We all have pet-peeves. A lot of my friends from way back my teenage years and those in my network now love to pick on every skin imperfection that they can find springing, surprisingly or not, on their skin. I’ve always been called, “The Lucky One” because I didn’t come across any particularly challenging and prolonged skin issues. Sometimes, I feel that, maybe, it’s not that I didn’t get skin problems too. Maybe, I just thought they were unimportant although, certainly, if I grew up with acne-challenged skin, I should definitely notice that. Now that I look back, I realize that while my friends were gushing about the latest matte foundation or that new cheek color from this brand, I stuck with one thing: skin moisturizer with SPF 30 .
What Did My Moisturizer Do That Makes My Skin Look Young?
I’ve always kept a lean and mean beauty stash — just the essentials, nothing fancy. When it came down to choosing my moisturizer, I’ve always been very particular about what’s in it and how it makes my skin feel. I did change my moisturizer a lot but, I would say that there was a fair number of moisturizer for face that I’ve tried and ditched, tried and ditched, over the years. I had my reasons (tell you about that later).
So, to be fair, when I look back at what my moisturizer do to my skin, it’s not really just one product that contributed to the healthy skin that I am wearing now. There was an invisible thread that linked all of my product choices. Over the years, I used five criteria whenever I make a judgment about whether or not a particular skin moisturizer would be beneficial for my skin. Here’s my personal guide when choosing a moisturizer:
Criterion No. 1: It has to be specifically formulated for my skin type. This first criterion will drastically cutdown my product choices for just a few. It’s disappointing how manufacturers continue to make skincare products using a one-size-fits-all approach despite that our knowledge of the skin and skincare has dramatically improved over the years. One of the most valuable insights that surfaced was that different skin types require complementary skincare.
I have oily skin. It has always been like that since I was a teenager up to now that I am close to turning 50. I attribute a lot of the smooth, wrinkle-free skin that I am wearing now to my oily skin. It has its own challenges but, it hardly dries out. On the other hand, I also have my ever reliable moisturizer for face to thank that for.
Criterion No. 2: It has to be specifically formulated for my age. Further cutting down products that qualify under Criterion 1 is when a product is designed for a specific age group. It is daunting realization how product manufacturers fail to factor in age when formulating a moisturizer. You should keep in mind that the moisturizer benefits you need to derive changes at every decade of your life. To be more specific:
- At 20, your skin is at its finest, turning over and regenerating skin at a normal pace. At this stage, you need more moisturizing and protection functions from your moisturizer.
- At 30, your skin begins to age. At this stage, you need to guard against increasing rate of skin aging as well as the early appearance of visible signs of aging, most especially around the areas characterized by thinner skin: around your eyes and around your mouth.
- At 40, skin aging picks up and your skin becomes evidently less efficient in renewing skin. Your skin also begins to show deeper and more prominent wrinkles.
- At 50 and beyond, skin will usually begin to sag, while it simultaneously becomes evidently thinner and becomes more prone to irritation.
Criterion No. 3: There has to be two different moisturizers in my regimen. One will have to be particularly formulated for daytime use. It has to be infused with broad spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30. When all the nasty side effects of chemical sunscreen agents began to surface, I started using products that utilized physical sunscreens more and more. For nighttime, my moisturizer had to have ingredients that helped my skin heal and repair overnight. I started with peptides and when I was past 40, I started on products that contained retinol and ceramides to help strengthen my skin which is starting to thin out by now.
Criterion No. 4: The formula must exclude potential allergens, carcinogens and toxins. This one, I did not always know but, once the reports of skincare products causing skin to become irritated and more sensitive started to come out, I started looking more closely at all the other ingredients, including preservatives, that were being added to skin moisturizers. My skin was never particular sensitive but, I chose to stay away from synthetic preservatives, dyes and fragrances. Drying alcohol, too, can practically cancel out the potential moisturizer benefits that you can derive from your product of choice. It makes me mad that manufacturers do that.
Criterion No. 5: I started using an eye cream when I was about to turn 30. I’m sure that would have impacted my skin and how fairly my skin is aging now that I’m almost 50. As a form of prevention, I started incorporating an eye cream. As you would have guessed, I always maintain two eye creams, one for daytime and one for nighttime application. As I became older, my eye cream became an essential part of my beauty regimen.
My other big secret to a wrinkle-free skin is being positive and happy. It’s not a mindset that people are born with. You have to practice how your mind perceives what’s happening in your life. Sometimes, what’s good or bad just happens to be a matter of perspective. It makes you a better person and, if it helps your skin show signs of aging less, why shouldn’t you try a new way of thinking?
Pamella Woodword is a freelance writer with a diverse field of interest that counts among which, health and wellness, education, parenting, and entrepreneurship. From pursuing a career in corporate communications and social development work, Pamella is now supporting people in building more confidence in themselves through positive writing.
Simultaneously, Pamella does consultancy work and manages her own events company.