Tips for Natural Beauty

Your Full Guide to the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

For a 30 something woman, hiding my real age has become a big challenge!

I am always trying to find the most natural and effective skin care products. But every time I visit a local store to buy a moisturizer, I find it very difficult to choose from the huge number of “miracle,” “ultimate solution,” “The best,” “Anti-Aging,” “Magical”…. products that I find there.

So when it comes to choosing the best moisturizer for my skin, the choices are endless. Still, there are plenty of things to take into consideration, like my skin type, my age, and many more. Do not you agree?

Your Insider's Guide to the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

Well, I spent the past few weeks searching and reading about the best moisturizers for your skin. What you are about to read, is NOT a list of “The Top 10 moisturizers to choose from“; it is a guide on how to choose the best moisturizer for your skin.

To help you choose the best one, you will need first to answer these three simple questions:

  • What is your skin type?
  • What does your skin need the most? 
  • How old are you? Do not worry; I can keep a secret 😉

One important ingredient, which your moisturizer should always have, is sunscreen with SPF of at least 25. If your moisturizer does not contain SPF factor, buy a sunscreen, and use it daily. And for the best anti-aging benefits, make sure one or more of the following are listed as an active ingredient: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb. If you have to choose between applying your moisturizer or SPF, then use your SPF in the morning and your moisturizer at night.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to your Skin Type

Your skin type plays an important role in choosing the best moisturizer for your skin. Using a lotion for dehydrated skin does not make sense; the same applies when using heavy cream for oily skin.

Oily moisturizers can clog pores and cause many problems for oily skin including acne. To avoid that, make sure to follow these simple tips:

  • Normal skin: it is neither too oily nor too dry. The best moisturizer has a water-based formula that is not greasy.
  • Oily skin: use lotions (water-based products) that are labeled noncomedogenic (i.e., does not clog your pores), and look for exfoliating ingredients like lactic acids, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
  • Dry skin: you will need oil-based cream (or ointments) for your skin.
  • Combination skin: this is the hardest among skin types. I have combination skin, and I know that lotions are great for the T-zone, but not quite enough for hydrating my cheeks in winter. On the other hand, creams cause my skin to breakout. I find that lotions work quite well in summer, while light creams are good for winter.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to Your Skin Needs

Adjust your Moisturizer According to the Weather

Since your skin type might change according to the weather, for example from normal to dry on cheeks in cold seasons, you may need to switch products according to weather conditions.

Whatever kind of a moisturizer you are using, it should have one of the following:

  • Humectants, like glycerin and lactic acid, which attracts moisture.
  • Emollients (fatty acids and ceramides) will soften your skin.
  • Occlusives, like petrolatum, Dimethicone or lanolin, which form a thin film on the surface of your skin thus sealing in moisture.

In dry cold weather, you will need occlusives (i.e., an ointment) to prevent your skin from losing moisture. This oil-based cream will help your skin retains moisture by creating a protective layer on the skin.

On the other hand, the hot, humid weather will cause you to sweat, so it is better to use a gel or a light lotion especially if you have oily skin.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to Your Age

My skin type has changed dramatically throughout the past 20 years. When I was a teenager, my skin was very oily, as I grew up, it changed to a combination, and to dry skin in winter. I noticed that dark spots are developing all over my cheeks and forehead, and a few fine lines started to appear, too.

It makes sense then that what worked for me in my 20’s, may not work the same way now since I am almost 40. I should have to change my moisturizer and look for one that has more anti-aging power.

To choose the right one for you, you should learn the basics.

It will be useful if you bookmark this post for future reference.

Famous Ingredients that You Should Know:

  • Antioxidants: These include vitamins A, C, and E. Whether you are in your 20’s or 50+, antioxidants should always be part of your daily skin care regimen. Antioxidants reduce and prevent the damage that free radicals are causing to your skin when you are exposed to sunlight and pollution without protection. Ignoring the use of antioxidants will make your skin prone to aging fast. Antioxidants also allow your skin to build more collagen.
  • Dimethicone: usually used to create a smooth, flawless look by forming an oily layer on top of it, it also helps trap moisture within your skin. Hint: look for foundations and primers that contain Dimethicone if you wish to temporary dimension those fine lines.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: you probably read something about it. It has been one of the most famous skin care superstars lately. Because it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it makes your skin feel smoother and looks plumper. It is a must in most skin care products especially for those who have fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Retinol helps skin cells create better, healthier skin cells, and it also promotes the production of new collagen. Therefore, if you are looking for an anti-aging moisturizer, retinol should be on the list of ingredients.
  • Niacinamide (or Vitamin B) helps smoothes your skin by increasing ceramide and free fatty acid levels in the skin. It also prevents your skin from losing water content.
  • Natural substances including green tea, grape seeds, curcuminoids (derived from turmeric), soy extract, and pomegranate are all great natural ingredients that will add value and effectiveness to your moisturizer.
  • Ceramides hold skin cells together. If your skin is extremely dry or irritated, that means it is losing this important factor. Look for dry skin creams that contain ceramides. Hint: it helps soothes eczema, too.

