The most basic function of a moisturizer is to hydrate and soften the skin. "Essentially, moisturizers assist in preventing water loss through the outer layers of skin,” says New York City dermatologist, Dr. Carlos Charles. Moisturizers can also complement the naturally found protective oils and other building blocks within the skin, such as ceramides, a waxy lipid molecule composed of sphingosine and fatty acids.
How To Pick Your Moisturizer
Because your skin naturally loses it's ability to retain moisture as we age, it's important that everyone use a moisturizer. However the texture of your moisturizer will vary depending on skin type. Use this handy chart to find your moisturizer type!
The Difference Between Day Cream and Night Cream
Day creams typically have a lightweight consistency and are equipped to protect your skin from the environmental aggressors you’ll face when you leave the house. Many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution-based free radicals and sunscreen to shield your skin from ultraviolet radiation. On the other hand, night creams focus on repairing any damage you might have encountered throughout the day by using ingredients like retinol to speed cellular turnover and reduce dark spots. These creams also replenish moisture levels, which naturally dip in the evening, by using emollients that create a rich, thick texture and leave your skin glowing.
Can you survive without an eye cream? Absolutely. However, if you have specific concerns such as hyper-pigmentation, dryness or puffiness, you may want to try an eye cream. “The skin around the eyes is quite thin and delicate and more likely to react to irritating ingredients than other areas,” says Manhattan Dermatologist, Dr. Rachel Nazarian. “Therefore, dermatologists typically recommend an eye cream that considers the potential sensitivity and has more tolerable concentrations of active ingredients.”
For under-eye bags and inflammation, caffeine, peptides and hyaluronic acid can be soothing, say New York aesthetician Jordana Mattioli. “Dark circles can be due to visible veins or actual discoloration common in darker skin tones. Look for brightening ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid and niacinamide.”
Insider tip: To avoid eye irritation, steer clear of fragrance and strong retinols, which may sting and cause redness.