Multi-moisturizing is starting to become beauty's new buzzword, but it's far from a new trend, especially for estheticians like myself who's been implementing this technique into my practice for years. So what is it? Well, you might've heard or even delved into multi-masking—where one applies different masks to different areas of the face, according to specific skin concerns. For multi-moisturizing, same rules apply, but using different moisturizers. For years, we've lived comfortably with the notion that one moisturizer will aid in keeping our skin healthy and hydrated despite experiencing multiple skin concerns, but that’s not entirely true.
For most of us different areas of the face experience different conditions and irritations, such as dehydration, thinness around the eyes, dermatitis, eczema, excess oil, and a propensity towards acne. These ailments require a different approach to healing, making multi-moisturizing a boon, and something to try. Our skin goes through so many changes due to uncontrollable elements like environmental stress, allergies, hormones, and aging, which all have the potential to compromise our moisture levels and can cause inflammation and overactive sebaceous glands. So that begs the question: are there other products that you should cater to certain areas of your face? If you can check any box of the following scenarios below, I would say absolutely. But before I get to that, let's begin with the basics.
How Do Moisturizers Actually Work
Moisturizers are an external source of formulated products that contain varying combinations of ceramides, emollients, occlusives, and humectants that protect, lubricate, and act as a barrier against environmental stress. According to a 2017 study published by Clinical Medicine & Research, moisturizer application smooths skin surface by filling spaces between skin flakes and restores the ability of the lipid bilayers to absorb, retain, and redistribute water content. Additionally, they safely alter the skin’s natural balance of oil, lipids, and protein. The study also cites the types of hydration broken down by molecular function.
- Emollients are made up of lipids that fill cluster gaps within the skin to enhance hydration, smoothness, flexibility.
- Ceramides allow your skin's lipid layer to lock in moisture and acts as a barrier against pollution, bacteria, and premature aging.
- Occlusives are oil-based aids that maintain skin water content by creating a barrier over the skin to block water loss.
- Humectants attract and absorb water into the skin and increase skin’s moisture levels over time.
How to Multi-Moisturize by Skin Type
Multi-Moisturizing for Dry Skin
There’s so much confusion surrounding dry skin, as folks mistake this skin type for dehydrated skin—which is a skin condition. Dry skin lacks oil whereas dehydrated skin lacks water. Folks can have dry skin while experiencing skin inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis. In the 2017 Clinical Medicine & Research study, it states “moisturizers are the most important basic skin treatment for optimal atopic dermatitis recovery regardless of severity as it penetrates and helps reorganize skin layers structure. Therefore, it’s recommended as a key step for dermatitis treatment together with avoidance of triggers and therapeutic measures to control symptoms and inflammation." If you have dry skin and experience some form of inflammatory ailment, then multi-moisturizing could lead your skin down a faster road to healing as a lot of products that treat dry skin contain antioxidants such as Vitamin-A, which can trigger dermatitis.
- For dry areas, apply a moisturizer containing emollients such as SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore.
- For areas experiencing inflammatory ailments such as dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, apply a moisturizer with calming ingredients such as aloe like Osmia Purely Simple Face Cream
multi-Moisturizing for Combination Skin
The most common skin type yet the hardest to strike a balance. Combination skin is the perfect candidate for multi-moisturizing as skin tends to be more oily on the forehead, nose, and chin area while dry around the cheeks. This skin type is difficult to treat as hydrating products can leave the cheeks moisturized but cause even more oil in the T-zone, resulting in breakouts. Oil-control products aimed to clear up your T-zone can leave the cheeks feeling parched, dry, and lackluster. If this sounds like your skin, here you go.
- Apply oil-free moisturizers to T-zone such as Dermalogica Active Moist or Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer
- For dry areas such as cheeks, apply a lightweight moisturizer that contains both non-comedogenic oils and hyaluronic acid to give skin a double boost of balance and hydration such as Youth To The People Superfood Air Whipped Cream. You can also opt for a gel by using No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream
Multi-Moisturizing for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
The biggest mistake those with oily/acne-prone skin can do is skip moisturizing altogether. People who have oily skin experience overactive sebaceous glands due to over-exfoliating, not cleansing properly, environmental stress, diet, and more. This leads to common acne conditions such as acne vulgaris. Acne Vulgaris is a common, chronic, inflammatory, facial skin disorder that can affect individuals from any race, ethnicity, or cultural background. Ceramide and humectant products best suit this skin type as the humectant will flush out the pores nicely breaking up excess oil—without compromising the skin barrier—while the ceramide will allow your skin's lipid layer to lock in moisture, while also acting as a barrier against environmental pollution and bacteria. A 2018 study by The Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology conducted a study over four weeks for those with oily skin and mild acne vulgaris. Patients were given a topical retinoid to treat acne. When applied to the entire face, patients experienced contact dermatitis on other areas of the skin.
- Allies of Skin Molecular MultiNutrient Day Cream as it contains squalene and two forms of hyaluronic acid that provide concentrated moisture to skin and moisture retention
- For active blemishes, Sunday Riley's UFO Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil is great as it nourishes skin with black cumin seed oil while treating active blemishes with tea tree oil and salicylic acid
Multi-Moisturizing for Sensitive Skin
Not to be confused with sensitized skin. Sensitive skin is generally dry by nature, begins at a young age, could run in the family, and has thinner skin which makes blood vessels closer to the surface and redness more apparent. Sensitized skin is a condition that can develop over time and is triggered by many things from using too many active ingredients, stress, pollution, diet, and hormones. Sensitive skin typically lacks water content and needs an immense amount of hydration to remain balanced, but if you also suffer from eczema, flaky, tight skin in certain areas, using a couple of moisturizers can reduce redness and treat flakiness at the same time. Sensitive skin is highly reactive so using claiming ingredients is vital.
- Avené Hypersensitive Skin Recovery Cream as it contains parcerine, a soothing agent that calms reactive skin by 73% and reduces redness while restoring the damaged skin barrier
- If you have an inflammatory flare-up Chamomile Smile by Saje is well suited. It contains amazing non-reactive natural ingredients that cater to reducing redness and inflammation such as chamomile, lavender, vitamin e, and aloe.
Multi-Moisturizing for Normal Skin
Folks with normal skin types have mastered the art of balancing the oil production, water content, and protein in their skin, which is ideal. Multi-moisturizing is more of an option for this skin type rather than a necessity. A nice gentle way to multi-moisturize with normal skin would be to multi-layer and add more hydration or aging preventatives with active ingredients or lightweight serums.
- begin by applying an active serum to boost collagen and promote even skin tone with this Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum.
- Follow up with a neutral moisturizer, like Moon Juice Cosmic Cream. This superfood rich collagen protector is silky and improves the look of elasticity, supports natural firmness and nurtures skin
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