“I Don’t Use A Moisturizer”

No matter how many times I hear it, the words still give me nightmares. Yet I hear the phrase “I don’t use a moisturizer” all the time. Folks, it does not matter your age, gender, race, skin type, etc. we all need a moisturizer!

Let’s first define what a moisturizer is and is not. A moisturizer is NOT

  • A toner
  • A serum or
  • An OPTION

A moisturizer is designed to balance the oil and water levels in you skin. Over half of your body is water and the natural oils, lipids and ceramides in your skin are what make it soft and movable. We need both to keep skin healthy. Moisturizers can come in the form of lightweight lotions, emulsions, oils, creams, or balms. The texture varies as does the water and oil content depending on your skin’s needs.

Oil free products are water based and ideal for oily and acne prone skin types since they are light weight. Heavier creams and balms have higher oil content and are better for drier skins. No matter what your skin type you do need a moisturizer.

People with oily skin tend to be the guilty party when it comes to not using moisturizer. The argument most often heard is “My skin has lots of oil, I don’t need more” which is true however your skin still needs water. Actually, most patients with oily skin notice their skin becomes less oily over time when they use a water based oil free moisturizer.

Individuals with normal skin are not off the hook either though. I hear a lot of “Well if my skin is normal that means I don’t have to do anything”. Wrong again, that’s like a person saying “Well I’m not obese so I must be healthy” Your skin being neither overly oily or overly dry means only that it doesn’t fall into one of those extremes, but your skin still needs help to stay healthy. It is correct that normal skin typically does not require as much help but some basic maintain to keep it in good shape is still important.

As crazy as it sounds, there are people with dry skin who refuse to use moisturizer. It sounds ridiculous because surely if anyone was willing to admit they need moisturizer it would be someone with dry skin. More often than not people with dry skin are the quickest to give up, they fall into the category of “I’ve tried everything and nothing has worked so I don’t even bother anymore”. Those with dry skin face a double whammy; first their skin does not produce enough oil, lipids and ceramides and second their skin looses water faster because they lack the oils to hold the hydration in their skin. Effectively treating dry skin is a more complicated procedure. First, the skin needs to be exfoliated to remove the layers of dead cells so moisturizers can penetrate the skin. Secondly, both oils and water need to be replenished in the skin. Most people skip the first step and go straight to using the heaviest, thickest cream they can find. If you don’t do step 1, nothing with be absorbed and product just sits on the skin surface until you wash your face. More importantly using a moisturizer with both oil and water based hydration is crucial to restoring balance in your skin.

So in the end we are all the same… we all need moisturizer. Talk to your skin care professional to help determine what will work best for your skin’s needs.