Different skincare trends are rising as more and more products make their way into the beauty industry, thus, choosing the right product can prove to be a challenge. Understanding what type of products can effectively work on certain skin types is essential to achieving a great result. 

Moisturizers are one of the many components of daily skin care routine and play an important role in maintaining skin health. They are also a mainstay in treating dry skin because of their ability to boost hydration and create a protective barrier that locks in moisture. Knowing the formulation, proper usage, and application is an essential part of choosing the right moisturizers that work well with your skin type and lifestyle. 

Types of moisturizers 

There are two distinctions when it comes to moisturizers: water-based moisturizers and oil-based moisturizers. Classifying which product falls into which certain group can be done by reading the label. Ingredients are listed on the label depending on the volume or amount that is present in the formulation. Thus, seeing water or extract listed as the first ingredient would mean that a product is water-based. Similarly, if the first three ingredients have jojoba oil or coconut oil, then it is safe to assume that the product is oil-based.  

Water-based moisturizers: Water-based moisturizers are lightweight and contain water as its main ingredient. These types of moisturizers are non-greasy and are quickly absorbed by the skin. Ingredients usually include glycerin and hyaluronic acid, and these components deliver hydration to individuals who find their skin to be dehydrated and in need of moisture. Water-based products also reduce fine lines and wrinkles and effectively plumps the skin.   

Oil-based moisturizers: The use of oil-based moisturizer is mainly for those who have dry skin, with damaged skin barriers, or lacking sebum. Oil-based ingredients help in restoring the skin barrier’s function. The skin needs moisture to thrive, so oils help in ensuring that the skin does not easily dry out and retain its moisture. Contrary to popular belief, oil-based products will not clog the pores and cause acne breakouts. The theory of using oil-based moisturizers on an oily skin type is that the oils help in encouraging the skin to produce its natural oil and balancing out the skin’s sebum production. 

In terms of their action on the skin, moisturizers can be classified into the following: 

Humectants are substances that attract water. Humectants relieve dry skin and straightens out the skin barrier. In skin care products, humectants also work by drawing out water from the deep layers of the skin to support the outermost layer. Examples of humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 

Emollients are used in treating dry and flaky skin. When topically applied to the skin, emollients cover the skin with a protective layer of film to lock in moisture that soothes and heals dry skin. Emollients also work by softening the skin and repairing damages. Examples of these include shea butter, plant and mineral oils, and animal oils. 

Occlusives are a class of ingredients that work by providing a protective seal over the skin. Rather than increasing the moisture levels of the skin, occlusives help in preventing loss of water reserves and moisture from being emptied out by external factors. Occlusives work effectively when topically applied to damp skin and may feel heavy and greasy on the skin. Some of the most common occlusive agents include beeswax and argan oil. 

Benefits of oil-based moisturizers on oily skin 

Surprisingly, using oil-based moisturizer is beneficial for oily skin types as long as this is accompanied by other products that help in managing excess sebum. Benefits of using oil-based moisturizers are outlined below: 

  • Helps balance sebum production. There is a misconception that people with oily skin should not use oil-based moisturizers, but this is not one hundred percent correct. Using oil-based moisturizers can actually help balance the overproduction of sebum as it signals the skin to not produce more. Remember, the skin produces more sebum because it senses that it is dry. 

  • Does not clog the pores.  Using the right type of oils is important as well as identifying what these oils are. Look for products that contain light oils such as jojoba oil, aloe vera, or tea tree oil and products that are “non-comedogenic”, as these types of products do not clog the pores. Products like the NNO Nourishing Night Oil contain such ingredients: Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil. Both these ingredients play an impressive role in combating dry and dehydrated skin, as well as stimulating blood circulation, and producing new cells. These ingredients are quickly absorbed by the skin, and can help increase moisture within the first application, making an ideal part of an overall skin care. 

  • Reduces moisture loss. As mentioned above, oil-based moisturizers also create a protective layer that helps reduce moisture loss. This is particularly useful especially for those who live in colder areas and where humidity is low. 

Oil-based moisturizers are as effective as their water-based counterparts, if not more, depending on the type of moisturizing the skin needs and the condition where they are used. Whether oil-based moisturizer is for you or not, it boils down to knowing your skin type and its specific needs and choosing the right ingredients that will works for those needs.