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Creams and Moisturisers - A few tips

stephen snell

Moisturisers are designed to attract water from the atmosphere to increase hydration in the top layers of our skin.  This is done via humectants, such as glycerine and hyaluronic acid which hold many times their weight in water.  The problem lies in low humidity environments.   When we are exposed to low levels of humidity, such as in an air-conditioned office, on an aircraft, or during dry weather spells, then the humectants will draw the water from the deeper layers of the skin, the dermal layer.  Whilst it is important to keep the top layer of our skin hydrated, it should not be at the expense of the deeper layers of our skin where collagen is produced. 

The result can be either overly dry skin which can become sensitive or irritated, or an over-production of oil. 

A few more words of caution:

When you buy moisturisers in a jar you, different preservatives are required to kill any germs from your fingers.  Also, because they contain water, they must also protect from mould which requires a different preservative to the one designed to kill any bugs.

Aside from different preservatives, most moisturisers contain solvents to dissolve certain ingredients into each other.  Emulsifiers are then required to mixing different oil and water-based ingredients together, stabilizers to get the right pH level, and surfactants to make it spread nicely.  All of these can be irritants to sensitive skin.  Check the length of the ingredient list of any creams or moisturisers in your cupboard. 

Unfortunately, a lot of moisturisers, including those labelled as botanical, contain PEGs.  PEG is polyethylene glycol, which is plastic.  And yes that is why when you apply them your skin feels silky smooth.  Think about it, what cellular change has occurred in the matter of seconds since applying the cream?  If there is a number next to the PEG, it represents the molecule size.  Anything under 200 is considered small.

So unless you are using your moisturiser or cream for its high SPF content, then it might be worth considering the switch to oil.  And no, they won’t leave you oily.  Our range is of oils are all high omega 3 and 6, small molecule and fast absorbing.  They are very compatible to the lipids in our skin.  Learn more about the different oils here.

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