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First up, when it comes to choosing a moisturiser, there’s two things to consider: skin type and skin concern. Your skin type will determine the weight of the product; whether it’s lightweight, or rich in texture. The skin concern(s) determines which key ingredients and results you want to see from the product. Moisturisers come in a range of different formats from balms to lotions and you need to find the right one for your skin type. The basic rule is to try and balance your oil production: the more oil on your skin naturally, the less richness you need in your moisturiser to balance everything out, and vice versa if you produce less oil you can go for something heavier.
Regardless of skin type, we all generally have the same concerns when it comes to our skin (think: dehydration, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation or redness), so there’s generally always a way to tackle every concern for each skin type.
If you have a higher level of oil production, you are considered to have oily skin. You probably know the signs: the biggest being by the end of the day you’ve got some shine happening and you’re reaching for the blotting paper. Other oily signs include your skin feeling fine when leaving the shower, or after cleansing. Your best bet is to apply lightweight lotions or creams because they won’t overdo it on the oil front.
If you’re oily and also deal with one or more of the following skin things…Dehydration: Try Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream, which is basically skin rejuvenation in a jar. It contains sodium hyaluronate (which is the salt form of hyaluronic acid) which attracts and draws water into the skin, which is pretty a fancy way to say it’ll hydrate. Plus, it’s got a decent dose of aloe vera to soothe skin that’s been whipped by gusts of whatever winter is serving up right now.
Fine lines and wrinkles: Korres’ Black Pine Antiwrinkle, Firming & Lifting Day Cream - Normal/Combination Skin has been designed with oiler skin types in mind. It’s lightweight but still packs plenty in it, including peptides which communicate with surrounding skin cells to help activate numerous skin-restorative processes—including collagen production and tissue repair—that lead to an improvement in skin elasticity and softening of fine lines. It also contains black tea, which is incredibly rich in antioxidants to protect the skin against harmful free radicals (those pesky molecules that cause fine lines wrinkles, discolouration and inflammation).
Pigmentation: Hit those sun spots and hyperpigmentation with a hefty dose of vitamin C. As the name suggests, Perricone MD’s Vitamin C Ester Photo-Brightening Moisturiser contains vitamin C ester which is a melanin inhibitor that brightens hyperpigmentation and improves the look of skin over time. Then there’s alpha lipoic acid—a potent antioxidant that works over time to minimise the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and enlarged pores. Plus, it’s oil-free.
Redness: Skyn Iceland The Antidote Cooling Lotion will give irritated or stressed out skin a break thanks to the inclusion of white willow bark (it’s got strong anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritation and inflammation in the skin) and a skin-cooling mint derivative to reduce redness in the face. Apply this first thing in the morning for a refreshing wake up call for your skin.
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Your skin sits somewhere in the middle of all of this. You may find your face never really feels overly oily or dry, and your skin feels comfortable about 20 minutes after cleansing, however after about an hour you might feel a little tight. You pretty much don’t over or under produce oil, and you skin behaves itself. For balanced skin types, a medium weight cream is usually the best kind of moisturiser, as you’ll get the nourishment you need without overloading your skin. You have normal skin and also deal with one or more of the following skin things…
Dehydration: Goldfaden Vital Boost is a good everyday moisturiser that feels comfortable and absorbs into the skin nice and quick. It’s got plenty of hyaluronic acid—which boosts the skin’s water content from within—and squalene, an ingredient with a very similar structure to the natural sebum produced by the skin, so it acts as an emollient, locking in hydration for the day.
Fine lines and wrinkles: Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair Moisturiser uses the power of peptides, sodium hyaluronate and an exclusive blend of ingredients formulated to provide immediate hydration and increase the look of firmness. It ticks all the boxes.
Pigmentation: Kat Burki Vitamin C Face Cream contains 15 percent of stabilised vitamin C for brighter skin and green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to reduce any irritation and inflammation that can make hyperpigmentation darken. It’s especially great for hyperpigmentation caused by acne.
