How to Use the Right Amount of Moisturizer
Posted on 15 September 2016
One of the most common misconceptions about moisturizer, as with most things, is that if a little is good, more is obviously better.
And while slathering your skin in moisturizer might feel decadently good, it might not be doing your skin any favors, says one expert.
According to dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, providing your skin with too many nutrients – such as the lipids and proteins it already has – sends a signal through the saturated cells that skin has enough of those nutrients.
“Moisturizers are formulated from water, lipid, and protein in various percentages,” he said, “Adding these elements to the skin’s surface sends a negative message to the body that the surface has enough of these elements, forcing the body to stop delivering water to the epidermis. Nutrient delivery also stops.”
So What’s the Right Amount of Moisturizer?
The skin can only absorb so much moisture before the barrier layer goes to work like a bouncer and keeps the rest out, leaving it to hover over the skin’s surface where it can clog pores and suffocate skin, exacerbating dryness.
When using a facial moisturizer, apply a nickel-sized portion (advice from WebMD.com) to clean, dry skin, using only enough to lightly cover the entire surface, then gently massage into your skin using a circular, upward motion. (The skin on your face is delicate, and pulling downward can eventually cause sagging skin and wrinkles.) Moisturize twice a day.
When using a body moisturizer, you’ll get the best results if you apply it right after getting out of the shower, patting skin only semi-dry first. This helps lock in the moisture generated by the shower but also help your moisturizer absorb more quickly.
Use only enough to soak into skin, applying extra to trouble areas such as elbows and heels if needed.
What Should I Look for In a Body Lotion?
We likely all have lotions in our possession that we purchased because they came with the promise of soft, supple skin, only to find out that it was going to take a lot more than a bottle of chemicals to bring on soft, beautiful skin.
Buying products with the right mix of ingredients – humectants to attract moisture, emollients to bring hydration and occlusives to help lock moisture in by creating a barrier at the skin’s surface – ensures that you’ll be purchasing an effective produce. Making sure that the ingredients are born from nature ensures it’s safe.
Some essential natural moisturizers include:
Shea butter. This rich tropical nut butter contains the same moisturizers produced by the sebaceous glands in skin, plus it sinks directly into skin, going beneath the surface layer to reach skin cells beneath, where it encourages the production of collagen and elastin. It offers the antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which help fight off free radicals and help fight signs of aging. Shea butter also contains the antioxidant cinnamic acid, which fights aging two ways. First, it protects again damage from UV rays by acting as a natural sunscreen, but also helps encourage the regeneration of skin cells in the dermis, or structural layer of skin, erasing years along with dark spots and other signs of aging.
Beeswax. You likely never think about the skin benefits of beeswax while watching honeybees collect nectar in your garden, but beeswax is the ultimate ingredient to search for when purchasing a moisturizer, because it helps lock in moisture, keeping skin hydrated for a longer period of time. It also acts as a humectant, and attracts water, amplifying your skin’s hydration levels. Along with those big benefits, beeswax contains vitamin A, which supports the turnover of surface skin cells and promotes the regeneration of new ones.
Coconut oil. For softer, more touchable skin, coconut oil is one of the best ingredients on the market. This tropical powerhouse contains saturated fats, fatty acids and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects collagen and elastin from degradation. It also offers protein, which encourages the production of new collagen and elastin skin cells.
For a luxurious moisturizer that helps keep skin looking younger, Senvie’s Organic Body Lotion features organic – that means free from pesticides – versions of shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil.
For more information or to make a purchase, click here.