The Importance of Knowing Your Moisturizers

How Does Moisturizing Benefit our Skin?

As the summer months approach rapidly, its important to hydrate proactively! Moisturizing our skin not only helps us to achieve a flawless, healthy appearance, but it also provides a primary barrier of defense for our skin.

Just because you’re using a lotion daily doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re moisturizing effectivley. When choosing a lotion or moisturizer it’s very important to be familiar with commonly used ingredients. A moisturizer that has a humectant will determine how much hydration your skin will absorb and how long the effects of the moisture’s application will last.

About Humectants

It’s important to note that not all humectants are created equal. Some humectants are synthetic and others are natural. While synthetic humectants prevent loss of moisture in the skin, they provide little to no nutrients resulting in short term benefits. Natural humectants, on the other hand, benefit the surface layer of skin as well as lower layers, providing a deep hydration and long term effect. Natural humectants include, but are not limited to, Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin. While synthetic humectants are not terrible for you, natural humectants will proved more nourishing and hydration to your skin. My favorite product that includes a natural humectant is Hempz Lotion, specifically the limited addition Blood Orange and Pomegranate which contains Glycerin to help with lasting moisture and supple skin.

As we get older, a moisturizing routine for the face and neck is of the utmost importance when it comes to anti-aging efforts. Skin therapists emphasize the importance of hydration for the face and décolleté when trying to avoid the appearance fine lines and wrinkles, but its important for us to remember the rest of our bodies. The hands can be a dead give away to aging if not moisturized properly.

Hydration and Cuticle Health

Insufficient moisturizing can also be the cause of poor nail growth and overall nail health. Just as the skin is the body’s first layer of protection, the cuticles act as shields for the fingernails. The cuticle sits above the nail matrix, the area of from which the nail grows, and acts as a barrier to protect the matrix from environmental threat. Think of the cuticle as being similar to a child’s bike helmet.

Just like the rest of the skin, the cuticles need special attention too. Cuticle oil not only hydrates and softens the cuticles, but it penetrates deeper to assist with nail growth. Shrinking and tightening the cuticles helps to prevent hangnails and can also protect any polish that you might apply, resulting in longer lasting manicures. Lack of moisture in the cuticles can cause dry cracked cuticles which can lead to hangnails and infections. My personal favorite go-to cuticle oil is CND Solar Oil which contains Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil and Rice Bran Oil. Sweet Almond Oil is used to soothe and soften chapped skin and benefits the outer most layer of your nails and skin while Jojoba oil acts as a natural skin conditioner, unique in the sense that unlike most vegetable oils, it resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin glands. Lastly, the Rice Bran Oil, which I like to call “ninja oil”, provides intense hydration as well as anti-aging benefits to the skin.

Time to Hydrate!

Now that you’ve learned more about the benefits of cuticle oil and humectants in moisturizers, it’s time to apply your knowledge and start a hydration routine! A recommended methodology is to start with your hands. First apply cuticle oil to each nail and massage it in using circular motions to stimulate the matrix of the nail, promoting nail growth. After applying and massaging the cuticle oil into all ten fingers, you can do a second layer of oil before applying lotion. After you’ve finished with the cuticle oil, apply your lotion of choice, massaging it into your hands and up into your arms, stimulating blood flow. For best results repeat this process 2-3 times a week, daily if possible.

After completing a few weeks of your new moisturizing routine, notice and enjoy the benefits of healthy hydration!