Explained: How to moisturize your face, the right way

When it comes to beauty, our face gets the most attention. It is subject to most experiments and different products, and the dramatic panic when a little zit pops up. With all the threading, tweezing, painting, and powdering our face goes through, it is important to treat it well with its share of moisturization.

Dry skin on the face can change the overall impression of one’s looks. The dull (sometimes peeling) skin makes you look tired. On the other hand, overdoing the moisturizing process may lead to pimples, acne, blackheads, and more. Therefore, one must not just know the importance of moisturizing your face, but also how to do it.



What is moisturization and why is it important?

Many people see dryness as a trivial irritation that does not need attention. What they don’t realize is that dry skin is not good for you in the long run. Moisture is what keeps our skin away from infections, and preserves its youth. Extremely dry skin can in the long run lead to saggy skin, wrinkles, infected patches, peeling, and so on.

Our skin is supposed to be naturally hydrated and moisturized; which is why it produces sebum on its own. The epidermis (outer layer) of our skin makes up for its appearance and wellbeing - it is the barrier that protects our skin from losing its soft texture. When this layer of the skin gets damaged, it leads to Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which refers to the loss of water from upper skin layers.

TEWL ultimately leads to dry, cracked, and chapped skin. We are all familiar with how uncomfortable that can feel. This is where the process of moisturization comes in. Moisturization refers to the process of using external ingredients/products to protect, hydrate, and add moisture to dried skin. While our skin is capable of being healthy on its own, sometimes weather conditions, exposure to the sun, poor diet, or dehydration can lead to TEWL. Of course, different types of skin need different types of moisturizers.


Moisturize your face



When to moisturize your face? 

Apart from the question of “why”, when to moisturize your face is equally important. Ideally, if you have dry skin, it is a good idea to moisturize your skin at least twice a day. You can go two ways with your moisturizing skincare routine - daytime and overnight. Your skin might need either or both. The key to proper moisturization lies in consistency. It is a bad habit to wait until your skin gets very dry to lather on bottles of moisturizers. Compensation is not enough for weeks or months’ worth of neglect.

Here are our tips and tricks based on the time of the day you may apply moisturizers.


Applying moisturizers during daytime

When it comes to moisturizing during the daytime, there is a lot of ways one can opt. Some prefer to moisturize right after they wake up, in the morning. The most optimal way to retain moisture in your skin, however, is to moisturize it every time it comes in contact with water. This means, right after a shower, or swimming, and ideally even after you wash your hands after a meal. The last suggestion is given because our palms tend to get dry after handwashing. 


Here are general tips to keep in mind:

  • For the face, a typical daytime skincare routine involves cleansing (washing), toning, moisturizing, SPF, and then make-up. 
  • The amount and ingredients of the products you use depend on your skin type. For example, people with dry skin should use a mild face wash. On the other hand, an oily face should not be subjected to lotions that are too greasy.
  • Skipping on sunscreen application is a big NO. This goes especially for people who spend too much time outdoors. Make it a point to make sunscreen part of your everyday daytime skincare.
  • It is advised that you apply moisturizer immediately after washing your face/ showering. This helps the humectants in your moisturizer to keep optimal water content on the surface of your skin. Sunscreens or occlusives are applied after humectants. They play the role of creating a barrier so that the moisture in your skin is trapped and external rays or pollution cannot harm your skin.


Applying moisturizers overnight 

Night time is the best time to take care of your skin. You are in a protected environment in your bedroom, safe from harsh sun rays, dirt, and pollution. At night, your body is resting and restoring its functioning after a tiring day. The same goes for your skin. Skin regeneration is the fastest when you are in deep sleep. Old skin is gradually exfoliated and new skin cells start to take their place. Thus, whether it’s moisturizers, face oils, or serums - they do their job optimally overnight.


Apply moisturizer overnight


Here are a set of general tips to keep in mind when moisturizing overnight:-


  • Make sure to clean your face properly with a mild face wash. Toners are recommended after washing for a more thorough cleaning, along with the restoration of the regular pH of your skin. This step is essential because our skin goes through a lot during the day. Cleaning and grooming at this stage prepare and pamper your skin for good rest during bedtime.
  • Apply moisturizers liberally at night time if you don’t have too much of an oil problem. Let them absorb into your skin well so you wake up with soft and radiant skin in the morning.
  • Night time is ideal for the application of face oils. If you use oils during the day, they can attract dirt particles and make your skin look greasy. Fortunately, these drawbacks are eliminated during bedtime. Therefore, if your skin requires an application of oils for a long time, overnight is the way to go.
  • Apply moisturizer in little circular movements all over your face. Avoid rubbing it onto your face harshly. Let your skin absorb the moisturizer for 2-3 minutes before adding a layer of face oil or any other thicker products.



