All About Moisturisers: Finding the right one for your skin type and needs
When it comes to moisturisers, there are plenty to choose from—from gels to emulsions and thick creams—to plump, refresh, and (seriously) hydrate your skin.
Let us start narrowing down your choices by looking at our recommendations for every skin type below!
You can read our guide to moisturiser ingredients here.
Oily and acne-prone skin types
There is a misconception going around that oily skin types do not need a moisturiser. The truth is, oily skin types become more oily when they skip out on moisturiser. This is because when the skin is lacking its much needed hydration, it will overcompensate the loss of moisture by producing more oil.
Through regular use of a moisturiser, oily skin types can actually regulate the oil production of the skin to reduce oiliness. The same applies for acne-prone skin.
Oily and acne-prone skin do not require a heavy moisturiser as the skin already produces sebum to give the skin its moisture. Instead, moisturisers with more hydrating and humectant ingredients are suitable for these skin types. Since humectants are so lightweight, they are great for oily skin types for use during summer time, and daytime in general.
Layering several lighter, more hydrating products is better for oily skin types to balance sebum production. Lightweight moisturisers include emulsions and lotions, which are suitable for oily, combination, and dehydrated skin.
If you experience overproduction of sebum, moisture is being stripped away from your skin too quickly, which is commonly caused by over-cleansing and/or over-exfoliating. (Over-blotting may cause this as well.) If this is your concern, it is best to use a lightweight, gel-type moisturiser that contains ingredients that regulate sebum such as niacinamide, or oils with higher linoleic acid like rosehip oil.
If you suffer from fungal acne, look for moisturisers with antifungal ingredients such as honey, propolis extract, green tea, and BHA (such as salicylic acid). Avoid oils, fatty acids, and fermented ingredients like Galactomyces, Lauric acid, Palmitic acid, Oleic acid, Linoleic acid and Stearatic acid as fungi feeds on these ferments. Also, avoid over-moisturising your face during hot weather because fungi thrives in humid and moist surfaces.
What we recommend:
- Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream contains Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract that provide cooling relief to soothe redness, blemishes, and sun burns while the formula refreshes oily, heated skin. It also features Vitamin B5, also known as Panthenol, as key ingredient. Vitamin B5 has moisturising, regenerating, and anti-inflammatory effects. Perfect for oily skin as it absorbs quickly and delivers instant hydration with a fresh finish.
- Pyunkang Yul Acne Cream a lightweight, oil-free, gentle, gel type textured cream perfect for acne-prone skin. It has Centella Asiatica, Asiatic Knotweed, White Willow extract and Copper Tripeptide, together gives this cream its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and oil controlling properties that keep excessive sebum under control and fills the skin with moisture, striking the perfect water and oil balance, and ultimately prevents bacterial invasion into pores and effectively soothes the skin.
- Yadah Cactus Cream contains 70.68% Opuntia ficus-indica Stem Extract that helps treat acne while soothing and hydrating irritated, inflamed skin. It is also rich in Vitamins B, A, and C, all essential in anti-aging skin care, and effective at preventing free-radical damage while shielding the skin from oxidative impact. It also contains 5% Panthenol, a Vitamin B5 derivative, to strengthen skin's moisture barrier and delivers ample moisture to relieve dryness and instantly sooth sensitive skin for a supple and plump finish.
Humectants are also perfect for dehydrated skin, which means that your skin is lacking in water content. Dehydration does not only happen in dry skin types. Having dehydrated skin may also indicate that your skin has a compromised moisture barrier, which means you might experience trans-epidermal water loss or fast and easy escape of hydration from your skin. Dehydrated skin can benefit from hydrating ingredients in your moisturiser (and other skincare steps, too) such as Glycerin, Sodium PCA, and honey, as well as emollients such as ceramides or fatty acids.
Emulsions are lightweight moisturisers with milky consistency, as these are a combination of oil and water. Sometimes these products can be gel-like, aqueous, or oil-free, which means they depend more on thickeners to give them texture.
For dehydrated skin, using an emulsion will be helpful in providing the needed hydration and moisture to the skin. Try the Laneige Essential Power Emulsion Moisture, a moisturising solution of Narcissus extract, Panthenol, and Sweet Flag extract to keep the skin soft and with a strong skin barrier, perfect for dry and combination skin types; and the Laneige Essential Power Emulsion Light, a light-weighted emulsion for oily skin with Niacinamide and Vitamin C that balances oil-moisture levels in oily skin and creates a bright clear complexion.
