I’ve learned discovered two valuable things recently: (1) a ingredient my skin hates, (2) a video that explains moisturizers in a perfectly concise and informative manner.
First, the ingredient my skin loathes is benzoyl peroxide. The spa I go to put this on during my last facial and the next day my face was red, dry, inflamed. I went from have skin texture that my esthetician called “smooth like a baby” to visibly bumpy skin. The area of redness was distinctly drawn on the areas the cream was applied, looking like a sunburn. It took a full week to get the inflammation down and 2 weeks later I am still waiting for the texture to recover. Lesson learned.
Second, on a positive note, I watched Gothamista’s Video on Moisturizers and it was relatively life-changing. I’ve always heard the words humectant, emoliant, etc describing hydrating elements, but did not know what it truly meant or how to apply that to my own regimen in a practical way. Gothamista broke moisturizing ingredients into 3 easily understood categories with examples of each type.
- Humectants are ingredients which retain moisture. Examples are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, collegen, amino acids, sugars and honey.
- Emollients fill in the cracks in your skin, making it smooth, and help repair your moisture barrier. Examples are butters, ceramides, fatty acids, and veggie oils.
- Occlusives create a seal over skin (good for use in a “sleeping mask”) to trap in moisture. Examples are olive oil, mineral oil, petro. jelly, and beeswax.
Understanding these categories changed how I viewed previous used products. No wonder Egyptian Magic did nothing as a spot treatment to heal my laser scars, but makes my skin looks amazingly soft and smooth if I wear it last and overnight. I see now that it’s truly worth taking the time to learn about ingredients to be a smarter, well-informed shopper, as well as to maximize your use of products.