5 Moisturizing Ingredients You Need in Your Routine
Moisturizer is the most important beauty product in your cabinet. Here’s what yours should have.
There are some beauty products you can go without, like concealer and mascara and even, if you really had to, eye cream. Moisturizer is not one of them. If anything, moisturizer should be the mainstay of any skincare routine, no matter how low-maintenance you may consider yourself. That’s because it serves an essential purpose: Not only does it keep skin hydrated, which helps your skin function efficiently, but it also maintains the skin barrier, which is the key to preventing skin sensitivity and irritation. Without it, your skin’s at a loss—and not just of moisture. Here’s what you need in your skin’s MVP.
Honey—aside from being delicious—is a natural humectant. Humectants drag water out of both the air and the deepest layers of your skin into the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of your skin. Think of it as nature’s magnet. Humectants can draw water into skin, but not keep it there—which is why it needs to be paired with an occlusive ingredient, such as…
The name might be off-putting, but there’s nothing better for sealing moisture into the skin than petrolatum. It’s an occlusive molecule, which means it blocks moisture from seeping out of skin during the day, so it’s a nonnegotiable in a moisturizer.
Lanolin, a fat-like substance extracted from sheep’s wool, is an occlusive ingredient like petrolatum.
There’s a reason you can’t walk two feet into a beauty store without seeing something infused with argan oil, jojoba oil, or camellia oil. That’s because in a moisturizer, lightweight oils can efficiently hydrate skin without feeling heavy or sticky—as long as they’re combined with water.
This isn’t a trap. Water gets a spot of honor in moisturizer, because it’s necessary to allow oils to penetrate the skin, in addition to soaking in itself. Oil also helps the top layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, hold in water. Together, they create an emulsion that can penetrate skin. Water-based products labeled noncomedogenic don’t clog pores or exacerbate acne, which is why they’re a go-to for those with oily or acne-prone skin.