Let's face it. Our AC-filled office and home environments completely dry out our skin. A well-designed moisturizer can replenish moisture and hydration to our skin that is otherwise lost through our daily, modern lifestyles.
Well-designed moisturizers are formulated with two major types of ingredients: humectants and occlusives. Humectants and occlusives are the two secret hydrating powers of most moisturizers. Humectants work by drawing moisture from the air onto your skin, and locking it there for your own use. Occlusives help keep the moisture on the skin and specifically prevent transdermal water loss.
Not all humectants and occlusives are the same. Most skincare brands rely heavily on glycerin and aloe vera as their key humectants. These two ingredients work well, but they do not have great sensory profiles. They are often sticky and tacky. They are inexpensive ingredients which is one of the reasons they are so popular for skincare brands to use. Hylauronic Acid, on the other hand, is a fantastic humectant, capable of binding 1,000x it's weight in water droplets onto the skin. Plus, it's a naturally occurring acid found in our skin. This is the secret behind the recent and lasting Hylauronic Acid (HA) trend.
My personal favorite humectant is Snow Mushroom, as it is 400x more powerful than HA. Plus, it plumps the skin from the inside AND has a fantastic antioxidant profile, so it has added protection to slow down collagen deterioration over time, a natural aging occurrence.
Some of your best choices for fantastic occlusives that do not clog pores are luxury oils like Prickly Pear, Argan, Olive derived Squalane, Meadowfoam oil. Shea butter is another incredible occlusive that makes your skin feel soft for days after application. I would avoid using products with waxes even though they are technically also occlusives.
While moisturizers are not the end-all be-all of anti-aging, they are a crucial part in your arsenal against time. A good moisturizer can help to slow down the aging process by keeping your skin hydrated and plump. This is the main function of the skin barrier, so by adding moisture to your skin daily, you are dramatically reducing the workload of your skin barrier. It can then allocate resources and energy to other areas of skin health, such as anti-aging. An easy visual to remember is the difference between a fresh, ripe piece of fruit like an apple vs its dehydrated counterpart. Intuitively you know the fresh, ripe apple is filled with healthy juice and moisture vs the shriveled dried piece of fruit which is devoid of any water. The same concept applies to our skin. If you are looking for ways to keep your skin looking young and fresh, definitely consider including a moisturizer for life to your daily skincare routine.
A fantastic moisturizer from an up & coming skincare brand is called, "Seventh Wave" an ocean inspired moisturizing serum by HiViBe. It is formulated with Hylauronic Acid, Snow Mushroom, and Sodium PCA (another powerful humectant). Plus, it has antioxidants found in the ocean like astaxanthin and spirulina. Infused with hydrating amino acids to re-train your skin to hold on to moisture and hydration for longer. So this serum has both a short-term and long-term effect. And finally, infused with pearl extract for an added treat.