You know moisturizers come in many forms (lotions, creams, gels, and balms, to name a few), but they all fall into three basic types, explains Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist in NYC and founder of BeautyStat.com:

By News & Views
October 25, 2012
If a new moisturizer is good, then the combination of a new serum, toner, and night cream must be better, right? Not so fast. If your skin gets irritated after you use a handful of new products, you won’t know what’s causing the problem and assume they’re all irritating. Instead, “start with one at a time, and integrate a new product every two weeks,” says Dr. Jacob. That way, you’ll be better able to identify what’s aggravating you, or know what combination of them makes your skin go haywire. Plus, you’ll also save some cash by buying only what you need.
Getty Images

You know moisturizers come in many forms (lotions, creams, gels, and balms, to name a few), but they all fall into three basic types, explains Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist in NYC and founder of BeautyStat.com:

Occlusives
Likely the first kind of moisturizer you ever used (think diaper balm), these create a barrier so moisture can't escape. (It's like shrink-wrapping a muffin so it stays moist.) What you'll see on the label: petrolatum, dimethicone, lanolin, mineral oil

Emollients
These softeners smooth your skin by preventing moisture loss from cells. What you'll see on the label: keratin, ceramides, stearyl alcohol

Humectants
This type of super-moisturizer acts like a sponge, attracting water from deeper layers of skin into the top layer to boost moisture. What you'll see on the label: hyaluronic acid, glycerin

Advertisement