You are here because you have a question, how do I find an organic moisturizer that is right for me? I am here to help you answer that question!
Moisturizers work by adding moisture to the skin and sealing it there. A moisturizer is the most important part of any skin care regime, regardless of your skin type.
People with oily skin tend to avoid moisturizers, but the right one can help balance their overactive sebum production.
People with dry skin are often using the wrong kind of moisturizer and not getting the hydration they need.
There is a lot to consider when choosing a moisturizer and this guide will help break it down into more simple steps. In this article we will discuss:
- what to consider before purchasing
- what types of moisturizers are available
- how your skin type will affect your purchase
- how to test a moisturizer to see if it is right for you.
A good moisturizer will work with your skin to minimize redness and irritation, balance your skin tone, give you a healthy glow, protect your skin, prevent aging, heal scarring and help prevent and heal breakouts.
6 Things to Consider
There are a few things to consider when looking for a moisturizer. Using these considerations can narrow down your choices and help you come to a decision that will be right for you.
1. Skin Type
The most important factor to consider in choosing a moisturizer is your skin type. What you use to moisturize your face needs to compliment your skin type. Skin types are categorized as follows:
- Dry skin: Often tight, itchy and flaky. Your pores are small and you may have a dull complexion.
- Oily Skin: Enlarged pores, shiny skin. You may deal with breakouts and clogged pores or blackheads.
- Combination Skin: Dry areas and oily areas (usually on your chin, forehead and nose).
- Sensitive Skin: Redness, irritation, itching and inflammation.
As you age your need for hydration increases. In general, the older you are, the heavier, more robust cream you will need. If you are still young, a light moisturizer may be sufficient. Aging skin will require more antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients.
- 20’s: You skin is still firm and youthful. Using a daily sunscreen will prevent accelerated aging of the skin. Take care of your skin properly at this stage by washing twice a day and using a moisturizer suited for your skin type.
- 30’s: You may notice fine lines appearing, a light moisturizer with sunscreen is recommended. You can start using products with antioxidants to reduce and heal damage.
- 40’s: Your skin starts to thin and loose elasticity. Use a moisturizer packed with antioxidants like Vitamin C and Superoxide Dismutase.
- 50’s and beyond: Use a heavier moisturizer, look for Vitamin K to combat under-eye circles.
The climate in which you live will affect the amount of water that is in your skin.
- Dry climate: Dry or cold air can take its toll on your skin. An oil-based moisturizer will help your skin retain moisture and prevent water evaporation from the skins surface. Balms also work well.
- Humid climate: Humid air has plenty of water in it, but you still need to moisturize. Moisturizers containing humectants work best for humid areas because they pull water from the air into the skin. Glycerin is a natural humectant. If you are breakout-prone, you will want to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer (one that won’t clog your pores).
- Hot Climate: A non-comedogenic moisturizer is essential. Heat combined with pore-clogging moisturizers can make your skin more prone to breakouts. A moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 is recommended for daily use.
- Cold Climate: Cold air contains less water than warm air and will cause your skin to dry out. Indoor heating will also contribute to the drying effect. Moisturizers with emollients such as shea or cocoa butter keep the skin protected.
- Windy Climate: Windy weather can be brutal to your face. It can cause dry patches to form on your cheeks and lips because these areas have fewer oil glands. Apply several layers of moisturizer (a moisturizer followed by a balm is good) before heading outside, and wear a lip balm.
4. Personal Needs
What do you need the moisturizer for? Are you dealing with hyper-pigmentation? Are you looking for sun protection? Write out your personal concerns and use that as a checklist when looking at moisturizers. Some concerns may be:
- Eczema: Look for soothing ingredients such as chamomile. Ceramides repair the skins barrier function. Avoid fragrances, perfumes and dyes. [Read: How to Become an Ingredients List Expert]
- Sensitive skin: Avoid irritants such as fragrances and parabens. Look for products with minimal ingredients lists (10 or less). [Read: 15 Toxins in Your Personal Care Products]
- Anti-Aging: Look for antioxidants like Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, Ferulic acid, and Superoxide Dismutase.
- Dry skin: Find emollient-rich moisturizers containing shea, cocoa, or mango butter.
- Itchy skin: Shea butter or cocoa butter are amazing for itchy skin. [Read: Shea Butter vs Cocoa Butter]
- Acne: Look for lotions or serums. Avoid comedogenic ingredients (see A list of them here). Glycerin is a nice, light moisturizing ingredient for people with acne. Avoid oil-based moisturizers. Lotions containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help keep pores clear (do not use if you are already using a topical anti-acne treatment). [Read: My Journey with Acne]
- Sunscreen: Protecting your skin from the sun is the best way to prevent aging and damage to your skin. Use physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and avoid chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. I love tinted moisturizers with SPF. [Read: ILIA Tinted Moisturizer Review]
- Hyper-pigmentation: Look for skin lightening botanicals such as Kojic Acid.
5. The First Five Ingredients
The first ingredients on a list make up the bulk of your product. Water is often the first ingredient, especially with water-based moisturizers.
