8 Potent Ingredients To Look For in A Moisturizing Cream

8 Potent Ingredients To Look For in A Moisturizing Cream

Moisturizing cream is a must-have for every skin type. Yes, even oily skin needs to be moisturized. It is a good idea to have one at home and another one in your bag when traveling. But before buying a moisturizing cream –or any beauty product for that matter – you must know what ingredients will work best for your skin type.

The skin loses moisture on any given day. Using a moisturizer will replenish the lost moisture and keep your skin hydrated. Your skin also loses its natural elasticity as you age. Moisturizers can reverse aging effects or slow down the process by locking in water and retaining the skin's protective barrier.

Common Types of Moisturizers

In skin care, moisturizing creams reduce and hydrate the skin. They also serve as your skin's protective layer that helps retain moisture and make your skin less prone to dryness and inflammation. You can find many types of moisturizing creams on the market.


Also known as emollients, these moisturizers rebuild lost lipids in your skin by hydrating, protecting, and smoothing it out. They also act as a balancing agent that lowers the risk of skin inflammation. Examples of emollients are cocoa and shea butter.


This type of moisturizer contains glycerol, amino acids, hyaluronic acids, and lactic acids that extract water from the environment and seal your skin. It can reverse the effects of skincare products that contain alcohol and helps restore your skin's moisture. Examples of humectants are hyaluronic acid and glycerine.


This moisturizer prevents skin dryness and comes in oil-based, silicone, or wax forms. Occlusives are usually thicker than the other moisturizers and are highly recommended for those with very dry skin and suffering from certain skin conditions like eczema. Examples of occlusives include petrolatum and lanolin.

Ingredients To Look For In A Moisturizing Cream

Not all moisturizers are made the same, so their benefits on your skin may differ, as well. For one, "hydrating" and "moisturizing" have specific functions. The former adds water to the skin. On the other hand, the latter retains moisture in the skin through trans-epidermal water loss, in which water evaporates from the skin.

The most important ingredient of a moisturizer is water. It provides hydration and helps the skin stay soft and supple by maintaining the moisture barrier on the skin's surface.

Oil-based ingredients such as mineral oil or petroleum jelly are usually added to moisturizers for people with dry skin. They help lock in moisture by forming an occlusive film over the top of the skin's surface. Some moisturizers are unscented, while others have various scents that appeal to some skincare users.

Ingredients To Look For In A Moisturizing Cream

Aside from the abovementioned ingredients, here are other potent ingredients commonly found in moisturizing creams, gels, and serums.

1.    Glycerine

Glycerine is one of the most common ingredients in moisturizers. It is a humectant that keeps the skin hydrated and prevents it from drying. However, glycerine could cause more skin dryness in dry environments. In this case, it is better to use glycerine together with shea butter or any other emollient ingredient, so your skin doesn't dry out.

2.    Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is another humectant commonly found in moisturizers. The skin produces it to help seal in water and moisture. However, you naturally lose hyaluronic acid as you age, making your skin even drier. If you are an outdoorsy person, you should also use moisturizers with hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized and young-looking.

3.    Ceramides

Ceramides act as a protective barrier that keeps the skin hydrated while blocking irritants. Skin experts often recommend skincare products and treatments with this ingredient for those with eczema and excessive skin dryness.

4.    Petrolatum

Also known as petroleum jelly, it’s a popular skincare ingredient that reduces water loss on your skin. Skincare products with petrolatum as a major ingredient may not be ideal for those with oily skin, as these are comedogenic. Products considered comedogenic tend to clog pores and cause blackheads and breakouts. However, skincare products with petrolatum are mostly recommended for people with dry skin.

5.    Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is both a humectant and an exfoliant. This means it can hydrate your skin and remove dead skin cells and other types of dirt on your skin. However, be careful when using beauty products with lactic acid as it could irritate those with sensitive skin. 

6.    Squalane

Squalane is somehow similar to squalene, which our skin naturally produces, specifically in the sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum which makes your skin greasy and oily. The main difference is that sebum feels sticky, while squalane feels lighter and is absorbed easily by your skin.

7.    Retinol

This is a Vitamin A derivative commonly found in anti-aging skincare products. It helps reduce wrinkles, brown spots, fine lines, and even your skin tone. Be careful when using products with retinol, as it is potent and could cause irritation. Start with small amounts thrice a week. Increase the amount and frequency if you do not experience skin redness or breakouts.

8.    Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids

These popular skincare agents contain fruit acids that help brighten dull skin and gently exfoliate, soften, and penetrate the skin. It helps remove dead skin cells and makes your skin firmer, more elastic, and youthful.

Know Your Skincare Products

These are some of the most common and potent ingredients in moisturizing creams. Again, various types of skin care products are specially formulated depending on the skin problems they target. Here are the basics of moisturizer use:

·         Day creams often have sunscreen and Vitamin C to protect your skin against harsh outdoor weather. But, you could opt for those with Vitamin E, hyaluronic acids, AHA and beta-hydroxy acids, and resveratrol for night creams.

·         If you have oily skin, avoid petroleum and oil-based skin products as they could clog the pores and cause breakouts.

When buying skincare products, know your skin type first and read the label to check the ingredients. Then, choose the product that will benefit your skin the most. 

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