Dry skin and mature skin types love and can handle thicker, more emollient, quite occlusive and heavy moisturisers because dry skin means your skin is lacking in oil production. Dry and mature skin benefit from more occlusive, oil-based moisturisers as these are better at preventing moisture from evaporating from your skin. If you're not into heavy moisturisers, then adding an oil in your routine might be better for you.
Oil production slows down and skin becomes in more need of hydration as the skin matures. Moisturisers are absolutely integral to dry and maturing skin for a plump, hydrated skin and a glowing complexion. Skin aging is more likely to occur if you live in a dry climate, or spend a lot of time indoors in the heat or air conditioning as these cause excessive dryness to the skin. Dryness can lead to increased fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and loss of elasticity.
What we recommend:
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is a moisturising cream that contains botanical oils, bee venom snail mucin, niacinamide, and adenosine that supply intensive nutrition and improve skin tone and elasticity.
- iUNIK Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream helps moisturise dry skin and improve skin barrier function with beta-glucan, a natural moisturizer from mushrooms, that retains moisture 20% better than hyaluronic acid and improves skin elasticity and recovery. It brightens and evens skin tone, improves the appearance of wrinkles, and absorbs quickly with a soft, moist finish.
- COSRX Hydrium Power Enriched Cream consists of D-panthenol, propolis, and ceramide that form a moisture shield and prevents moisture loss in the skin. Propolis keeps your skin's moisture and oil balance while ceramide protects the skin from external harmful substances. The combination of these three ingredients makes even dry, dehydrated skin stay hydrated and moist all day long.
- Pyunkang Yul Intensive Repair Cream has peptides, ceramides and botanical extracts for deep hydration that lasts all day. Peptides, which are rich in amino acids, add intense hydration; ceramides reinforce skin’s moisture barrier, and Macadamia seed oil and Shea butter nourish dry skin while forming a strong skin barrier.
Skin too sensitive? Don’t fret! Sensitive skin types tend to get irritated from products with added fragrances. So if you have sensitive skin, avoid moisturisers with essential oils and fragrances in the ingredients list. Choose a moisturiser with few ingredients and/or pure ingredients, as well as calming and soothing ingredients such as Centella asiatica, Mugwort extract (Artemisia vulgaris extract), oat extract, Niacinamide, or honey that are non-irritating and will help calm and soothe your skin.
- COSRX Purefit Cica Cream is a moisturiser for dry, sensitive skin. It is free of artificial fragrance and essential oils, and contains a high amount of Centella Asiatica, a number of humectants such as Butylene Glycol and Glycerin, emollient ingredients such as Dimethicone, vegetable oils and fatty alcohols, and beeswax (an occlusive ingredient). Together, they provide safe and quick relieving care for weakening and irritated skin, and restore the weakened skin barrier without leaving the skin feeling greasy or heavy.
- iUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream is full of humectant ingredients perfect for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin. This light and moisturising gel cream contains 70% Centella Asiatica leaf water and 10% tea tree leaf water that helps calm and soothe sensitive, irritated, stressed, or blemish-prone skin and strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier. Niacinamide and Adenosine help brighten and even the skin tone, and provides wrinkle care.
- Purito Centella Green Level Recovery Cream is perfect for combination, sensitive skin. It contains 50% Centella Asiatica Extract is an antibacterial that helps soothe skin problems and stimulate collagen formation in the dermis layer. A combination of Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, and Niacinamide brightens and improves the skin barrier. Together with the perfect blend of emollients and humectants, this moisturiser is ideal for combination skin.
This skin type is unique since it experiences dry patches and oily areas, and change drastically from very oily today and super dry the following day. Since it is a constant change between dry and oily skin, ingredients such as Vitamin E, Green Tea, and antioxidants is perfect for this skin type.
Our recommendation is Neogen Vita Duo Cream Joan Day Joan Night that contains all three ingredients! It provides a dual cream system containing natural ingredients and vitamins C & E, which provides intensive soothing and hydrating benefits.
Normal skin has the most freedom when it comes to choosing the ideal moisturiser. But even if this is the case, keep in mind factors like change in seasons and harsh environmental conditions in choosing a formula that will keep your skin well-balanced and hydrated as your skin needs change.
We recommend COSRX Oil-Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion, that contains 70% Birch sap which is effective in restoring moisture and maintaining hydration levels, suitable for all skin types. It quenches dry skin whether if you are experiencing dryness due to winter weather or natural sensitivity; it's also great for when you need a light moisturiser during summer time.
Ready to choose a moisturiser? Check out our selection in the shop!