Redness: Chantecaille’s Magnolia, Jasmine and Lily Emulsion is inspired by traditional Chinese Medicine, using a blend a therapeutic botanicals that are linked with strengthening the skins' natural defence system. Plus, a blend of Japanese honeysuckle and Siberian cocklebur fruit improve visible redness and moisturise ski
If your skin feels tight or uncomfortable after cleansing or showering, looks dry at the end of the day and is prone to flakiness, then you have dry skin thanks to a lack of oil production. Dry skin will benefit from richer creams and balms, as they have a higher lipid or oil content to replenish the skin.
If you have dry skin and also deal with one or more of the following skin things…
Dehydration: LaLa Retro Whipped Cream Drunk Elephant is a cult favourite moisturiser for a reason, recently reformulated with even more skin-loving ingredients, it’s a must-try for parched skin. It’s packed with plant derived ceramides to help soothe and maintain the moisture balance of skin, plus an African oil blend rich in vitamins and omegas to further strengthen the skin’s barrier.
Fine lines and wrinkles: Enter Cosmetics27 Baume 27. One of the hardest working moisturisers on our shelves, this innovative hydrator is made with a plant ingredient called centella asiatica—used in Ayurvedic medicine medicine for more than 3,000 years, it’s been proven to stimulate collagen synthesis and boost micro-circulation, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The creamy formula also contains a specialised blend of oils, extracts and emollients that help to comfort stressed out skin and repair cells. It’s the real deal.
Pigmentation: Verso Night Cream is retinol, but not as you know it. It contains something called Retinol 8, which is a potent derivative of vitamin A, which acts as a cell-communicating ingredient (and antioxidant). It pretty much instructs damaged skin cells to make healthier cells. Said to be eight times more effective than regular retinol but with even less irritation, it’s a great cream to treat hyperpigmentation, as it speeds up cell turnover so you shed the dead, dull and pigmented cells faster. Another winning ingredient in this one is turmeric, it’s got powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it the perfect side kick to retinol, as it ensures the skin stays happy and calm while retinol goes to town on that pigmentation.
Redness: Tatcha’s Indigo Cream has been designed for extra sensitive skin in mind, even eczema sufferers can benefit. It uses colloidal oatmeal (to soothe dry or irritated skin) and a number of active ingredients help provide anti-inflammatory relief. Tryptanthrin is a nitrogen-rich compound known to help flush away toxins and irritants. Indirubin is a dynamic isometric compound that supports the skin’s natural barrier function. Fun fact? Years ago, Japan’s samurai wore a layer of indigo-dyed cotton beneath their armour to help heal injuries.
If you have a mixture of the oily and dry symptoms mentioned above, then chances are you have a combination skin type. Typically, combination skin will have an oilier t-zone and dryer cheeks—this is due to a higher number of oil glands around the t-zone compared to the cheek area. For this skin type you can use lightweight creams or richer creams, and just apply more or less in certain areas of the face.
If you have combination skin and also deal with one or more of the following skin things…
Dehydration: You don’t often hear of marine algae in skin care, but Dr Dennis has harnessed it in his Hyaluronic Marine Moisturiser. Marine algae is rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins, which enhance skin’s elasticity and moisture content. It’s a gel-cream formula, so keeps that combination skin happy—not too heavy, not too light.
Fine lines and wrinkles: Darphin Exquisage Cream is a velvety cream that harnesses a peptide derived from corn sugar called aceytl-hexapeptide to stimulate the production of collagen and help smooth lines and wrinkles. It’s got a “second skin” texture, creating a non-greasy veil that’s suitable for all skin types.
Pigmentation: In addition to skin-brightening vitamin C, Juice Beauty Green Apple is powered by malic acid, it’s an alpha hydroxy acid derived from green apples that gently exfoliates dull skin to reveal a brighter, more even skin tone. Alpha hydroxy acid also ensures that the vitamin C can penetrate deep into the skin and isn’t being blocked by dead skin cells.
Redness: Kate Somerville Goat’s Milk Moisturiser is soothing and nourishing making it ideal for redness and irritation. Goat’s milk has a similar pH level to that of human skin, which means that using goat’s milk can help balance skin’s microbiome. There’s avocado and grape seed oils in this one too, which are rich in omega 6 and help strengthen the skin’s barrier by replenishing its lipids.
Words by Emily DeaconAugust 2019