The basic role of any moisturiser is to help keep water in our skin, but a good one will contain a mix of emollients (moisturising ingredients), humectants (a substance that bonds to water molecules) and occlusives (moisturisers that form a film on your skin to trap moisture).
Together, this trio will do the trick when it comes to hydration, but the ideal moisturiser will also contain active ingredients that do more than just moisturise, so your skin can reap maximum rewards.
Active ingredients could include antioxidants to protect you from the damaging effects of free-radicals, anti-inflammatories, or collagen-encouragers (Vitamins A, C and E, for example, can do all three of these things). The presence of ‘extras’ will determine whether your moisturiser of choice is ‘active’ or not.
Let’s break things down, shall we?
Emollients help hydrate, smooth and sooth. Ceramides, are a prime example. These waxy, lipid molecules (made up of fatty acids and sphingosine) are naturally present in the skin’s outer layer.
At Skin Renewal, you’ll find ceramides in the following:
Another prime example of a good emollient is niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3), found naturally in foods like meat, milk and eggs. When used topically, hydrating niacinimide also plays a role in minimising the appearance of pigmentation.
At Skin Renewal, you’ll find niacinamide in the following:
Humectants hydrate by attracting water that’s already in your body and then bind to it, to hold it within your skin. Good examples include glycerin, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid.
One of the most commonly used humectants in skincare is glycerin. It can either be synthetically derived or found naturally in the lipids (fat cells) of animals or vegetables. At Skin Renewal, you’ll find glycerin in wide array of our products including those from SkinCeuticals, a brand that only uses vegetable-derived sources (SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 contains a 15% concentration of glycerin!).
One of the best humectants, however, in terms of potency, is hyaluronic acid. It occurs naturally in your body and can hold 1 000 times its own weight in water. This is why it’s used in injectable fillers like Juvederm to plump up specific areas.
At Skin Renewal, you’ll find hyaluronic acid in the following:
·Lamelle Dermaheal Ultra Renewal cream
Lactic acid, found naturally in sour milk, isn’t just hydrating. It’s also an alpha-hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate by dissolving the bonds between old, dead skin cells.
At Skin Renewal, you’ll find lactic acid in the following Neostrata products:
Occlusives are the ‘skin sealers’. They form a film on the surface of your skin to prevent moisture from escaping and prime examples include oils like coconut, jojoba and olive; lanolin, and Shea butter. It’s important to choose your occlusive ingredients carefully because cheaper types, things like petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can be comedogenic (blackhead forming).
At Skin Renewal you’ll find high quality, non-comedogenic occlusives in the following products:
If you need help in identifying your skin type and the moisturiser that is most suitable to your skin, contact your nearest Skin Renewal clinic and have a skin consultation with one of our well-trained therapists.