By Janet Thompson –
We all know that moisturizers are a key component of basic skin care, and that they should be used on our skin after each cleansing and toning. This practice is key to keeping skin healthy and youthful – along with staying out of the sun. Moisturizers provide immediate protection especially if your skin tends to be on the dry side.
The function of moisturizing compounds is to trap moisture in the superficial skin layer of dead keratinized cells. They work to keep water and necessary moisture from evaporating from the skin, thereby maintaining hydration, and improving the appearance and tactile properties of dry and aging skin.
So what's the best way to get the most out of your moisturizer? Here's a few tips I've learned over the years of being an Esthetician that will help.
Cleanse your skin, lightly mist toner, and THEN apply your moisturizer. Applying moisturizer when your skin is dampened with toner will actually hydrate your skin much more effectively. The moisturizer will pull in the toner to hydrate and plump the skin. Hydrated skin looks fresher, wrinkles less, and has more elasticity. Do not apply moisturizer to dry skin without using toner first – you will create a barrier that actually locks out the moisture, and your skin will become drier.
- Use moisturizer on your neck and chest area. Many people neglect these areas. As we age, these are the areas that tend to have the largest sized wrinkles. Why? Because they’re exposed to the sun more frequently. Always apply moisturizer in a gentle, upward motion.
- Allow your moisturizer to absorb into your skin before you apply your foundation. I find that if I don't allow 5 to 10 minutes after applying moisturizer, my liquid foundation literally slides off my face. If your skin feels slick or oily after 10 minutes, blot it with a tissue, or lightly dust your face with a mineral powder makeup/ loose finishing powder before you apply liquid foundation. This will absorb any moisture left on the surface of your skin.
In the winter months, apply moisturizer first, then sunscreen. During the summer months, use toner and sunscreen, and skip the moisturizer. Most of my clients find that a moisturizer AND a sunscreen is too heavy and leaves their skin feeling greasy. When you sweat, the sebum in your pores lubricates the skin and helps keep it in balance. Unless you have extremely dry skin, skip the moisturizer in the summer. NEVER skip the sunscreen!
Oil is not a moisturizer. Although it makes our skin feel better temporarily, it can actually do more harm than good. Oil puts an occlusive shield on our skin. If your skin is dry when you apply oil, it will lock in the dryness, leaving your skin even more dehydrated. You're inhibiting the skin's' ability to absorb moisture. Most oils tend to sit on top of the skin because of their molecular size – it's too large to be absorbed into the pores of the skin. This is why some oils feel greasy. If you partake in outdoor winter activities, a light oil (jojoba) is fine to use OVER your moisturizer. This type of occlusive layer works well to keep your skin protected and reduce evaporation while exposed to the elements.
Our skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects us from germs, bacteria, and other harmful toxins in our environment, so take good care of it. If you don't, where else are you going to live?
Janet Thompson is the Owner/Esthetician of Spa La Vie Organic Skin Spa, located at 40W484 Rt. 64, Wasco, IL. 630-485-2788. SpaLaVie.info. Janet loves helping people achieve their skin care goals – the natural way.