I try to avoid products with water as the top ingredient, because I believe I am not getting a potent enough product. I don’t want to pay for water, I want to pay for active ingredients. Aloe Vera is an excellent first ingredient, as it is a potent skin healer.
You want to find moisturizers that have plant ingredients in this top five spot, so that you know you are getting a botanically active product.
6. Avoid Skin Irritants and Toxic Ingredients
Moisturizers often contain many synthetic chemicals and petroleum by-products. Read the ingredients list. Avoid: Parabens, Phtalates, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Formaldehyde, Fragrance, and Triclosan.
The Different Types of Moisturizers
Learning about different types of moisturizers can help you in your journey to finding the right one. With this knowledge, you will be able to weed out moisturizers that you don’t need. I have included basic descriptions of the different types of moisturizers below:
These types of moisturizers draw water from the air to your skin and hold it there. They work well in humid climates and not so well in dry climates. Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid and Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are examples of Humectant ingredients.
These moisturizers descend into the spaces between skin cells, replacing lipids, which make skin look healthier. Emollients are either plant or animal based oils. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Lanolin are examples of natural emollients. Balms fall into this category.
Water is the first ingredient. These are usually recommended for people with oily skin as they are supposed to be less pore-clogging than oil-based moisturizers. They have a light texture and absorb quickly. Serums are often water-based. Aloe vera based moisturizers fall into this category as well.
These will have an oil as their main ingredient. Facial oils falls into this category. Oily skin is commonly advised to avoid these and dry skin is advised to use them. However, there are many beautiful oils out there that work on oily skin, they do not clog your pores and absorb quickly. [Read: A List of Non-Comedogenic Facial Oils]
These moisturizers are marketed to people with breakout-prone skin. They are meant to hydrate without clogging your pores. Glycerin and Aloe Vera are often used as moisturizing ingredients.
These are moisturizers that pack a serious punch. They are usually heavier and thicker than day use moisturizers and are meant to nourish and heal your skin through the night.
–> Click Here to See our Picks for the Best Organic Moisturizers <–
Your skin type will be the biggest determining factor as to what type of moisturizer you should use. Your skin type can change with age and climate, so you may have dry skin in the winter and oily skin in the summer. Your moisturizer will change with your skin type.
Dry skin is characterized by flaking, itching, cracking and a general tightness. An oil based cream will be best for someone with dry skin. Look for an emollient (shea, cocoa, and mango butter) as one of the first 3 ingredients and stay away from alcohol in your moisturizer – it will dry you out more.
Your skin looks shiny and greasy, and you have enlarged pores. A water-based or oil-free moisturizer is commonly advised. Glycerin is an excellent moisturizing ingredient that will not clog pores. Pure Aloe Vera is also a wonderful moisturizer for oily skin. [Read Aloe Vera and Acne]
Your skin is oily in some places (mostly the nose, chin and forehead) and normal or dry in others. Using a light moisturizer is advised (look for a lotion).
Your skin reacts easily, getting itchy and red. Opt for a moisturizer that is free of fragrance, dyes, preservatives and lanolin. Calming ingredients such as chamomile are excellent for sensitive skin.
If you were blessed with skin that is neither too oily or too dry, you can use just about any moisturizer you want. I recommend trying a facial oil as a moisturizer, they offer exceptional anti-aging and skin nourishing properties.
If you tend to breakout often, look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer, a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. Anti-bacterial essential oils can be a great addition to moisturizers for acne.
Read The Best Organic Moisturizer For Your Skin Type
to See What Products We Recommend
Reading product reviews is a great way to learn about moisturizers, and knowing what ingredients to avoid, as well as your skin type will go a long way in helping you weed through the many moisturizers available. Ordering samples and testing them on your skin is a good way to see if a moisturizer is right for you (I recommend getting samples from The Detox Market).
Here is how to test your moisturizer to see if it is right for you:
- Smell it – You will be wearing this moisturizer all day, so liking the scent is essential. Dab some on and let it linger, the scent will mix with your chemistry. Make sure you still like the smell an hour or more later.
- Do a Patch Test – especially if the product has ingredients you have never tried before, try the moisturizer on a small spot on your skin and leave it for 24 hours. If you experience any itching, rashes or burning, it is not the right product for you.
- How Does it Feel? – Does it absorb well? – you don’t want to have to wait 20 minutes for your moisturizer to absorb. Does it make your skin feel good? – does it feel younger, fuller and smoother?
Choosing a new organic moisturizer can be confusing. Knowing your skin type, narrowing down your skin concerns, reading ingredients lists and testing a moisturizer out can all help you make an informed decision.
–> Click Here to See Our Picks for the Best Organic Moisturizers <–
If you want to find out what moisturizers we are diggin’ right now, check out these posts:
- May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Review
- CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture Review
- Amala Rejuvenate Treatment Oil Review
- Mahalo Rare Indigo Beauty Balm
I hope that this guide has armed you with the knowledge you need to make the best decision you can. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below, I will be sure to respond!
Yours In Beauty,