Complete Skin Care - Hydrate
Dr. Bailey’s Complete Skin Care Routine: Step 3. Hydrate
Why do you need to use a skin moisturizer?
Healthy skin is optimally hydrated to hold just the right amount of water to remain supple and strong. Different complexion types and different sites on the body need a different degree of hydration to be their healthiest. It takes a different moisturizing product to attain this. Dial this in with your hydration step.
Know that many products in your other skin care steps may multitask for you by containing hydrating moisture-binding ingredients. For example your sunscreen may also be a hydrating skin cream. Your antiaging glycolic acid cream may too.
How do skin moisturizers work?
Moisturizers trap water in your outer skin layers to maintain skin hydration. They work best when applied right after toweling skin dry from bathing or washing with water because they can trap the water your skin soaks up when it is wet. They often work by blocking evaporation by coating skin with oil, petrolatum or a butter like shea butter.
You can get even more benefit if your moisturizer contains a humectants (something that bind water), or an ingredient that acts like a water substitute in the skin (such as components of the skin’s NMF or natural moisturizing factor) to keep skin plump and supple. Excellent NMFs include glycerin, urea and NaPCA.
What are the best skin moisturizing ingredients?
Oils and butters. My preferences include botanical oils that contain healing properties of their own like coconut, avocado, apricot, olive, sunflower oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, etc. Petrochemical oils such as mineral oil and petrolatum have great scientific evidence as healing moisturizers too.
- Hyaluronic acid
- Components of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF) such as sodium PCA
How do you know if you need a skin moisturizer?
Everyone does. Your skin is especially prone to dryness if you are over 55, live in a low humidity climate, expose your skin to harsh soaps or chemicals, use strong exfoliating anti-aging skin care products or acne products, and if you have a rash such as rosacea or eczema.