Face Moisturizer

Thursday, 13 March 2008

If youíre like most people, weather and other environmental or physical factors can affect your skinís moisture level leading to dryness and other irritation. We put some moisturizers to the test to see if we could find a dependable pick.


The Basics

  • Moisturizers are made for different skin types:

    • Oily skin needs humectants to keep the top layer of skin hydrated and flexible without adding to the oily problem. Look for ingredients like glycerin, sorbitol, urea and alpha-hydroxy acids.

    • Dry skin needs occlusives, which totally block water loss; look for lanolin, silicone and petroleum-based ingredients.

    • Normal skin simply requires emollients, which fill spaces between skin breaks with droplets of light oil. Look for squalane and cholesterol ingredients.

  • The texture of a moisturizer also better for some skin types than others:

    • Creams tend to be thicker, with a less water/more oil formula, and are often more suitable for dry and normal-to-dry skin types.

    • Lotions contain more water and are lighter, more liquidy, and less greasy to the touch than a cream. Best for dry, normal, or slightly oily skin.

    • Gels are almost oil-free and while they don’t have a lot of moisturizing qualities, they won’t clog pores, so are good for oily skin.

    • Pure plant or animal oils are easily absorbed into the skin and can be a good alternative for moisturizing. Examples: rose hip seed oil, sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, carrot oil, neroli oil, kalaya oil, and lavender.

  • For daytime wear, look for a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. Used daily, it’s the best way to guard against wrinkles.

  • Antioxidants like vitamins C or E are also good for your skin, but the jury is still out on whether moisturizers contain enough to make a significant difference.

    • If you do buy a product with an antioxidant, choose one that comes in a container with a small opening, otherwise those “magic” ingredients are promptly lost to air exposure.

    • Alternatively, dermatologists can provide highly-concentrated antioxidant serums for use along with your moisturizer.

  • Avoid scented products, especially if you have dry skin, since fragrance can cause irritation and dryness.

Other Considerations

  • You don’t need to spend a lot to get an effective moisturizer. Be sure to test out inexpensive drugstore brands before you go to the higher-end beauty counters.

Be Aware

  • Paula Begoun, beauty industry expert, doesn’t believe that people with oily, combination or acne-prone skin should moisturize. In fact, she says moisturizers are more likely to exacerbate the problem.


To really put our moisturizers to the test for a few months, we called on professional dolphin trainers whose skin is exposed to cold air and salt water on a daily basis.

Moisture Test

  • The fragrance of the Lancôme product was too strong for all of us.

  • The Olay had a lighter fragrance and left our skin soft and free from any breakouts.

  • Cetaphil was a runner up for the trainers, and Kristina’s number one pick.

  • Anna felt the Dermalogica had the most benefit for her skin type (dry), but wasn’t fond of the price.


Since everyone’s skin type is different, we don’t have an overall top pick. However, we do believe there are good quality moisturizers at every price point. Make sure you buy one with SPF 15 or higher, and that matches your skin type.



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