WHAT MOISTURISER SHOULD I USE FOR MY SKIN TYPE?
Every skin type, and not just very dry skin, needs hydration. Hydrated skin is balanced, properly functioning skin—and that’s where a daily moisturiser comes in. The right formula will provide balanced hydration that benefits your skin’s condition and appearance.
As the name suggests, a moisturiser is designed to add hydration to the skin, but a second important function is to help hold moisture within the skin. However, moisturisers aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition.
Choosing the right moisturiser for your skin care routine involves first understanding your skin type to find a formula that meets its unique needs, and at the same time is enjoyable to use. Your skin type can change with the seasons or when traveling to a different climate, so you may need to adapt your moisturiser to suit.By way of a quick refresher, here are the main skin types
- Normal skin: As the name implies, normal skin is neither too oily nor too dry.
- Oily skin: Oily skin is characterised by overactive oil glands, which can make the skin appear shiny. Excess oil can contribute to clogged pores, which is why those with oily skin may be more prone to breakouts. The skin’s oil production can also be influenced by hormonal fluctuations.
- Dry skin: At the other end of the spectrum, dry skin doesn't produce enough oil. This can cause dry skin to appear flaky, feel itchy or tight. Seasonal changes, environmental conditions, and poorly chosen skincare products can make dry skin worse.
- Combination skin: This skin type is as the name suggests—excess oil in some areas (commonly the forehead, nose, and chin), but dry skin elsewhere. The key to managing this skin type is to meet the needs of both oily and dry areas.
In addition to the above, there are several other relevant factors that may impact your choice of moisturiser.
- Sensitive skin: Normal, oily, dry, and combination skin types can all be sensitive. Although not technically a distinct skin type, sensitive skin is very common.
- Acne-prone skin: Blemishes such as whiteheads and blackheads can occur when pores become clogged with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Genetics, hormones, and stress can also contribute to the incidence of acne-prone skin.
- Ageing skin: As we age, the skin's cellular renewal processes slow, and the skin can become drier and more sensitive. The appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and loss of elasticity are all common in ageing skin.
Key Moisturising Ingredients and their Benefits
When we think of moisturisers, we might envisage nothing more complex than a lotion or cream that hydrates the skin. In fact, there's often some complex science going on behind the scenes, driven by potent active ingredients, each contributing a set of unique properties. Understanding what these various ingredients do can help you make informed decisions about your moisturiser and wider skincare routine.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
One of the most popular skincare ingredients, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that occurs naturally throughout the body and especially in the skin. With an amazing ability to absorb many times its own weight in water, its primary purpose in skincare is to act like a sponge, drawing moisture in and holding it there, ensuring your skin remains plump, hydrated, and youthful looking. It's particularly beneficial for ageing skin, which naturally loses its ability to lock in moisture over time.
Glycerin is a humectant like hyaluronic acid, attracting moisture from the air and drawing it into the skin. Glycerin is often used in tandem with other moisturising agents to amplify their effects. It also has a smoothing effect on the skin's surface, making it an excellent ingredient for those who desire a soft and even complexion.
Ceramides are lipid molecules found in high concentrations within cell membranes. They play a crucial role in forming the skin's moisture barrier and help the skin retain moisture. Ceramide levels are depleted by ageing, sun damage, and external aggressors, but can be replenished using moisturisers and other skincare products that contain them.
Types of Moisturisers
It's tempting to assume that a lighter serum or gel is more appropriate for oilier skin, and a thicker lotion or cream better for drier skin, but this isn’t always true. Instead of focusing on the texture of a moisturiser, skincare professionals will often talk about a certain “weight” when it comes to recommending moisturisers.
Ranging from “featherweight” to “heavyweight”, these are the ideal SkinCeuticals moisturisers for different skin types.
FEATHERWEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR OILY SKIN
As the name might imply, featherweight moisturisers are very light, and leave virtually no trace on the skin once absorbed. This weight is the best moisturiser for oily skin, or for those who don’t like the feeling of a heavy-textured product on their skin.
