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Increasing the water content in the skin isn’t just a matter of drinking more fluids, unfortunately. Everyone’s skin is different, and although drinking a lot of water is known to make the skin softer and clearer, there are products you can reach for to give you a step up without having to down a gallon a day. Moisturisers should be applied after cleanser and toner have been used to clean the skin.

Most moisturisers are a complex mix or chemical agents, but there are newer age products on the market that are made up of natural ingredients. Oils, humectants, lubricants, lipids and sterols are just a few of the cocktail of elements that make up your typical moisturiser.

Although it’s important to know what you’re putting on your face and body, it’s more important to be aware of the effect it has on your skin.

Moisturiser and Skin types

Moisturiser for Normal skin – Even if you don’t have any specific skin problems, you can still benefit from moisturising. Water-based cosmetics that won’t leave a greasy residue are best suited to normal skin types. Including a quality moisturiser in your skincare routine can ward off problems with oil or dryness in the future.

Moisturiser for Oily skin – As with normal skin, oily skin sufferers should turn to water-based products, they certainly don’t need any oil or grease. Even though it might seem that there’s no need for any moisturising agent, there are cleaning and cleansing products on the market that can dry the skin out after use, so a lightweight, water-based moisturiser is always a handy thing to have in the bathroom cupboard.

Moisturiser for Dry skin – This is a common problem in the UK, primarily due to the colder weather and harsh winter winds, so there are lots of moisturisers to chose from. People with dry skin tend to need something a little heavier that contains lots of essential oils and antioxidants. If it’s a consistent, escalating problem, try a petrolatum-based products, they are really effective at preventing fluid loss.

Moisturiser for Sensitive skin – People with sensitive skin will know that they have to especially careful when it comes to choosing cosmetics, the same goes for moisturisers. It’s better to use a product that doesn’t have strong chemicals or fragrances; these can cause allergic reactions or skin irritations such as redness or itching. Chamomile or Aloe Vera are two preferable options, so check the label before you buy.

Moisturiser for Aging skin – As a person ages, their skin loses its ability to retain moisture, but there are ways of performing this artificially. Oil-based moisturisers are best for keeping the skin soft and supple, as well as ones that contain alpha hydroxy acids – which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Tips for using moisturiser

After cleansing and toning your face, it’s time to reach for the moisturiser – there’s no point doing this before the other two steps, as it will be washed off and rendered completely ineffective. To begin with, you need to let your face drip dry; moisturiser can’t be absorbed into skin that is already soaking wet.

1.Wash your hands. This is a small, but essential part of the routine, particularly at this point. Whilst your pores are open to moisturiser, they’re also open to dirt and oils, so you’re just going to be rubbing more impurities into your face if you use dirty fingers.

2.Squeeze a small dollop of moisturiser onto the tips of your fingers and dot it first on the driest areas of the face – being careful to avoid around the eyes.

3.Start to rub the product into the skin from the centre of the face, this lifts the skin a little and gives you a fresher look. Once you’ve done this, allow the moisturiser to soak in for at least three minutes before you apply any make-up – if you can, wait about ten minutes to make sure it’s done its job.

4.The skin on the neck can also become dry; so don’t forget to apply there too.

Moisturiser do’s and don’ts

Whilst moisturiser can be used all over the body, it’s wise to invest in a product that’s made for use on the face. All over body moisturisers tend to be more generic, and the skin on the face is very different to the rest of the body. Here’s a few things to remember when using moisturiser:

1.Apply daily. This still stands even if you’re not going to be wearing make-up, it keeps the skin firm and fresh, and in any case, it’s best to get into a routine.

2.Even if the sun rarely makes an appearance in the UK, it can’t hurt to choose a moisturiser with some protection – at least SPF 15 should be suitable.

3.Avoid the really heavy moisturisers unless you have a serious skin complaint, it’s going to create more problems that it will solve.

4.Keep the delicate skin around the eye area clear of any face products, if you have dry skin here, you can purchase a gel moisturiser or one made specifically for this area, it will be much gentler.

5.Don’t keep your moisturiser near a tap or sink, if you get water in the bottle it will spread bacteria. Put it in a high cupboard or drawer, away from a steamy shower or spraying tap, you don’t want to have to throw it away, especially if you’ve paid a lot of money for it.