To moisturise or not to moisturise? Well, there is no question that you should be moisturising – after all, we live in South Africa, and the climate can cause havoc on your skin, so you need to replenish the lost moisture.
So, what is a moisturiser?
Simply put, a moisturiser is a mixture of chemical agents, either naturally occurring or laboratory-created, that have been formulated to assist the external layer of skin in retaining moisture, repairing or preventing damage, and providing the skin with additional nutrients and minerals to increase the overall visible health of your skin.
Why moisturise at all?
Moisturising should be part of your daily grooming routine. Why? Because your skin is constantly being exposed to a number of elements that increase the rate of visible ageing.
When should I start using moisturiser?
Start as soon as possible, but especially in your teen years, and keep on using moisturisers. It is also never too late to start. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be able to keep premature ageing at bay. Be aware though that, like the rest of your body, your skin changes as you grow older, so the moisturiser used during your teens may not be appropriate for you in your thirties and sixties. If you are a particularly active person, and you enjoy spending time outdoors, then you must replenish the skin’s moisture lost when in the sun and after rigorous activity.
Are all moisturisers the same?
The short answer is no. Almost all moisturisers start at the same place – with the objective of replenishing the skin with moisture, but from there, they branch off into various specialities, some focusing more on brightening the skin, others focusing on providing additional minerals to counteract fine lines and wrinkles, while others include agents to control oil production. These are just some of the options, but there are hundreds more.
Where should I be moisturising?
Practically, almost everywhere – I would suggest that you leave the sensitive areas alone. Your face, neck, ears and hands are generally the areas that are the most exposed to the elements, and will age a lot faster, so as a bare minimum, these are the areas that require constant moisturising. Throughout the day, the rest of you body will also lose moisture, so it’s best to apply a full-body moisturiser two to three times a week. Also pay special attention to areas of the body that take a functional beating daily – such as your knees, elbows and feet.
How should I apply moisturiser, and how much?
In terms of the amount, you will know how much you should be using after a few tries. The face does not need too much moisturiser, but the neck, especially post-shave, needs a little more – and remember to apply to both the front and back of the neck, as well as the ear areas. As a general rule, apply a moisturiser in an upward direction. Gravity doesn’t need any more help in pulling your skin down.
What’s the difference between a day and a night cream?
Your skin is exposed to different elements during the day than to during the night – the most noticeable being UV exposure. A day cream is generally formulated to protect and replenish, while a night cream is formulated to replenish and repair the skin.
Do all moisturisers have an SPF?
No, a moisturiser does not have an SPF (sun protection factor) by default. Some day moisturisers may include an SPF, but it is not a hard and fast rule. The most popular moisturisers are those that are easy to apply, and are light and penetrate the skin quickly, leaving no residue. An SPF is designed not to penetrate the skin, but to instead provide a barrier to harmful UV rays. You can always mix an SPF cream to your day moisturiser, or apply the SPF after, but always use an SPF every day, even when you are not planning on being in the sun.
Can I use the same moisturiser on my face as I do on my body?
Well, using one moisturiser everywhere is better than not using one at all, but you should understand that the skin on your body is a lot thicker and tougher than the skin on your face. If you start using a body moisturiser on your face, it may be a little too oily and could lead to pimples or an oily appearance.
What should I use around my eyes to prevent early onset wrinkles?
There are serums that have been formulated for the eye area, which are extremely light, and do not leave a residue. Choose the right eye serum for your condition – for instance you may suffer from puffiness, dark circles, dryness or wrinkles – there are serums designed specifically for every skin type and problem.
What’s with hand moisturisers?
Bro, just trust me on this one. I have yet to meet a girl that thinks dry, cracked, rough and old-looking hands are remotely attractive. Your hands touch and do a lot every day, so make sure that you are keeping your hands moisturised.