No matter what your skin type - dry, oily, combination, or acne prone - maintaining a healthy moisture balance is extremely important. Proper moisture prevents dry, flaky skin, and is the first line of defense against fine lines and wrinkles. Typically, people reach for a moisturizer when they live in a dry climate or when winter rolls around, but dry skin can be an anywhere, anytime issue. It can even be a result of showering too much or using a harsh, oil-stripping soap. We can all benefit from using a daily moisturizer, but equally as important as using one, is finding the right one.
Facial moisturizers are classified as cosmetics, which means there are very few marketing regulations imposed upon companies. Walk through the personal care aisles and you may be tempted to pick a moisturizer boasting argan or coconut oil on its label. While these are great ingredients, it is important to not take them at face value; there could be other not-so-great ingredients lurking in the formula. A quick survey of common moisturizers returned a long list of artificial and potentially toxic ingredients sitting right next to the argan and the coconut oil.
One of those not-so-great, yet commonly used ingredients is Propylene Gylcol, a chemical alcohol that acts as a preservative, humectant (meaning it aids in retaining moisture in the skin), and carrier agent. As a carrier agent, Propylene Gylcol has the ability to alter the skin's pores and work itself deep inside. Companies champion this ingredient because it takes other ingredients with it on its journey in the skin, but depending on the formulation that's not always a great thing. It could be helping introduce potentially toxic ingredients deeper into your skin. Look instead for an ingredient called Propanediol. Look for Propanediol that is plant derived.
Another moisturizing myth is petroleum-based products. Contrary to popular belief, commonly used mineral oil has no moisturizing properties of its own. It acts as a barrier, creating a protective layer on the outer layer of the skin. This barrier will lock in whatever moisture is underneath, giving off the appearance of moisturized skin, but it will also lock in any dirt, sweat, or bacteria that may exist as well. This barrier will also deter any added moisturizing or beneficial ingredients in your product, or from other products you use, from penetrating into the skin.
But how do you find a moisturizer that has enriching qualities without being harmful to your health? Here are some organic skin care tips to help you keep your skin balanced and healthy:
- Look for products with moisture-rich ingredients like Jojoba oil, Almond Oil, Black Seed Oil, Marula Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Camellia Oil, or Argan Oil, like our Carrot Facial Dream Cream, Tinted Moisturizer, Nighttime Antioxidant Serum, or Daytime Antioxidant Serum.
- Avoid products made with mineral oil, as it will keep moisture and other good-for-you ingredients from reaching your skin.
- Avoid products made with alcohols, which can be drying.
- For those with oily skin, don't over exfoliate. Using a toner too often can strip skin of natural oils and cause skin to produce even more oil.
- Check the toxicity of your product by checking out how the Environmental Working Group ranks it. Look for EWG Verified products and download the EWG’s Skin Deep mobile app or visit their website to discover any ingredient of concern.
- Feed your skin from the inside out to keep your skin hydrated. Of course drinking lots of water is a great way to introduce moisture, but eating fruits and veggies can do the trick, too. We start each morning with fresh pressed juice or smoothie, which is a tasty way to pack your system with water and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Dry skin can sneak up unexpectedly, so be proactive keep a moisturizer in your daily routine. Apply a moisturizer each morning before your makeup application, and one after you cleanse at night for optimal results.