Sadly or not, it doesn’t exist. There are lots of amazing products out there but no one product that works for everyone, does everything, treats all skin types, nor is there any product that is “the best”. Gorgeous packaging can be found and amazing textures and glorious aromas – but no “secret sauce” that does it all.
That is good news! To achieve what you want to achieve from a basic moisturizer you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars. And with a basic moisturizer there is really only one thing you can achieve – having moist and supple skin. For all of the other aspects of your skin – wrinkles, acne, age spots, redness, blackheads, scars, pore size – you need to do more than moisturize – refer back to my winter skin blog! (And I will be doing an anti-aging and an acne update soon for skin).
The considerations for basic facial moisturizers are scent, texture, degree of moisture and any potential down sides like cost, clogging pores, or unwarranted chemicals.
If your guilty pleasure is expensive face cream and you have found something you love, by all means, buy it, use it and don’t let me stand in your way (but maybe don’t go into debt over it and forego food or basic necessities). As long as no one is getting hurt – go for it.
I got a gift of “La Prairie” Caviar LUXE cream – which costs approximately $430 for 1.7 ounces and – I loved it. I loved the smell and the feel of it. It felt luxurious and rich. I felt rich using it! BUT I didn’t buy more and have found some oils and creams that I love for about 1/10th the price.
Point of fact – my mother – who is gorgeous and has always had beautiful skin uses Vaseline, and has for years as her primary moisturizer. Yes Vaseline. Vaseline every night and every morning. She recently changed to coconut oil for her body- like the kind you eat. It’s a little easier to put on as vaseline is super thick.
My point is – as a scientist and a doctor – for a basic moisturizer it does not matter. It also matters a lot, meaning it’s highly individual and specific. The crucial aspect is to actually use it, and if you have dry skin like me, use it a lot. Moisturize at least twice a day and if your skin is dry maybe 4 to 5 times a day. Treat your skin kindly. Like a little baby.
Here are some good rules for finding a good moisturizer.
It has to smell good to you or you wont use it, or wont enjoy using it.
Get something that feels nice going on – not too sticky or thick and has a consistency that you like.
Oils are great and very easy to put on, even if you have oily skin you may be able to find one that has a lighter feel.
“Chemicals” to avoid – more on this in a detailed way – but in general stay away from Parabens, Formaldehyde releasers like Bronopol and DMDM hydantoin, Phthalates (I mean, just look at that word, don’t you want to run??), EDTA, PEG and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), Ethanolamines (ETA, DTA, MEA and TEA).
Organic or not? That is a whole other topic as well, but read carefully “contains organic products” does not mean 100% organic!! It just means 70% of the products are organic.
Here are some great products that wont break the bank.
These are all great options and are under $50. Olay makes great products as do Neutrogena, L’oreal and Clinique. The Origins High potency Night-A-Mins gets consistenty great reviews.
For special creams and more expensive options I LOVE anything by Tammy Fender….smells amazing, great for acne prone skin yet highly moisturizing. All natural and organic ingredients -its great for teens.
One of my favorite moisturizers for years has been SKIN MEDICA Dermal repair cream. I think I love it because it brings back childhood memories–it smells like Noxema! And we washed our faces with Noxema as children. Its a great all -purpose cream for most skin types and you can buy it easily online.
Like a fine wine they have been curated and refined. I particularly like UMA. You feel as if you might have a religious experience just by putting the oil on your face! It is truly amazing!
Here are some general rules for caring for your skin to help you feel and look healthy.
If you can – get enough sleep. What is enough sleep? The general consensus is around 8 hours.
Drink enough hydrating fluid – this does not mean sugar or diet soda of any kind! You have to hydrate inside out!
Take note of what you eat and how it affects your skin – red, inflamed skin means something is not agreeing with you.
Smile – you look younger and better.
Breathe deeply at least twice daily – gets rid of toxins and oxygenates skin.
Use moisturizer minimum twice daily.
Switch it up – if you don’t like your beauty regimen – change it.
What are your favorite moisturizing skin products? Comment below if you have any that you highly recommend.
Until next time,
~Dr. Alexes Hazen