Sephora
Penetrating deep into your skin and lasting for 100 hours to lend a dewy glow is the Clinique Moisture Surge. It’s an oil-free gel-based formula that provides all-round moisturization to the skin, owing to its combination of ingredients. It’s made with aloe bioferment, hyaluronic acid, activated aloe water and vitamin C and E that together infuse the skin with moisture, retain it and keep the skin hydrated and plump.
Additionally, the Auto-Replenishing technology helps the skin in creating its own internal water source to keep rehydrating itself. It is dermatologist- and allergy-tested, making it safe for even sensitive skin.
Image: Courtesy Clinique
This is an anti-ageing and resilience-boosting lotion that nourishes the skin with the rejuvenating power of Sulwhasoo’s unique GINSENOMICS formula that minimises the visible signs of ageing. Suitable for all skin types, it has a rich and intense, milky texture that feels soft and supple on the skin and spreads smoothly to lock in the moisture. It offers long-lasting hydration and also improves the skin texture.
Image: Courtesy Sephora
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is a fresh lightweight moisturizer that gets absorbed into your skin instantly. It locks in abundant hydration in the deepest layers of your skin, providing hydration for up to 72 hours. It also aids in strengthening the skin barrier and leaves a smooth, firm, plump and nourished effect on the skin. It is suitable for all skin types.
Image: Courtesy Neutrogena
Calming and reducing skin redness and irritation to leave it more balanced, the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer by Biossance is weightless and ultra-hydrating. Infused with sugarcane-derived sustainable squalane oil and probiotic technology, it restores the skin’s health and radiance while also reducing the effect of daytime stressors. It also helps in minimizing pore size, smoothing the skin’s rough texture and brightening it. It is free for harmful chemicals, is cruelty-free and is also non-comedogenic.
Image: Courtesy Biossance
With a lightweight and gel-based formula, this moisturizer by Paula’s Choice provides ample hydration to the skin while also keeping it refreshed and rejuvenated. To be used as the last step of your night time skin care routine, this skin saviour also helps in minimising the appearance of pores while defending against environmental stressors with the antioxidants. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it delivers a softer and younger-looking skin and is ideal for oily skin that needs nourishment.
Image: Courtesy Shopee
Offering a smooth and healthy-looking complexion, the Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer by Dr Dennis Gross is lightweight and suitable for all skin types. While the squalane and ceramides in the formula replenish and support the skin’s natural moisture barrier, the AHAs and BHAs promote a smooth, soft and even skin. It has a lightweight, oil-free texture that blends easily on the skin and leaves a plump, dewy finish.
Image: Courtesy Sephora
Made for oily and combination skin, the Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer by Ole Henriksen is a non-comedogenic skincare product that does a lot more than just providing hydration to the skin. It has a lightweight formula that delivers an instant, refreshing nourishment to the skin while its fresh eucalyptus fragrance invigorates the skin and the senses. It has a blend of BHAs and LHAs that detoxify the skin while minimising the appearance of pores and controlling excess sebum production. It also smoothes fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture and target dark spots.
Image: Courtesy Ole Henriksen
Dermalogica’s Cooling Aqua Jelly Moisturizer is a weightless hydrating cream that’s suitable for all skin types. However, it is a great moisturizer for oily skin that leaves your skin dewy and nourished but not shiny. It’s water-like texture is super hydrating and contains retinol-like bioflavonoid complex that helps in reducing excess oil and refining the skin. It also has hyaluronic acid that retains the moisture in the skin and Blue Tansy flower oil and brightening blueberry extract that calms and soothes it while providing antioxidant benefits.
Image: Courtesy Sephora
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Any moisturiser that’s formulated with skin brightening ingredients like vitamin C and niacinamide can give you a radiant and glowing look. You can also invest in moisturisers infused with highlighters for that perfectly dewy makeup finish.
Answer: Since skincare does not work on the one-size-fits-all principle, which moisturiser is best and more effective than others depends on the type of your skin and its concerns. While some people can be allergic to a natural ingredient, others’ skin might react to chemicals. However, you can always ensure that your moisturiser, like any other skincare product, is formulated without harsh toxins, alcohol and artificial dyes and fragrances. Also, do a patch test on your forearm before applying any natural ingredient or a product to your face and wait for 24 hours to check for any allergic reactions.
Answer: Generally, moisturising twice daily post cleansing (in the morning and at night) is considered a standard and reasonable practice. However, if you have extra dry or flaky skin, you may need to moisturise it frequently as compared to someone with oily or combination skin. This also holds true during winter or when the humidity drops. Even then, over-moisturising can have adverse effects on your skin, especially if the moisturiser is not non-comedogenic and oil-free.