Did you know that in the UK alone, an average of £550 million is spent every year on moisturising products. For a lot of people, moisturising is an automatic part of their daily routine, believing that using a daily moisturiser is essential to having clear, toned, and youthful skin.
However, using a store-bought moisturiser might not be such a good idea.
Many store brands contain a load of chemicals that help in preserving the smell, texture, and structure of the moisturiser. These brands often contain parabens for the preservation of the product, fragrances to make it smell good (which are often toxic and not recommended for topic use), petrochemical-based emollients (to soften your skin, and give the impression of smooth, tight skin) and humectants (to enhance water absorption), penetration enhancers (for better absorption into the skin), and thickening agents (studies show that thicker moisturisers are seen as more “luxurious”).
That’s the problem with a lot of store-bought brands, and if you want to be able to avoid these nasty additives, the best thing you can do is go back to the basic thing in any moisturiser that actually moisturises your skin: the oil.
Now, you can’t just go into your kitchen and put on whatever oils you may find. According the the book, The Green Beauty Guide, you can’t actually use mineral oils or animal fats, because these will create a waterproof layer on your skin (like plastic film) that will basically lock in all the sweat, debris, dead skin cells, and sebum on your skin. This is where blackheads, acne, and breakouts on your skin happen.
Instead, you should go for plant-based oils. These oils are very similar to the natural oils that you skin produce, and they are absorbed very quickly into the skin. Since they are similar to the skin’s natural oil, they don’t clog the pores and can help bind moisture into the skin. This is what will give your skin the toned and tight appearance, while still looking soft and youthful.
When moisturising with oil, make sure that you rub it into your skin thoroughly and deeply. Make sure to massage it well for maximum absorption. Focus on the parts of your skin that are normally exposed to heat and wind, such as your hands, your face, your neck, and your legs. You can even massage it directly into your scalp to help prevent dandruff, and promote smooth and silky hair.
The best time to put on moisturiser is before going to bed, so that your skin can absorb it without being interrupted. However, after stepping out of the shower or after shaving are also good times.
Some of the best oils to use for moisturising are extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed sesame oil, grapeseed, or avocado oil. These oils are great for hydrating your skin, as well as soothing callouses.