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Moisturizer, what is a good moisturizing treatment
You’ve probably been advised to moisturize your skin — by friends, family, your dermatologist or the many advertisements for skin care products — but you may be wondering why moisturizers are so important. The basic function of moisturizers is to help treat your skin when it’s dry and prevent it from drying out again. Moisturizers do this by holding water in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. But they have other functions as well. They can help protect your skin from the environment — applying moisturizer creates a barrier on your skin that keeps oils from escaping and harmful outside elements from causing dryness or irritation.
There are numerous moisturizers on the market that are formulated to treat many different skin types, including normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin. People with normal skin need a light moisturizer that contains natural oils, whereas people with dry skin may require heavier lotions with humectants to lock in moisture. For those with oily skin, there are oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizers, which won’t clog pores. And people with sensitive skin should look for moisturizers that are fragrance-free and contain few ingredients.
However, avoid moisturizing your face with the lotion you use on your body — this could cause skin irritation or breakouts. For example, the oil-based lotion you use on your knees and elbows could clog pores on delicate facial skin and cause acne.
Skin moisturizer ingredients can be divided into three categories: humectants, emollients and preservatives. Humectants, such as urea, glycerin and alpha hydroxy acids, help absorb moisture from the air and hold it in the skin. Emollients, such as lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum, help fill in spaces between skin cells, lubricating and smoothing the skin. Preservatives help prevent bacteria growth in moisturizers. Other ingredients that moisturizers may contain include vitamins, minerals, plant extracts and fragrances.
The emollient part of moisturizers can be oil-based or water-based. Oil-based emollients are heavier and may leave a residue on your skin, so they’re best for people who have dry skin that needs intensive moisturizing. Water-based emollients, on the other hand, are lighter and less greasy, which make them ideal for people with normal, oily or acne-prone skin.
If you want to avoid using moisturizers made from animal-based additives, such as animal fat, beeswax and milk protein, look for vegan or environmentally friendly skincare lines that contain synthetic moisturizers or vegetable glycerin.
Now that you understand how moisturizers keep your skin soft and smooth, read on to learn about the different types of moisturizers.
Many people with oily skin avoid using moisturizers because they think it’ll just make their skin oilier. However, the oil on your skin seals in moisture — it doesn’t replace the moisture you lose, especially as you age. In addition, many people with oily skin also have acne — which occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog pores — and acne treatments can often dry out skin. If you want to maintain a clear complexion and keep your skin moisturized, use an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer.
Noncomedogenic moisturizers won’t clog your pores and are less likely to cause acne breakouts than regular moisturizers. Their name comes from the word “comedones.”
Comedones are hair follicles that enlarge when they fill with dirt and oil — they appear as blackheads or whiteheads on the skin. When comedones become inflamed, they can turn pink or red and fill with pus — these are the pimples normally associated with acne.
Noncomedogenic moisturizers may also be called nonacnegenic moisturizers, especially if they’re specifically designed to treat acne Noncomedogenic moisturizers have a lighter feel than regular moisturizers, and many are oil-free, so they won’t leave additional oil on your skin. Most labels will advertise if a moisturizer is noncomedogenic or oil-free. If you have acne, doctors recommend using all noncomedogenic products, including moisturizers, cleansers, shampoo, makeup and sunscreen.
Moisturizers help keep skin smooth and healthy, but they also provide protection from harmful irritants in the environment. Read on to learn how moisturizers protect your skin.[space height=”30″]
In a way, all moisturizers work to protect your skin: They add moisture to the stratum corneum, and they form a thin barrier designed to retain that moisture. Still, there are some moisturizers that are more effective at creating that protective barrier. As the outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum protects your skin from irritants such as chemicals, free radicals and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This part of your skin works hard to protect you, and using a protective moisturizer can help keep your stratum corneum healthy Protective moisturizers often contain occlusive emollients, antioxidants and sunscreens. Occlusive emollients are ingredients that add a layer of oil to the top of the stratum corneum to prevent water loss and protect skin.
Antioxidants fight free radicals, the unstable molecules that occur from sun exposure and pollution that can destroy skin’s collagen. Protective moisturizers typically contain sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect skin from the sun’s UV rays. These rays can cause sunburn, wrinkles and skin cancer.
Keep reading to learn about specialized moisturizers you can use to treat wrinkles, stretch marks and other skin problems.
