Dry and combination skin types suffer in the winter months, when cold air and indoor heat can leach moisture right out of the skin. Heavy-duty creams can provide relief, but often prove too rich and occlusive for summertime. Fortunately, cosmetic companies provide great lightweight skincare lotions with state-of-the-art ingredients that keep moisture levels up without all the grease.
The following recommendations are for use at night; if used during the day, sunscreen or foundation with an SPF of at least 15 (30 is better!) must be worn on top of them.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Available in department stores or at specialty shops like Sephora, this yellow lotion is not only light and oil-free, but also loaded with skin-soothing anti-irritants. It absorbs quickly, yet provides a smooth finish and completely eradicates any dry patches on oily/combination skin.
It is great moisturizer for acne-prone skin, since Clinique omitted all pore-clogging thickeners from its formulation. Those sensitive to yellow colorants will want to check the ingredient list, however.
CereVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM
For combination to slightly oily or normal skin, this lotion will moisturize without turning the face into an oil slick. It contains effective humectants to bind water to the face. It also has cholesterol as a lubricant and a skin softening group of ceramides to replace lipids and prevent further dehydration. Phytosphingosine is present to condition the face as well.
Best of all, niacinamide is high up on the ingredient list. This B Vitamin stimulates blood flow and has been proven to increase ceramides and fatty acid levels in skin tissue. It can also help decrease the incidence of facial discolorations by stopping the transfer of brown melanin organelles to skin cells. Lastly, it may aid in clearing up blemishes, although the concentration of niacinamide in this product might not be high enough to have such an effect.
At about $15 for 3 ounces, this one’s a steal.
Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair
This is a super product for dry to very dry skin, though it can be too rich for oilier types due to the inclusion of some shea butter and squalane. It has a light, easily absorbed formula and is absolutely chock-full of beneficial ingredients.
Resist includes “dry feel” emollients, humectants, ceramides, a peptide (Matrixyl), antioxidants, and anti-irritants. It also contains retinol, so its use may constitute overkill for those consumers who already use Retin-A or another retinoid product. Note that retinol does cause sensitivity to sunlight; but since the product should not be worn outdoors during the day without sunscreen of some type, this shouldn’t be too problematic.
Consumers who struggle with parched skin or localized dry patches even during the summer months, but hate the feeling of thick moisturizers during those carefree, sun-filled days, should be pleased with at least one of the above products.