1. Emollients - these are lubricating ingredients that act to prevent water loss and have a smoothing, protective, softening effect on skin. Remember that the key to maintaining skin's moisture is preventing water loss. Emollients may be thick or fluid in texture and include fatty acids. Here are some examples:
a. Glycerin - made from natural products like vegetable oil, glycerin attracts moisture into the skin and is a wonderful humectant - an ingredient that retains or preserves moisture.
b. Linoleic acid - this ingredient is actually known for its benefits when it comes to doing the laundry, but you’d be surprised – it has some superb benefits as well for the skin. It is able to heal and hydrate the skin, as well as give it that plump feel.
c. Triglycerides - (like macadamia oil) penetrate the skin easily and very quickly, thus providing great lubrication sans the greasy feeling.
2. Skin Protecting Ingredients - are substances between skin cells that keep those cells connected to help maintain skin's barrier and repair. An intact and healthy barrier helps skin look moist, soft, and smooth.
a. L22 Lipid Complex - derived exclusively from natural botanical nutrients and has been proven in clinical trials to improve skin hydration and barrier repair.
b. Hyaluronic acid - packed with anti-aging properties and naturally found in the body, hyaluronic acid adds and secures moisture and creates fullness.
c. Ceramides - is the glue that holds skin cells together. Replenishing the skin's ceramide content is a powerful way to protect skin, helping it look and act younger.
3. Anti-inflammatory Ingredients - these are ingredients that help reduce the signs of inflammation like tenderness, swelling, redness, and itching. A lot of antioxidants fall into this category and are good options for dry skin.
A good example of an anti-inflammatory ingredient in moisturizers that is able to help soothe the skin is Shea Butter. In fact, a study found that because of its natural properties, shea butter is an excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient. Plus, because of the vitamins and minerals that it contains, it is also being used for its anti-aging properties.
Some anti-inflammatory ingredients include:
a. Alpha lipoic acid – proven to be 400 times stronger than vitamins E and C combined, this ingredient is your ultimate anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
b. Chamomile - this oil contains large amounts of natural chemicals that provide superb anti-inflammatory effects.
What Your Moisturizer Shouldn't Have
Knowing what a moisturizer shouldn't contain is just as important. There are a ton of moisturizers - including those that are labeled for sensitive or dry skin that contain ingredients that aggravate the problem, or counteract the beneficial properties of the good ingredients.
We're referring to alcohol (think denatured and isoprophyl) and fragrance, which includes fragrant oils like rose, lavender, mint, and lemon.
Walk away if you see any of these included in a product label! A lot of these ingredients, especially volatile plant oils like citrus and lavender are pitched as organic or natural solutions to skin care woes, but typically cause inflammation and irritation... the last thing your skin needs.