Do I need a moisturiser in my regime? - Skinora
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Do I need a moisturiser in my regime?

Lots of people include a moisturiser in their daily skincare regime. Some of us have grown up using moisturisers but not always understood why we should be using them or are we using the right moisturiser for our skin type or skin concerns. Moisturisers are readily available in the form of creams, lotions, serums and face masks.

Why use a moisturiser in your skincare regime?

Moisturisers help to strengthen the skin barrier to maintain skin health and hydration. The skin barrier serves as a gatekeeper for your skin to help keep moisture in and irritants out. If the skin barrier is compromised, your skin barrier will struggle to keep the skin healthy and hydrated as it starts to lose moisture but also allow for irritants to penetrate the skin.

The skin barrier structure resembles a brick wall; the brick is the cell, and these cells are held together by lipids, also known as fats, which behave like mortar. The skin barriers main components are the following lipids: cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides. An impaired skin barrier may present with dryness and sensitivity, so it is important recognise this and act quickly to repair the skin barrier with the right ingredients. Also don’t forget to include the right nutritional ingredient in your diet to strengthen your skin barrier including essential fatty acids.

Do I need a daytime and night time moisturiser?

It is better to use 2 different moisturisers for the daytime and in the evenings. Your daytime moisturiser may contain SPF which is important in protecting you from harmful UV rays. In addition, the daytime moisturisers tend to be more lightweight, so this is often better when using makeup or an additional sunscreen as it doesn’t leave the skin feeling too greasy or shiny.

Your night time moisturiser will not contain SPF. They tend to be heavier and richer in texture and aim to restore, repair and regenerate the skin overnight. Therefore, they may contain additional active ingredients such as retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHA) hyaluronic acids, peptides, ceramides and antioxidants.

What is the Difference Between Humectants, Emollients, and Occlusives?


Humectant agents help to attract water to skin from the environment due to their high affinity for water. Popular humectants in the industry include allantoin, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol and sodium hyaluronate.


Emollient ingredients are designed trap moisture in the skin and create a protective oily layer on the outer skin surface which helps skin repair the skin barrier, improve skin hydration as well as softening and smooth the skin. Common emollients include lipids, shea butter, cocoa butter, plant oils, esters and fatty acids.


Occlusive ingredients help to prevent moisture loss. Common occlusives include petrolatum, lots of oils and dimethicone (a common silicone).

Which moisturiser is good for normal skin?

Even though your skin may feel like it doesn’t need a moisturiser, it is important to maintain the skin barrier to keep the skin hydrated and provide protection to prevent the skin ageing quickly.


CeraVe Moisturising Lotion


Cerave Moisturising Lotion

Contains 3 naturally occurring ceramides to restore and repair the protective barrier of the skin to retain moisture, hyaluronic acid provides hydration to enhance the look of skin texture, dimethicone hydrates and protects the skin, vitamin E helps to neutralise free radicals and hydrates skin, and improve the appearance of visible skin ageing, glycerin moisturises skin and smoothes skin

NeoStrata Resurface Ultra Smoothing Cream

Formulated with 10% glycolic and citric acids, they remove dull, dead dermal cells, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as they also diminish the look of hyperpigmentation for a youthful, revitalised complexion. The firming cream features shea butter to condition and soften, enhance texture and tone.

Which moisturiser is good for combination skin?

It can be difficult to find the right balance for combination as you are juggling the oiliness in the T zone and the dry cheeks.


ZO Renewal Créme

ZO Skin Health Renewal Creme

A great moisturiser for combination skin. Sodium hyaluronate and jojoba ester help to restore hydration. Oat and Canadian willowherb extracts soothe and reduce irritated skin. Oxysomes (vitamins C and E) and coenzyme-Q10 provide antioxidant properties. Retinol stimulates epidermal renewal and collagen production while helping to even skin tone.



Which moisturiser is good for oily skin?

Oily skin types may stay away from moisturisers as they are worried about more breakouts but when you have a regime focused on reducing oil, these active ingredients tend to leave the skin feeling dry. Aim for lightweight moisturisers that are non-comedogenic (do not clog pores leading to further breakouts).

Obagi 360 Hydrafactor

Obagi Hydrafactor

Eperuline (bark extract)– calms and soothes skin. resevetrol, vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10 all possess antioxidant properties to protect skin against damaging free radicals. Hyaluronic acid and  hydromanil moisturises and plumps skin. The chemical UV filters, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate and Oxybenzone, help to prevent sunburn and protect skin from further damage.


La Roche Effaclar H Moisturiser


La Roche Effaclar H

Contains ceramide 5 which reinforces the skin’s hydrolipidic film, niacinamide is anti-inflammatory that also reduces oiliness, refines pores and improves hyperpigmentation, La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water is full of natural minerals and antioxidants to restore skin health, squalane is an emollient with antioxidant properties, helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines an wrinkles, improves hyperpigmentation and protects against free radical damage, dimethicone helps to prevent moisture loss, and glycerin attracts water to skin from the environment



Which moisturiser is good for dry skin?

Dry skin lacks oil so it is important to select moisturiser that provide oil to improve moisture and water to enhance the hydration levels of the skin.


CeraVe Moisturising Cream 177ml

Cerave Moisturising Cream

Contains dimethicone, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides. These ceramides help restore your skin’s natural barrier, helping to keep moisture in and harmful elements out.



Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Serum

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Serum

Replenishes skins hydration, binding moisture to the skin leaving it feeling supple and smooth. With the combination of vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid, Hydrating B5 leaves skin moisturised and feeling smooth and hydrated.



Obagi Hydrate


Obagi Hydrate

Formulated with shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil and hydromanil, this blend of wonderful ingredients provides hydration and antioxidant protection to keep the skin healthy.

If you are still not sure about the right moisturiser for you, please do not hesitate to complete the skin quiz, connect with a skin expert and understand what is required for your individual skin type and skin needs.

About the Author: Lucinda Appiah

Dr Lucinda Appiah studied Medicine and Haematology at Imperial College London from 2003-2009. She later went on to attain her postgraduate certification in Aesthetic Medicine at Queen Mary University in London with merit and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and aesthetic medicine practitioners in the country. Dr Appiah also continues to practice as a GP and has extensive experience in treating a range of skin conditions. She has an empathetic approach to all skin concerns and has also had her own skin journey managing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. She is passionate about working with brands that deliver results backed by science, empowering clients to explore new ingredients and grow their self confidence.

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Last update: May 5th, 2021

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