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by Carmen Kubista
Moisturizers are far more complex than for which they get credit. Truly great moisturizers contain a trifecta of humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Stay with me, now…
A humectant is an ingredient that attracts water into the skin. Examples include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or the much-revered snow mushroom extract. These humectants draw just the right amount of water to your skin, creating a more youthful, supple glow.
Emollients penetrate the skin and essentially fill in the gaps between flaky or cracked skin. Some examples of emollient ingredients are plant-derived squalene, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. The signature benefit of emollients is soft, smooth skin.
But wait, there’s more! Moisturizers also contain larger molecule ingredients — called occlusives (like shea butter, avocado oil, cocoa butter, or allantoin) — that sit on the surface and serve to lock in moisture and prevent critical water from escaping the skin.
Surprisingly, many people don’t use a moisturizer regularly. (Hey, I won’t judge from my holding-it-all-together-with-one-bobby-pin seat.) Many people think that using a moisturizer is only necessary if you have dry skin. But what I’d like you to know is that skin needs constant hydration support, and more importantly, skin craves consistency.
Consistently using a moisturizer means that your skin will be more balanced. It will also be better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you — a sharp winter chill, a less-than-perfect day of drinking H20, a hot summer wind, Wine Wednesday — come what may!
If you regularly let your skin run dry, you are not only depriving it of the ability to deal with oncoming threats, but you are also setting up the perfect storm for acne and accelerated aging.
My recommendation? Find a complete moisturizer (like Story’s Moisturizer) and try using it regularly, whatever that means to you. You’ll find your stride and I bet you’ll notice consistently more soft, supple skin, and a healthy glow.
founder of story skin care, wife & mom
by Carmen Kubista