What to look for in a moisturizer

To understand the moisturizing process, one must be aware of the four types of ingredients that you can find in moisturizers. Skincare experts suggest that moisturization should be thought of as a combination of all four:-


  • Humectants are ingredients that modulate water content in your skin by increasing surface-level water availability. In other words, their application draws water from your body and adds it to the skin surface. Examples of humectants include glycerine, hyaluronic acid, AHAs, yogurt, honey, and much more.
  • Occlusives, control water content on the skin’s surface by slowing TEWL. They create a barrier that makes it difficult for water to evaporate from your skin. If you apply an occlusive over a humectant, you get the best moisturizing effects. This could however be too much grease and oil for oily skin. Examples of occlusives include mineral oil (petroleum jelly), natural oils (olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and so on), beeswax, lanolin, and so on.
  • Keratolytic agents stimulate cell renewal by removing dead cells from the surface and encouraging new cells to develop for a better and healthier barrier. These enable the absorption of humectants and occlusives deep into your skin. Many humectants like AHAs also act as keratolytic agents. Examples include lactic acid, urea, and glycolic acid.
  • Emollients improve the appearance of soft, smooth skin by providing surface-level lubrication. They help with mild TEWL improvement on the skin's surface. Many occlusives also serve as emollients. Examples include lipids and oils like shea butter, jojoba oil, colloidal oatmeal, ghee, and so on.


Knowing about these ingredients along with knowledge about your skin type and needs may help you pick the best moisturizers for yourself. Always do a patch test before trying out a new product for your face. Do take into consideration how the moisturizer feels on your skin and if you are comfortable/happy with it. Avoid moisturizers that are too high on alcohol or perfumes, since they can be drying.



How to moisturize your face naturally

For the lovers of home remedies and au natural skincare routines, we have good news. Your moisturizers do not have to be store-bought formulas. Instead, you can use natural ingredients to moisturize your skin. Many ingredients available in your home right now could serve as fabulous skin hydrating agents! Here are a few ways to moisturize your face naturally: 



Honey is a skincare favourite for good reason! It is a natural humectant that is largely suitable for all skin types. It does not make oily skin greasy and leaves a hydrating effect even after it is washed off! You can use honey by applying it and leaving it on your face for 10 minutes before washing it off to get smooth, supple, and hydrated skin. However, if your skin is too dry, it would be a good idea to follow this with an occlusive ingredient, especially in winter.


Real honey benefits


Natural oils

We all have some or the other natural oil in abundance in our homes. Whether it is castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or ghee - all of these ingredients can do wonders for dry skin. They act as both emollients and occlusives, giving you smooth, shiny, and supple skin. If your skin is too dry, consider leaving coconut oil on it overnight. Avoid overusing natural oils if your skin is oily. Do not leave them on for more than 10-15 minutes. Wash off with a mild face wash.


Drink more water

Humectants and moisturizers act as helping ingredients to retain moisture in your skin. However, your skin needs hydration from the inside to stay healthy nonetheless. Make it a habit to drink over 10 glasses of water every day and you may be surprised to find that most of your skin problems reduce.


Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is another skincare favourite that happens to be an excellent humectant. Not only is aloe vera effective in hydrating your skin, but it has also been found to have qualities that help in skin regeneration. It is anti-inflammatory, high in vitamin E and vitamin A. Keeping an aloe vera plant at your home can be the ultimate fix to several of your skin problems. All you have to do is cut its leaf and squeeze out the naturally occurring gel-like moisturizer. You can use this gel-like regular moisturizer overnight, or rinse it off after 15-20 minutes.

Aloe vera hydrates skin



Final takeaways

Moisturizers, in many ways, are the protagonist of our skincare regimes. While choosing the right moisturizer is the first step; knowing how to optimize it is the secret key to ever-glowing healthy skin. Therefore, it is essential to be consistent with moisturizers and to adjust them according to seasonal needs. So, waste no time! Try out what works for the needs of your skin the best and come up with the best skincare regime for yourself. We hope this blog gave you more insight into how to go about it.