You Need to Change Your Moisturizer if…

  • It is in a jar packaging. Every time you open the jar, you are exposing those delicate ingredients to air and light; anti-oxidants and peptides will break down and become ineffective. Also dipping your fingers in the jar each time you use it will contaminate the product.
  • If it contains irritating ingredients like synthetic fragrances, menthol, and alcohol.
  • If it is very expensive. I know it is hard to assign one scale for classifying products according to their prices. Just make sure you compare products’ ingredients before you buy one; some products contain the same ingredients, except you pay extra $$$ for the fancy packaging.

You can also Make Your Moisturizer!

If you are trying to avoid harmful ingredients in beauty products, DIY creams are the best way to go. I managed to make my whipped shea butter with argan oil; you can check my recipe here. I like to use this one for my body, and it works quite well for dry skin around my mouth in winter. Unfortunately, I could not make my light cream for my combination skin.

Whether you wish to make your moisturizer or purchase from a local store, being aware of what you put on your skin is very important. Next time you buy skin care products, make sure you check the ingredients’ list, say NO to Parabens and fancy products’ descriptions, and look for what your skin needs.

Did you like this post? It would be great if you share it with your friends!

Did I miss anything? What else should you look for when choosing your moisturizer?


Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Gabrielle says

    Thanks for all the links here. It helps to be able to have one post serve as a “hub” for many topics I want to research. Also, you are so right to point out that you need to reevaluate your skincare over time. What worked even a year ago might not do the same for you today.

  2. M.Clark says

    I did not know that every time you open a jar moisturizer, you are exposing the ingredients to air and light and the anti-oxidants and peptides will break down and become ineffective. I did know that you should not dip your fingers in a jar of product because that will contaminate the product. Thank you for sharing this post, it is very informative, and I definitely need to avoid skincare products in jars.

  3. I am looking for a good wrinkle, anti-aging cream. I would also like to combat acne from oily skin at the same time and of course sunscreen. I have gotten creams in the past but am more concerned with targeting anti-aging and wrinkles then back then. I need to reevaluate my choices.

    • Lea, you are right about evaluating your choices every few years. No one’s skin type remains the same for years, because there are many factors that affect one’s skin, you made the right thing.

  4. I learned a great deal from this post about choosing (and re-choosing!) a moisturizer. Spot on.

  5. Dana Rodriguez says

    These are some great tips and a wealth of information.I wasn’t aware about the jar moisturizer either. I have always been very vigilant about my skin care but have had to switch products over the years.Nice article!

  6. Michelle Castagne says

    Your skin changes when you get older and the same moisturizer once worked may not be the best choice a few years later.

  7. This is a great post (I love when folks back up their info with science!) One thing I like to mention to people is that if you are going anywhere where you’ll be having your picture taken a lot like a wedding or a fancy event, consider using moisturizers and makeup without sunscreen. If it’s in the evening hours, it won’t be a big deal in terms of sun damage and the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in a lot of sunscreens can reflect the flash causing your skin to look strangely washed out in the photos.

  8. Marnie G (Derrick Todd) says

    Wow! This was very informative. This is the best article/post I’ve read that clearly explains what to look for in a moisturizer. Thank you!!!!!!

  9. This is a wonderful, informative post for women of all ages. I am *cough* 50 *cough* but I still like to look my best. I firmly believe that cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing with the right products for your skin are imperative. Awesome info here.

  10. Dennis Sanchez says

    You said that skin type can change over the years and so does your need for different skin care. I’ve been looking for a new product to help me as my skin has changed. I also get relatively dry skin during the winter months and will also need to consider that when looking for the right moisturizer. Thanks for the informative read.

  11. The best ways to know how we can keep our skin in texture,the article is quite good.

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