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Moisturising: everything you need to know

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4 minute read

After brushing our teeth and cleaning our skin the art of moisturising is probably the thing we’ll invest the most time in, in our bathrooms. It’s a crucial step in skincare and the one that can, fundamentally, make the most immediate impact on your complexion. Having skin that’s well-moisturised and hydrated actually allows it to function more healthily, which in the long run means that you could actually delay the signs of ageing. There is a snag though… it’s not as simple as ‘take cream out of pot, rub into face’, the truth is it’s very easy to get applying moisturiser wrong.

Applying moisturiser to dry skin

Cleanse, tone and moisturise, right? But how long do you leave it after cleansing your skin before you moisturise? Leave it too long and you could be adding moisture to a layer of dry, dead skin cells. All that skin cell debris can actually act as a barrier between your skin and your moisturiser, which means it might not be able to work as well as you’d like it to. Furthermore, one of the purposes of moisturiser is to lock in moisture, but if skin is completely dry then there’s nothing to ‘lock in’. Instead, after cleansing, pat skin dry and apply your moisturiser immediately.

You’re applying make-up too soon

We may have told you to be speedy and apply moisturiser as soon as you can, but when it comes to your make-up give your skin a breather. Apply your moisturiser as normal then maybe use the time to get dressed, blow-dry your hair or similar, before you start buffing in foundation. This will give your moisturiser the chance to sink in and do its job rather than getting mixed up in pigments.

Price doesn’t mean quality

The job of a moisturiser is to, very simply, hydrate. A simple oil and water emulsion – a standard moisturising cream – will do the job of superficial skin hydration very well. Hefty price tags can be justified if there are specific ingredients designed to do a specific job. Anti-ageing creams and problem-solving lotions are a good example, but if it’s just moisture you want, concentrate more on a texture you like, as well as the cost.

Thinking oily skin doesn’t need moisture

It’s tempting, when dealing with oilier skin, to use cleansers that strip all surface oil and give that squeaky clean feeling. If at this point you’re then tempted to skip moisturiser – don’t be. If you strip surface oil, skin immediately goes into overproduction mode and your skin might actually look and feel oilier. Instead, use a cream cleanser and a light cream moisturiser. It might sound counter-intuitive but it will actually help your skin find a bit of balance.

You’re being too rough

Moisturising is, ultimately, a functional step in the beautifying process, but care and attention is important. If you’re too rough with your skin you can actually damage it, whereas a slow and gentle facial massage will not only deliver your moisturiser into your skin, it’ll also help stimulate circulation and give skin that glow we all crave.

You’re forgetting your neck

Don’t stop your skincare at your jawline, instead make sure you’re giving your neck some care and attention too. It’s one of the first places to start showing the signs of ageing and though there may be creams out there specifically for the neck, the skin will appreciate a bit of facial moisturiser just as much.

Not all skin is created equal

If you’re applying your moisturiser evenly all over your face you may actually be doing it a disservice. Take a good look at your skin and see whether your nose and cheeks really need to get all the attention or whether your forehead looks drier.


Now you’ve got the know-how, browse our edit of the best moisturisers out there, from the value-for-money, to the targeted ingredient-savvy formulas.

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