What To Look For In A Moisturizer

Whether you have dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, or normal skin…you have skin! And regardless of skin type, you need to moisturize. Of course, this becomes more apparent as you age, or if you do suffer from dryness, but everyone gets by with a little help from a good moisturizer. The only question is, what should you look for in your search for moisturizers?

There are a few go-to ingredients that do a great job at helping your skin attract and maintain moisture. You’ve probably heard of alpha hydroxy acids and hyaluronic acid, or if not, then you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. All of these play an important role in soft, supple, and healthy skin.

find a face cream with moisturizers that are right for your skin type.

Then there are questions that pertain to your preferences. Do you like the ease of a moisturizing spray or are you looking for an extra creamy wrinkle-fighting formula for the area around your eyes and mouth? Is having something natural, cruelty-free, or vegan important to you? Well, wherever you land on those questions, we can help you keep certain considerations in mind as you shop.

Here are a few things you may want to look for in moisturizers:

See Related: Which is Better: Moisturizing Body Wash or, Body Spray Lotion?

1. Hydrating humectants

A humectant is an ingredient (hyaluronic acid for example) that attracts water to the upper layer of our skin, either from a deeper layer of skin or from humidity in the environment. This moisturizes the stratum corneum, which is the top layer of our epidermis. This skin layer is also called the skin barrier. It maintains moisture balance by protecting the body from too much transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and prevents certain outside elements from entering through the epidermis. Humectants are essential for helping to hydrate the skin barrier.

As mentioned above, hyaluronic acid is one very powerful humectant. It helps plump up cells with moisture so skin is smoother and more supple. Other humectants include alpha hydroxy acids, Aloe Vera Gel, glycerine, and honey.

Having a humectant or two in a face moisturizer means that moisture will be brought to where it’s needed in the epidermis. Of course, if it is drawing it from deeper layers in the skin as mentioned above, then you do need to be sure you are staying hydrated. Be sure you’re drinking the recommended amounts of liquids and eating healthy and hydrating foods.

2. Emollients

Emollients are kind of like the glue that gives elasticity and suppleness to the skin.  They are naturally occurring oils and lipids (which includes ceramides and fatty acids) that fill in gaps between cells, conditioning skin as they do. You can also add emollients back into the skin via skin care products, since they can often become depleted.

Aloe Vera, shea butter, and stearic acid are just a few examples from within the category of emollients. If you see these ingredients listed on the back of your face cream, you’re on your way to smoother skin. Aloe vera actually acts as a humectant as well, and in doing so it pulls double duty in Viviane Woodard’s Replenishing Complex. This hydrating complex delivers anti-aging ingredients deep into the skin. With vitamin E, it softens the skin as it fights against free radical damage. And with avocado oil, another skin softener, it slows signs of aging and even stimulates collagen production. The emollients in this Replenishing Complex work together to provide complexion-perfecting and wrinkle-fighting results. It even helps heal subtle scars and the damage that’s been done to skin over time.

Just as some ingredients can be classified as humectants and emollients, some oils, such as mineral oil and jojoba oil, work as both emollients and occlusives. So let’s move on to those occlusives, shall we?

3. Occlusives keep it in there

In addition to the ones already listed above, lanolin and petroleum jelly are also occlusive agents. Petroleum jelly (more commonly known by its brand name, Vaseline), is by far the most effective occlusive. But what does that even mean? Well, occlusives basically create a protective barrier on the skin that traps in water, thus reducing TEWL. So whereas lanolin and mineral oil decrease TEWL by 20-30%, petroleum jelly reduces it by over 98%.

Of course, covering your face in Vaseline is probably not the best idea for a number of reasons. It might trap in moisture, but it can also be comedogenic and clog pores. Keep it around for those dry heels and elbows, though! You can look up other occlusives to see if they are recommended for facial moisturizers, or if they might irritate sensitive or acne-prone skin. And if you’re not sure, ask a dermatologist.

4. Water-based is better

Because water is a basic component of creating a moist environment, it’s a good ingredient to have in your facial products, especially something you may use daily. It’s often the best beauty choice for various skin types and situations. Our faces often suffer from dehydration, so a helping of H2O along with some humectants, emollients, and occlusives can bring life back to dry skin.

Some signs of aging will begin to fade once you incorporate this type of product into your routine. Fine lines and wrinkles can sometimes stem from not nourishing our skin with the necessary elements. A water-based moisturizer with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents is always a plus, and a good product should be simple to find considering that Viviane Woodard’s entire skincare line is water-based and wonderful.

Viviane Woodard Intensive Hydration Set

A perfect example is Viviane Woodard’s Intensive Hydration Set, which includes the Intensive Hydration Mist and the Intensive Hydration Complex. The mist not only feels refreshing but helps you achieve that dewy look. Rather than greasy cheeks and forehead, you’ll have a healthy glow. You can use it as an afternoon refresher, or spritz it on right before applying the Intensive Hydration Complex. It feels great to spray it on and then smooth the complex on your skin. The rich emollients and antioxidants protect your skin and keep moisture locked in.

