Does your skin need moisturiser?
I must confess that I don’t use moisturiser everyday. I love wearing a thick cold cream during winter but that’s more emollient (rich and oily) than hydrating. Over the years I’ve tried a number of serums - vitamin A, D, C, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, hydrating, lifting - you name it, I’ve tried it. Right now I’m using four serums in rotation (more on that in another post), but I have one Neal’s Yard moisturiser. I like to use it under my makeup so it gives my foundation a smooth base to glide on. Other than that I find it a bit unnecessary.
I mentioned in one of my older posts that last year I went to Berlin to this amazing organic store called Breathe Fresh. The founder was extremely knowledgeable and told us that when we moisturise, we spoon-feed the skin to such an extent that it forgets its basic functions such as moisturising. Think of your skin as a child - if you keep trying your child’s shoelaces, she will never learn how to do it herself. In fact a lot of facialists and aestheticians also think that using a moisturiser makes skin ‘lazy’ and unable to care for itself.
I don’t know whether this theory is true or not as there is no conclusive research proving it. But, I can tell you from experience - if I had to choose between an effective serum and a moisturiser, I would choose the former. Yes there are creams and lotions with potent active ingredients in them, but these ingredients are far more effective when applied in serum form. That said, if your skin is prone to psoriasis, dermatitis or eczema, consult your dermatologist to find a potent cream to improve dryness.
Coming back to serums, you have to understand that your skin is made of oil and water. So you can use a hyaluronic acid serum for moisturisation, topped with a few drops of face oil to up the lipid content. If there is a specific problem you want to address, say pigmentation or acne, I would choose one serum to target the problem. And top it with a hyaluronic acid serum for hydration. If my skin was still feeling dry I would use a few drops of facial oil as a last step. Far more potent, far more effective, and far less pore-clogging in my experience.
You have to understand that most of the skin’s moisture comes from the water you drink. If you drink enough then your skin will be hydrated and you’ll get fewer wrinkles - its common sense really. If you’re used to applying a lot of moisturiser then you will feel dry for the first fortnight after you stop. But soon enough you will find that your skin learns how to hydrate itself. Now if you spend the weekend having 24-hour benders, then perhaps your complexion will never be able to cope. But if you have generally healthy habits then your skin will fall in line. So instead of looking for an expensive anti-ageing cream, why don’t you try potent serums and oils instead?