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.

  1. Humectants are ingredients which retain moisture. Examples are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, collegen, amino acids, sugars and honey.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

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