Another big benefit is how nicely it absorbs into the skin to create the perfect palette upon which to work your makeup magic. And for those sweaty summer afternoons, it helps keep oily skin balanced and under control.

5. Sunscreen, at some point

It’s not just your mom reminding you to apply sunscreen anymore. It’s your best friend and every board certified dermatologist you’ll come across. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun don’t need much time to do damage to your sensitive skin. In as little as 15 minutes, there can start to be negative side effects from the sun. So if sunscreen is not in your moisturizer or makeup, make sure it’s in your daily routine there somewhere.

You should do what you can to avoid excessive sunlight, and when you know you will be outside, try to wear appropriate clothing and apply sunscreen. As a general rule, you may want to use a product with SPF 30 or more to increase the amount of time you can be out and about. SPF stands for sun protection factor and the number relates to the effectiveness in blocking the sun’s UV rays, with a higher SPF meaning more protection. However, it’s up to you to reapply often, and make sure you’re covering all areas that are exposed.

There are a couple types of sunscreen that work in slightly different ways. Mineral sunscreens stay on the surface and will act as a barrier to prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin. You’ll often see zinc oxide in the list of ingredients for these. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals that interact with the skin when the UV light is absorbed. Ingredients in this type of sunscreen includes oxybenzone, avobenzone, and others. You want to make sure chemical sunscreens are fully absorbed in order to work their magic (or rather, their science), so you may not want to mix it with your moisturizer ingredients. Read this previous post to learn the best way to layer on sun protection with your moisturizer, makeup, moisturizing sprays, etc.

With regular use of sunscreen and being able to avoid the sun between the hours of 10 and 2, you can decrease your risk of damaging skin cells and getting a sunburn. When in doubt, listen to what mom says. No more coconut oil and baking in the sun. Cover up when you can, don’t forget your hat, and remember that sunscreen!

Bonus: What Moisturizer Should I Use Before Applying Makeup?

6. Cruelty-free (because you care)

If you are someone who loves their furry friends and doesn’t want to do them any harm, then you might appreciate a brand that’s cruelty-free. You can look for the little “beauty without bunnies” or “Animal-test free” logo from Peta or just do a little research online to see which companies don’t compromise when it comes to animals.

find a face cream and avoid harming animals at the same time

If you’re not sure how to go about researching all of this and would like a little help finding a shortcut to the best facial products that are both moisturizing and cruelty-free, here’s a hint: go straight to Viviane Woodard. They are committed to not using animals in their testing. Viviane Woodard has many products that are vegan and gluten-free, if that is something important to you. They also support the environment with their commitment to using conscious packaging and minimizing their impact. And speaking of packaging, when you’re looking for face moisturizer, what you really want is…

7. The complete package

Hey, if you’re searching for a significant other, you don’t fall head over heels for just one single quality, do you? No, you want the complete package – or as close to it as you can get. And while that may not be possible when it comes to people, it’s pretty achievable when it comes to skin care. In fact, Viviane Woodard is known for the time-tested Moistrio formulas which each include a cleanser, toner, and the best moisturizer you’ll ever encounter. The three-step system is designed to gently cleanse, prep the pores for moisturizing, and then provide a healthy dose of hydration for the facial area with the final step of face cream.

The marvelous Moistrio products come in three unique formulas: Enriched, Clean Finish, and Balancing. The Enriched Moistrio Moisan Formula I is particularly effective in maintaining the skin’s moisture balance. It reinvigorates and renews more mature and dry skin, improving both the texture and tone.

The Clean Finish Moistrio Moisan Formula II is fabulous for normal or combination skin, keeping breakouts at bay and sending anti-aging agents in there as well. It’s designed as a corrective system. It keeps pores clean by loosening patches of dead skin cells and encouraging cell turnover. Then it unleashes rich antioxidants and vitamins that soothe.

And last but not least, there’s the Balancing Moistrio System 2000 Formula III, which counters congestion and controls excess oiliness while fortifying skin with vitamins and plant extracts. It works well with normal, combination, or oily skin because it brings it all back into balance, as it soothes and softens. And fun fact: the cleanser can actually make a great shaving cream, so this formula is a great choice for men or women.

It’s clearly a beauty brand that has thoroughly thought through the best approach for every skin type. So go ahead and set yourself up with a Moistrio beauty bundle.

viviane woodard water based cruelty free moisturizers

Of course there are other issues to consider when searching for the perfect moisturizer, like: Do I have to refinance my house in order to pay for a monthly supply of the stuff that sustains my facial hydration habit? Ideally, you want something where the price is low and the quality is high. Well, the truth is a lot of drugstore products don’t quite meet the mark, and some luxury brands don’t always deliver on promises. You want skin care – and a company – you can count on.

Viviane Woodard already makes magnificent moisturizers that don’t break the bank, but if you’re someone who really loves a deal, you can check out the products on the clearance page. They even have travel size Moistrio sets that enable you to try out the products for a bit before committing to one formula or another. And now that you know what you should look for in a moisturizer, it’s great to have the opportunity to try something new.

If you’re on super tight budget or are just really into DIY, here is a video that shows how you can make your own moisturizer:

Keep Reading: What is the best facial cleanser for dry skin?

For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.