When buying a moisturizer it is not only important to pick up one which is suitable for your skin type but which is also formulated with skin repairing ingredients, antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients and no irritants in order to help your skin behave and look better...
What are skin repairing ingredients, antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients and how do they work?
Skin identical or repairing ingredients are the substances between skin cells (technically referred to as the intercellular matrix) that keep skin cells connected and help maintain skin’s fundamental external structure.
Some skin identical or repairing ingredients are: ceramides, lecithin, glycerin, polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, amino acids, cholesterol, glycerol, phospholipids, glycosphingolipids, glycosaminoglycans, glycerides, fatty acids, antioxidants and many more.
Antioxidants can be natural and synthetic substances that work to reduce or prevent free-radical damage and environmental stress on the skin, by allowing healthy cells to proliferate.
Some antioxidants are: alpha lipoic acid, beta-glucan, coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, green tea, soybean sterols, superoxide dismutase, vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl palmitate), and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol, tocotrienols) to pomegranate, curcurmin, turmeric, etc...
Cell-communicating ingredients, theoretically, have the ability to tell a skin cell to look, act, and behave better, more like a normal healthy skin cell would, or to stop other substances from telling the cell to behave badly or abnormally. They do this by either direct communication with the skin cell or by blocking damaging cellular pathways or other cell-communicating substances. Cell-communicating ingredients complement antioxidants to improve skin-cell function.
Cell-communicating ingredients are: retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, eicosapentaenoic acid, niacinamide, lecithin, linolenic acid, linolenic acid, phospholipids, carnitine, carnosine, adenosine triphosphate, adenosine cyclic phosphate, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tripeptide-3 (and most other peptides), and pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract.
So next time you go shopping for a moisturizer, check if any of these ingredients appear in the ingredients list and where they are positioned. In fact the higher an ingredient ranks up in a list the more concentrated and effective it is. This also applies to skin irritants which can inflame and damage your skin if they appear in the beginning of a list (especially in the first four positions).
What are the most common skin irritants to avoid if they appear in the beginning of a list of ingredients?
SD Alcohol or denatured alcohol, Ammonia, Arnica, Balm mint, Balsam, Benzalkonium chloride, Benzyl alcohol, Bergamot, Camphor, Cinnamon, Citrus juices and oils, Clove, Clover blossom, Coriander, Essential oils, Ethanol, Eucalyptus, Eugenol, Fennel, Fennel oil, Fir needle, Fragrance, Geranium, Grapefruit, Horsetail, Isoeugenol, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Linalool, Marjoram, Melissa (lemon balm), Menthol, Menthoxypropanediol, Menthyl Acetate, Mint, Oak bark, Orange, Papaya, Peppermint, Phenol, Sandalwood oil, Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate, Sodium lauryl sulfate, TEA-lauryl sulfate, Thyme, Wintergreen, Witch hazel, Ylang-ylang
Another factor to take into consideration when choosing a cream is the packaging. In fact a moisturizer housed in a jar will be exposed to the deterioration of air (oxygen) and light and the contamination of fingers dipping into it as soon as the jar is open, whereas a product housed in an opaque bottle, tube or properly air-tight container will keep better for longer.
If you buy a day moisturizer you may also want it to offer a sunscreen rated SPF 15 or above which includes one of these ingredients listed as active to ensure adequate protection from UVA rays: avobenzone (also known as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb.
Last but not least, even if it is true that you get what you pay for, inexpensive moisturizers can be as well formulated as expensive ones, if not better.
An example of a well formulated but expensive moisturizer with sunscreen is Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant SPF 15 Lotion which I bought many times through the years.
Ingredients: Active: Octisalate (4.9%), Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (2%), Other: Water, Dimethicone, Methyl Trimethicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Polyester-8, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Guava Fruit Extract, Polygonium Cuspidatum Root Extract, Barley Extract, Wheat Germ Extract, Fumaria Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract. Lemon Fruit Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Artemia Extract, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Chloeth-24, Ceteth-24, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Phospholipids, Polysorbate-80, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Urea, Ergothioneine, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sucrose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Trehalose, Polyquarternium-51, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Cyclodextrin, Nordihydroguairetic Acid, Fragrance, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Fumaric Acid, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol Manganese Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Yellow 5, Blue 1
An example of a well formulated and inexpensive moisturizer with sunscreen is the new Olay Total Effect Moisturizer + Serum Duo SPF 20 which I have recently bought.
Ingredients Water, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Salycilate, Niacinamide, Homosalate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmetane, Tapioca Starch, Octocrylene, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin,Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Isohexadecane, Dimethiconol, Titanium Dioxide, Nylon-12, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryoyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-4 Dilaurate, PEG-4 Laurate, PEG-4, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Parfum, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Benzyl Salycilate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Caramel, CI 77492