Seal in the moisture

Moisturisers are important as they retain the water content in your skin, keeping it hydrated at all times

woman applying moisturiserWe often consider moisturising our skin only during winters. The common argument being moisturisers tend to make the skin greasy and messy in other seasons.

But, our skin requires moisture all throughout the year because our skin loses its natural lubricating oils when exposed to external environment and this makes it dry, flaky and prematurely wrinkled, even in younger people .

How to moisturise

After you are done with your cleansing and toning, you must moisturise your face in order to regain the lost moisture. Here’s how to do it the right way:

  • Clean your hands and face before you apply moisturiser.
  • Pat or blot your skin until it’s just barely dry, then apply moisturiser immediately to help trap water in the surface cells.
  • Apply the moisturiser on your face in a circular motion with upward strokes.
  • Remember to apply the moisturiser before applying sunscreen.
  • Do not overuse moisturiser, as it will clog your pores and cause black heads and pimples.

Why it is good

Cleansing and moisturising are the key components to maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Cleansing removes dirt, grime and dead cells. Moisturisers not only increase the skin’s water content, but also protect the skin. It also encourages an orderly desquamation [shedding] process that makes the skin appear smooth.

Moisturisation makes the outermost layer of the skin, softer and more pliant by increasing its hydration. It prevents and treats dry skin, improves skin tone and texture, and masks imperfections.

What it does

Here are some reasons why you must moisturise:

Controls excessive oiliness

When you don’t use a moisturiser, the skin compensates for the lack of moisture by producing excess sebum to form a protective layer on your skin surface. However, this protective layer of naturally produced sebum makes the skin oily. Further, the excess sebum clogs the skin pores, making it difficult for the skin to breathe. This makes the skin dull and lifeless.

Prevents ageing

The sunrays contain harmful UV radiation that penetrate the skin surface and cause inherent damage to the cells. This accelerates the process of premature ageing. It causes damage to the collagen that supports the skin structure.

If the skin is not well-moisturised, it becomes more vulnerable to UV damage, premature ageing, wrinkles and fine lines. However, moisturisers act as a protection cover to the skin preventing damage.

Protects against environmental damage

Although humid locations have plenty of moisture in the air, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to moisturise your skin. Natural body oils seal in moisture, but it cannot replace the moisture lost during the day.

When you apply moisturiser, it forms a protective coating on the skin. This layer prevents dirt and toxic particles from entering the skin pores. It also averts the formation of blackheads, white heads and acne.

How to choose the right one

Choosing the wrong moisturiser can be a skincare disaster, giving your skin a greasy feeling and causing blackheads, breakouts and pimples.

  • A moisturiser labelled oil-free and non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic is a good option. Oil-free products don’t have added oils that give a heavy, greasy feel to the skin. Non-comedogenic products are much less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
  • Moisturisers come with additives like salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acids for acne, Anti-ageing moisturisers contain retinol, vitamin C and E that help prevent pigmentation, thus providing additional benefits along with moisturising effects.
  • Moisturisers that are hypo-allergic, fragrance-free, oil-free, and water-based do not irritate the already sensitive skin. In addition, light water-based moisturisers can help protect skin after washing.
  • In humid weather, moisturisers that contain humectants work best. They absorb water from the air and require a high level of humidity to be effective. Look for urea, glycerine or alpha hydroxy acids in the ingredients list.
  • Moisturisers that are used during the day must contain sunscreen with a sun protection factor [SPF] of at least 15.

If you’re still feeling confused with the huge number of choices available, ask a professional for advice.

Geetanjali Shetty
Dr Geetanjali Shetty, MD, FCPS, DDV, is a consultant dermatologist and cosmetologst specialising in acne, allergy testing,psoriasis, and cosmetological procedures. She lives in Mumbai.


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