3 Types of Moisturizers
On my Instagram today I posted about the importance of making sure we are moisturizing our hands, especially right now during the Covid-19 pandemic. (View that post here.) I thought I would kinda carry on that discussion here on the blog.
There are SO MANY different products and being able to understand the types of products and knowing how to choose the right product for you is important. The term moisturizer is kinda broad so let's break that down into three categories.
First, occlusive moisturizers. This type of moisturizer I relate to being like a glove. Its going to lock in whatever moisture you already have on your skin and prevent it from escaping. When your hands are super cracked and dry from extra hand washing, using an occlusive moisturize can be helpful because, like I said, it can act as a barrier and it protects the skin but it's not going to repair the skin. These types of moisturizers are normally very thick and heavy. Think vaseline.
Next are humectants. Humectants are water binding which means they are going to attract more moisture so...your skin is going to retain more water using something like this. They are going to absorb very quickly and they are going to be very lightweight...like a serum. An ingredient that you have probably heard of before that is a humectant would be hyaluronic acid or aloe vera. This is going to work at hydrating your skin on a much deeper level than something that is occlusive that sits on the skin. You wont really see the term humectant on a bottle of lotion so it's important to know some ingredients to know if your product is going to do what you are wanting it to do, like treat dehydrated skin.
Last is emollients. The job of an emollient is to soften the skin and help it to feel less itchy and dry. These types of moisturizes are going to be soothing and will help repair the skin. These are typically light and creamy. Jojoba oil and vitamin E are examples of emollients so they are typically found in most lotions.
Pretty much anything you'll buy at the store (if you can find it right now) will have a combo of all these ingredients but if you're trying to combat your dry hands by only using something like coconut oil you're going to be fighting an uphill battle.
Best tip when it comes to moisturizing your skin is to layer. If your hands are really hurting right now because of all the extra hand washing first apply a water based moisturizer that has a humectant like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera in it. Then seal it in with another layer of something more occlusive/ oil based like vaseline.
Let me know if you like learning stuff like this and stay safe out there!