Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Masterclass - Moisturisers

aka. Your skin needs a drink.

Firstly a few more skin basics - Your skin contains 20% of your body's water reserves. Most of this is in the lower layer (dermis) of the skin, however, like the cell regeneration it work its way up to the top layer (epidermis) where it'll evaporate away. Skin protects itself by production of sebum, protecting cells by creating a complex mix of subtances and finally filling more gaps with lipids (like fats) which forms a watertight barrier.

Moisturiser is there to offer a support to this system, it's not just something to slap on, it is something to think about.

Any basis of a moisturiser cream is a mixture of oil and water, whether it is your one pound special or Creme de la Mer. Lotions have an ingrediant called glycrine (a sugar syrup that is simular to lipids) or sobitol (a reduction of glycrine), this then means that the concetration of oil used can be lowered, which produces the lighter fluid moistrusier. This is why if you read any ingrediant lists on products "aqua" (posh word for "water") appears first as it is the ingrediant that there is the most of.

Into this is where we find the differences in each brand/formulation - vitamins, minerals, SPF, the list you can image is endless (I cannot remember the brand but there is one out there which boosts it has over 300 ingrediants - I would hate to learn that list!). SPF (Sun Protection Factor) would make you bog standard moisturiser into an anti-aging moitursier. This will protect the skin from the sun rays (bonus points if you can get one with UV filters, but not sun screen as these are very rich with oil and can feel heavy), and delay damage to the skin which can lead to wrinkles.

Ok so why is La Pairie creams (avg. 300-400 pounds a go), when theres something else for a tenner? It all comes down to those extra ingrediants that are being added (like gold flakes, cavier - These are very rare thus very expensive to put in. Not to forget that that these companies have put in hours of research to create something no one else has etc.)

What you need to think about two things - What do I want it to do for me? (Protection, cure dryness, makes skin less red etc.) and I think the more important, how much am I willing to spend up to? When I'm looking for a new product to invest in (personal or business) I read blogs, customer review sites, magazines - This is so I know what is out there, what my money can get (and do I need to save up if I fall in love with something), but also what the customer REALLY thinks (because a great product can be great for them/you and worth a look, but a continued bad product is worth a wide birth!).

A good moisturiser is a real investment, when a jar runs out and if it still doing wonderful things for you be faithful to your love. Only you know when it's time to move onto another moistrusier lover.
Next time - The minefield of skin types.

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