Moisturizers: what are they and why do we need them? 

by Elize Manoukian 

Our skin is tough: it’s the one thing truly separating us from all of the toxins, harsh elements, and bad vibes of the world. So, why is it so sensitive? Why is it that some days we wake up with dry patches and oil spots, or look in the mirror to discover unconcealable redness?

Studies show that 60% of women and 50% percent of men experience sensitivity in their skin. There are endless contributing factors—seasonal change for one, thanks to the drying harshness of winter and summer, and the pollen and allergens of spring. Some sensitivity develops naturally with age, as the skin produces less amino acids. There are those with sensitive, acne-prone skin who overwash, or use harsh products with irritating chemicals. Finally, the cardinal sin of sensitivity: UV rays. Yes, girl, we’re all trying to get glowing tans, but if you’re using retinoids, or not protecting your skin with SPF, or BOTH, you’re setting yourself up for dryness, flakiness, stinging or redness, not to mention more serious damage.

So now that we know what causes sensitivity, what can we do about it? (Hint: hydration.)

The first step to repairing this strong, but sensitive barrier is to fortify it. Moisturizing helps maintain the skin’s plasticity, regulate pH and enzymes, and lock down nutrients. We need to protect our skin, so that it can keep protecting us.

Just because your skin is complicated doesn’t mean your moisturizer has to be. The perfect moisturizer should simply hydrate and protect your skin—and leave the complicated stuff to everything else in life. Here’s what to look for in a moisturizer, broken down with some simple skin science.

There are three type of ingredients which help to keep the skin hydrated:

  1. Occlusive, which create a thin waterproof layer on the skin to reduce the dryness (such as silicon, mineral oil, petroleum jelly)
  2. Emollients, which soften and smooth the skin by permeating the skin’s outer layers (natural or essential oils)
  3. Humectants, effective substances that draw water to the skin (glycerin, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, etc.)

    Most moisturizers will rely on a combination of these ingredients. It could be a simple mix of oils, an emulsion, or a gel, and different moisturizers can come in handy in different seasons. Remember, ingredients are listed by concentration, so the order in which they appear tells you the concentration of each in your product. To decide what kind of moisturizer you want to use, consider those first few ingredients, and what they offer your skin.

    Nairian’s line of plant-based moisturizers and skin treatments were specially designed to meet the needs of people with different skin types, or even different preferences. Only you know your lifestyle and taste: your beauty products should reflect that. For those who prefer a more luxurious, creamy product, Nairian’s protecting and soothing Moisturizer for Dry Skin is derived with naturally derived ingredients suited to meet these needs and give dull skin a boost. For a lighter product, the Oil-Free Moisturizer leaves skin feeling refreshed and soft. Unlike synthetic ingredients, which can’t be metabolized by the body, and are harmful to our health and the planet, Nairian’s moisturizers are made with love from oils derived from heritage herbs and flora from the Nairian farm.

    And for the 60% of us who self-identify with sensitive skin, Nairian has a special rich, nourishing formula, made with some of our favorite ingredients. Shea butter, apricot oil, sweet beet, and Hyaluronic acid soothe the crankiest skin, leaving you glowing, dewy, and redness free.

    Serums work with your moisturizer to help skin absorb as much hydration as possible. The Nairian serum and treatment line offers something especially suited to different skin types. The Nairian Rosehip Day Serum is a perfect example: it combines deeply moisturizing and penetrating oils with ones promoting skin healing and regeneration. 

    Brewed from apricot, rosa damascena, and of course, rosehip seed oil, the Rosehip Day Serum is packed with antioxidants to help your skin start the day right. For a lighter, more fluid look, the product can be applied directly to the skin. If you like a creamier feel, or if you need a little extra support on a dry day, patting the product in after toning and moisturizing will help lock nutrients and moisture into the skin, for coverage and hydration that lasts all day.

    But why wait until morning to start your hydration ritual? Nairian’s award winning Night Serum is extremely easy to apply, doesn’t come off on your pillowcase, and smells like heaven—if heaven was an apricot orchard in the sun (which it should be.) Give your tired, cranky skin a break, and give yourself a break, by lathering this on, and climbing in bed with a glass of wine and some comforting TV. A 90s sitcom you’ve seen thousands of times recommended, but not required.

    Remember: it’s not just your face that deserves to be hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water, always, and remember to moisturize your neck, lips, elbows, knees, and all the parts in between, so you can live your best, most hydrated life.

     

     

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