There was a time when cosmetics and skin care products companies relied on packaging and advertising to appeal to the women who purchased their products. As the number and availability of those products have increased, women are becoming more savvy and they are making intelligent decisions as to which skin care products to purchase, and particularly, which of those products are the best face moisturizers for women. Rather than paying attention to the superficial appeal of the advertising and marketing of those products, women are looking at the fine print on product labels for specific ingredients in their facial moisturizers that have been shown to make an objective difference in product quality and performance. The following five ingredients have been shown to correct facial dryness and to help retain the youthfulness and elasticity of facial skin.
Dimethicone is a primary ingredient in many oil-free facial moisturizers. Women who are concerned with excess oiliness on their face should use moisturizers that include this ingredient. Dimethicone is a very light emollient that forms a protective layer over skin to help moisture retention and to create a supple feel without contributing to the oiliness of the skin. Many people confuse the terms “emollient” and “moisturizer”, but informed consumers have come to understand that they are not the same thing. A moisturizer will add moisture to a user’s skin, whereas an emollient will help skin retain its own natural moisture. Dimethicone falls clearly within the definition of an emollient and it has been shown to be an effective ingredient in good-quality face moisturizers for women.
Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in everyone’s skin, but like many skin components, the relative amount of hyaluronic acid in skin gets depleted with age. Some facial moisturizers now include this ingredient as a replacement for the amount that disappears with aging. Hyaluronic acid is considered to be a humectant, which is a hybrid category that lies somewhere between moisturizers and emollients. Humectants bond with water molecules in a person’s skin and increase the skin’s total water content. When used in facial moisturizers, humectants improve the skin’s suppleness and smoothness by increasing the relative concentration of water that remains bonded into facial skin. Humectants are considered to be “hydrophilic”, which means that they have the capability to attract water from humid environments and to absorb water from the outer layers of a person’s skin. Some research has suggested that hyaluronic acid can hold many times its weight in water, which accounts for the extra plump appearance that this ingredient can give to skin.
Glycerin (or glycerol) is another humectant ingredient that acts like hyaluronic acid. Glycerin is a natural compound that consists of water-soluble fats and sugars. It is found in virtually every living plant and animal. Glycerin protects human skin by forming an outer barrier that draws moisture from deeper layers of skin and keeps surface skin from becoming too dry or flaky. Some skin care products use glycerin in combination with other ingredients as a cleanser and toner. In addition to helping your facial skin look and feel soft and supple, glycerin can also help your nails from drying out after you remove a layer of polish. You can also apply glycerin to heels and elbows to counteract dryness and cracked skin.
Petrolatum is a form of petroleum jelly. It is also another emollient ingredient that is found in quality face moisturizers. Women with dryer facial skin will appreciate the moisture-retention and protective qualities of petrolatum. This ingredient both prevents moisture loss and smooths and hydrates older skin cells that may accumulate on a facial surface. Women with normal to oily skin should avoid petrolatum, as it may exacerbate oiliness and create an appearance of greasy skin. Women who would benefit from a petrolatum-based facial moisturizer should look for a product with good consumer quality ratings, as poor-quality petrolatum ingredients may include components that can harm skin.
Ceramides are a form of a fatty tissue molecule that are naturally found in high concentrations in skin cell membranes. Skin scientists have long known that ceramides are responsible for supporting skin cell walls, and that increasing ceramide concentrations in facial skin can promote a more youthful appearance with reduced skin sagging. Ceramide also forms a barrier that holds moisture in skin while protecting it from dirt, pollution, and other environmental skin stressors. As your skin ages, it loses its natural concentrations of ceramide. As a result, some facial moisturizers include ceramide compounds to rejuvenate aging skin.
Skin care products that are designed to remedy specific problems with facial skin might include other ingredients. For example, puffy eyes and dark circles under eyes might respond favorably to sunscreens with zinc dioxide or titanium dioxide, or to emollient moisturizers that include concealers to blend natural, lighter skin tones into eyelids and areas below the eyes. Women who are susceptible to “T-Zone” facial skin issues, in which the T-shaped section of skin that extends over their eyes and perpendicularly down through their nose is oilier than skin on their cheeks and jawlines, may benefit from facial moisturizers that include a combination of ingredients.
The good news for women is that skin care specialists have improved their knowledge of facial skin and have utilized that knowledge to offer face moisturizers with ingredient lists that allow women to make intelligent decisions regarding their facial care routines. Please contact us for more information about different facial moisturizer ingredients or for assistance in selecting a face moisturizer that includes the best ingredients for your facial skin.