Moisturizer Guide: What Does Moisturizer Do & Which Is Best For Your Skin?

Moisturizer Guide: What Does Moisturizer Do & Which Is Best For Your Skin?

Applying a moisturizer daily is an important step in maintaining balanced, hydrated skin. But have you ever wondered what a moisturizer actually does and why you need it? Get the details on how moisturizers work and how they benefit your skin with our moisturizer guide.

Whether your skin is oily, dry, combination, or sensitive, you need a moisturizer. “Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin will ensure you stay hydrated and protected, and keep premature signs of aging at bay,” explains Anna De La Cruz, Glo’s VP of Product.

Why Is Moisturizer Important?

“When a skin cell is born and starts its journey through the epidermis, it's plump and juicy and filled with about 90% moisture,” explains Anna. “Visualize a grape. As it travels through the layers nearing the outer and uppermost section of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, it has lost water content along the way. By the end of its journey, skin cells in the stratum corneum are believed to have only about 10% moisture content. So, where it started as a grape, it ends up as a raisin. This makes sense though when you think about what the skin's number one job is: protection. We want a strong, fortified outer layer to guard against intruders. We can’t underestimate the importance of maintaining proper surface hydration of our skin. And this is where a moisturizer comes into play.”

The skin’s number one job is protection. We want a strong, fortified outer layer of protection to guard against intruders. This is known as skin’s moisture barrier and this needs to be healthy for skin to feel even and glowing. If your moisture barrier is damaged, skin can feel dry, flaky, and tight. Moisturizers help strengthen and support your skin’s moisture barrier, and you can choose moisturizers to specifically target this repair.

When a skin cell is born and starts its journey through the epidermis its contents are about 90% moisture. By the end of its journey, a skin cell’s moisture content will have decreased to about 10%. This is where your face cream or moisturizer can help replenish any lost moisture. HA-Revive Hyaluronic Hydrator is great for this.

Natural moisturizing factor (NMF) helps maintain proper hydration by attracting and absorbing water from the atmosphere and holding on to it with naturally present water-soluble compounds. NMF is only found in the stratum corneum (the outer and upper most section of the epidermis).

Moisturizers are typically made up of ingredients that fall into the following categories: humectants, emollients and occlusives.

  • Humectants attract water and include ingredients like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycerin, and sodium PCA.
  • Emollients act as lubricants and soften the skin. Emollients are found in ingredients such as jojoba oil, squalane, and shea butter.
  • Occlusives help slow water loss and evaporation and can be found in dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and caprylic/capric triglyceride.

Dehydrated skin is not functioning optimally which means the skin’s natural exfoliation process is disrupted which can lead to dull, flaky, lackluster skin. It can also contribute to easily irritated, sensitized, reactive skin.

In cold winter conditions it’s important to add an extra moisture boost to your ritual, such as a heavier texture moisturizer, a face oil (if you don’t have oily skin), and to have a humidifier run at night.

How To Choose the Best Moisturizer For Your Skin

Best Moisturizers For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

Even with oily skin, it’s still important to include a moisturizer in your routine, as oily skin can also lack hydration. Our top picks for oily skin feature featherlight formulas that are instantly absorbed by the skin.

  • Oil Control Emulsion: Our lightest formula, this emulsion works to actively reduce shine, which can help reduce breakouts. Because it is more of a liquid formula, make sure to wait a few minutes before applying any additional products to avoid pilling (when your product balls up on your skin).
  • Oil Free Moisturizer: One of our top sellers that never disappoints. Choose Oil Free Moisturizer over Oil Control Emulsion if acne/excess shine is less of an issue.
  • Phyto-Calm Aloe Hydrator: A light and soothing formulation, it cools and calms skin while adding plenty of weightless hydration.

Best Moisturizers For Combination Skin

If some parts of your face feel oily, while the other parts are dry, you probably have combination skin. Luckily, combination skin usually isn’t oily enough for excessive breakouts, or dry enough for an intense cream. Look for products that adequately hydrate and moisturize, without leaving you feeling greasy.

  • HA-Revive Hyaluronic Hydrator: This moisturizer offers many of the same anti-aging benefits as some of our heavier creams but in a lightweight formula that’s great for most skin types.
  • Hydra-Bright AHA Hydrator: Offering instant illumination to any skin type, this treatment moisturizer features AHAs and vitamin C to brighten, reenergize, and hydrate.
  • Oil Free Moisturizer: If your skin has some shine and is prone to breakouts, try this oil-free moisturizer option, infused with lightweight hydrators.
  • Bio-Renew EGF Cream: Our newest and most exciting moisturizer, it’s powered by vegan EGF (epidermal growth factor) and phyto-retinol and is clinically proven to reduce signs of aging while hydrating and brightening in just 30 days.

“With combination skin you can also zone your moisturizers, using a oil-free moisturizer for your T-zone and a more hydrating moisturizer for any dry patches,” adds Anna.

Best Moisturizers for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, you know it and nine times out of 10, you’re also dehydrated. Those with dry skin experience tight, itchy and even chapped skin that can appear flakey or dull. With less natural oil, it is imperative to use a heavier formula that actively replenishes the lack of hydration. Rely on these moisturizing products for dry skin.

  • Restorative Cream: The go-to moisturizer for very dry skin, this cream helps repair dry, dehydrated skin.
  • Vita E Essential Cream: For dry and sensitive skin, Vita E delivers critical moisture while also soothing redness and irritation.
  • Phyto-Calm Aloe Hydrator: A light and soothing formulation, it cools and calms skin while adding plenty of deep hydration.
  • HA-Revive Hyaluronic Hydrator: This moisturizer is powered by hyaluronic acid which is essential for dry skin types, helping to repair and strengthen skin's moisture barrier. 
  • Bio-Renew EGF Cream: This rich hydrator is clinically proven to boost skin's moisture levels and repair skin barrier function—perfect for dry, dehydrated, and aging skin.

All skin types can also benefit from adding HA-Revive Hyaluronic Drops into their ritual, either adding 4-6 drops before applying your moisturizer, or adding 2-3 drops into your moisturizer, for a surge of hydration,” shares Anna.

Best Anti-Aging Moisturizers

Dry skin can lead to signs of aging appearing earlier. If you have dry skin and see signs of aging, whether they’re faint fine lines or deep wrinkles, adding in an aging cream to your routine can help minimize this.

Phyto-Active Face Cream: Our heaviest option that targets signs of aging with plant stem cell technology. This ultra-rich formula includes age-defying actives that deliver firming and reparative benefits.

Bio-Renew EGF Cream: This moisturizer will be a game-changer in your anti-aging ritual. Clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging as well as brighten and hydrate, the dream team of vegan EGF (epidermal growth factor) and phyto-retinol gives it a power most ordinary moisturizers don’t have. Use every day for 30 days and see the results for yourself.

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