To me, moisturizer is the most essential step in keeping your skin in its optimum condition. To name just a few of its incredible benefits, moisturizer hydrates your skin, plumps up fine lines, protects it from the elements, preps it for makeup, prevents aging, and, if contains SPF, prevents sun damage. Seriously, EVERYONE needs moisturizer—guys included! If you are not currently using a moisturizer, you should go punish yourself like Silas in the DaVinci Code. Just kidding! I’m really quite anti-violence. But seriously, get thee to the nearest Sephora and vow that you’ll never go a day without moisturizer again! Here are five guidelines you should follow in regard to this must-have product:
- Everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you skin is oily. I’ve met a few people over the years that have told me, “Oh, my skin is so oily that I don’t use moisturizer.” AGH!!! I then try to tactfully explain that not using moisturizer is actually counterproductive, and that their skin can overproduce oil to compensate for a lack of moisture.
- Never wear anything with SPF at night. Unless you’re sleeping outside in a place where the sun shines 24/7, you obviously don’t need SPF when it’s dark. Moreover, your skin needs to breathe, which sun protection doesn’t allow, as it forms a barrier over your skin.
- Make sure your daytime moisturizer has an SPF of 18 or less. Now, this is my own personal piece of advice. Six years ago when I was the counter manager for Shiseido at Nordstrom, I learned quite a bit about skincare from Shiseido, which greatly improved the quality of my skin. One of the tips I learned at the time was that any “moisturizer” with an SPF over 18 is no longer a moisturizer, but a sunscreen, which can’t effectively absorb into your skin. If you want a higher protection factor, then use a facial sunscreen after you apply moisturizer.
- Give a new moisturizer at least two weeks (preferably three) before you decide to chuck it or try something new. Any time period shorter than this will not give your skin a fair chance to adjust, nor will you be able to accurately judge the product’s benefits.
- Introduce new skincare products slowly. If your skin is freaking out, ditching everything you have and starting over with a new cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, exfoliator, etc. all at once could be a really bad idea. And even if it isn’t freaking out, suddenly using a plethora of new products could induce this! Again, use the two-week rule here before introducing each new product.