- SkinCeuticals moisturisers to try: With an ultra-light texture, Hydrating B5 Gel is a hydrating, hyaluronic acid serum that replenishes moisture and restores radiance for a smoother complexion. The oil-free formula also contains vitamin B5, assisting the skin’s ability to repair and rejuvenate. Suitable for all skin types, but especially acne-prone skin. Can also be layered underneath a heavier moisturiser when the skin needs extra hydration.
- Phyto Corrective Gel Serum is a light, non-greasy, non-sticky, comforting, hydrating green gel. Suits all skin types but particularly beneficial for improving the appearance of large pores, oiliness, redness, sun damage, discolouration, and ageing skin. Contains hyaluronic acid plus a botanical blend of cucumber, thyme, olive leaf, and other comforting ingredients, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
LIGHTWEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR COMBINATION SKIN
A lightweight moisturiser strikes a balance that works well for combination skin but can also suit oily or normal skin. Lightweight moisturisers are generally oil-free but leave a veil of hydration on the skin.
SkinCeuticals moisturisers to try: Utilising a lightweight aqueous emulsion to deliver a high concentration of 5% niacinamide (vitamin B3) combined with a tripeptide concentrate and 15% pure glycerin, Metacell Renewal B3 skin firming cream addresses early signs of skin ageing. Helps increase cell turnover, clarifies, and evens skin tone, and improves the appearance of wrinkles and surface elasticity.
Lightweight, pore-minimising, and moisturising with a non-greasy finish, Daily Moisture Cream for normal and oily skin provides long-lasting hydration and improvement in appearance of pores. Features vitamin E and purifying botanical extracts.
MEDIUM WEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR DRY SKIN
SkinCeuticals moisturiser to try: Enriched with algae extracts and nourishing plant oils, Emollience has a rich yet relatively lightweight texture that absorbs quickly and evenly. The elegant, gentle formula for dry skin is ideal for cold or dry climates.
MEDIUM WEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR SENSITIVE, DRY SKIN
Those with dry, sensitive skin can benefit from a medium weight moisturiser that includes soothing and calming ingredients.
SkinCeuticals moisturiser to try: Epidermal Repair Cream is specifically formulated to help support the skin moisture barrier. Suitable for dry, sensitive or compromised skin (such as after dermatological procedures), and skin prone to redness.
MEDIUM WEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR AGEING, DRY SKIN
Ageing skin has unique needs and concerns, including increased dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.
SkinCeuticals moisturiser to try: Formulated with an optimised lipid ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids to help restore the skin's external barrier and support natural self-repair, Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 helps with the visible appearance of skin smoothness, fullness, pores, and overall radiance.
HEAVYWEIGHT: THE BEST MOISTURISER FOR AGEING DRY SKIN
The advantage of heavyweight moisturisers is that they offer extra protection for dry, ageing skin. These formulas often also feature advanced skincare technology to address additional skin issues and concerns.
SkinCeuticals moisturiser to try: The result of over 15 years of research, A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced is a corrective anti-ageing cream that helps target visible signs of ageing caused by advanced glycation end products (A.G.E), including wrinkles, skin firmness and dullness. Includes niacinamide & Proxylane to help stimulate collagen production, smooth out deep wrinkles, fine lines, and location-specific creases like nasolabial folds.
How to use Moisturiser properly
● Apply a moisturiser in the morning and evening. ● Cleanse, tone, and apply your antioxidant and corrective serums before using moisturiser. ● Always complete your morning skincare routine with broad-spectrum sun protection.
Where can I find out more?
For help choosing the right moisturiser for your unique skin type and concerns, use our online
Routine Finder, or visit one of the SkinCeuticals Authorised Australian clinic locations.
Peptides are protein fragments consisting of short chains of amino acids - the fundamental building blocks of all proteins, including skin proteins such as keratin, collagen, and elastin. Applied topically, specific fragments can send signals to our skin cells to produce more of these proteins, or provide antioxidant or moisture-binding effects.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a powerhouse in skincare. Apart from hydrating properties, it helps build essential skin proteins and lipids to enhance the skin moisture barrier.
While not directly moisturising, antioxidants are frequently found in moisturisers because of their protective properties. Ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extract combat free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage our skin. By neutralising free radicals, antioxidants help prevent premature ageing.