Whether you want to fight wrinkles, fade stretch marks or fake a sun-kissed glow, there’s a moisturizer for you. One of the most common specialized moisturizers is anti-aging cream. Anti-aging creams typically contain collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help keep your skin toned and flexible. While these products may temporarily plump up wrinkles, topical creams can’t replace the collagen and elastin from your skin’s deeper layers.
Other ingredients designed to help smooth out wrinkles include alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, vitamin C, copper peptides and coenzyme Q10. Alpha-hydroxy acids help lift the top layer of dead skin cells to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and these acids may also stimulate collagen production. Retinoids reduce wrinkles and repair sun damage, and vitamin C can increase collagen production and protect skin from UV rays. Copper peptides stimulate collagen production, and coenzyme Q10 reduces fine lines and provides protection from sun damage.
Many of these anti-aging ingredients can also be found in toning and firming lotions. Coenzyme Q10 is used to improve skin’s texture and reduce cellulite, and studies show that copper peptides smooth and firm skin. Lotions that contain dimethylaminoethanol can also help firm skin and fight wrinkles by fighting free radicals and lifting sagging skin.
Although there are over-the-counter moisturizers that claim to get rid of stretch marks, doctors say they’re not particularly effective. However, some research shows that creams containing tretinoin, an acid that rebuilds collagen, may improve the appearance of stretch marks that are less than six weeks old and still pink in color. If you’re serious about banishing your stretch marks, you may want to look into stronger treatments like dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatment — but always talk to your doctor first.
As an irony for vegetarians, most Emulsifiers which are not vegetable based are produced from pig fats. So even if you avoid eating pig fat, you will absorb it from cosmetics. The only way to avoid this is to make the Creams yourself. The declaration regulations don’t require manufacturers to declare the source of the emulsifiers, just their chemical names, and you can’t always tell from these if they are from pig fats or not. So, if you’re vegetarian or Muslim or want to avoid pig fat for other reasons, you won’t know what’s in the cream unless you can trust the source.
There are just a few officially qualified organic Emulsifiers in the market so to claim creams are 100% organic is misleading. There are ingredients that come close but are still not organic. The true picture is much more complex and requires a good understanding of raw materials. Some raw materials that are currently used in commercial skin care products and cosmetics need to be avoided.
To make a Cream or Lotion it is necessary to use an Emulsifier. Mixing oil with water is not possible without using Emulsifiers. They enable two usually non-mixable ingredients to mix together to produce Creams and Lotions; or in the food industry, margarine and mayonnaise. We believe an Emulsifier should be sourced from natural ingredients such as vegetable oils and other vegetable-based raw materials. Unfortunately, Nature provides us with only a few Emulsifiers such as lecithin and egg yolk and these don’t always perform consistently enough for commercially available cosmetics products.
The best ones for natural skin care products have up to now been derived from coconut oil and palm oil. More recently, rapeseed has been used as a lot of this crop is grown in Europe. They are safe to work with and are even used in the food industry. VE and MF emulsifiers are used as emulsifiers in the production of vegan ice cream in Scandinavia. Aromantic’s VE Emulisfier is produced from palm oil and our MF Emulsifier is now produced from rapeseed and palm oil. MF was formerly produced from coconut and palm oil. They can be eaten and are very safe to use. The palm oil is from a sustainable source approved by the Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil.
There are two Emulsifiers used in popular products, which can be harmful. The first is Borax (INCI name Sodium Borate). Research in Denmark and Sweden has shown this substance to be carcinogenic. It is forbidden to use these ingredients on children in Scandinavia, as it is known to cause anemia. Borax is easy to use and helps to bond fats with water – but extended use of products containing Borax will dry out the skin, making it brittle. According to Danish medical reports, Borax can penetrate the skin, cause powerful irritation and can even cause cancer! Studies of Swedish steelworkers who handle large quantities of Borax would seem to corroborate this fact. It should not be used in Skin Care products.
The other Emulsifier to avoid is Triethanolamine (TEA). It is produced within the petroleum industry and has been used for several decades (and continues to be used) within the cosmetics industry to support emulsification. This chemical is severely irritating for the eyes and skin. It penetrates the skin and can cause liver damage. In addition to this, when combined with nitrate ions – normally found in drinking water and many meat products – it produces a carcinogenic substance, Nitrosamine. It should never be used in Skin Care products but is regrettably, very common.
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