We often get asked if there is a difference between face lotion and cream? The answer is yes, and the difference is simple; lotion has a higher percentage of water than oil, and cream usually has a 50/50 ratio of oil to water. They are both considered moisturizers, and are an important step in your daily skincare ritual.
Which should you choose?
Lotion is generally the best choice for moisturizing your face, because it is lightweight, absorbs easily and will not clog your pores. It is recommended for oily skin, but is also preferred for normal and dry skin. Especially in the summer months, when we have so much more humidity in the air, and we tend to sweat. Also, choosing lotion in the morning is a great idea to avoid greasy feeling skin.
Sometimes during the winter months, when the air is cold and dry, and heaters remove even more humidity from the air indoors, we need a little heavier moisturizer. This is when you might want to choose a face cream. Remember to pick a cream that uses non-comedogenic oils, so it won't clog pores and cause break-outs. Cream is recommended for use at night, and for dry skin, but when you need that little bit extra, it is a great choice for all skin types.
Some active ingredients, like retinol (vitamin A), are recommended for use at night, because that is when your skin is in repair mode. Also, retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, and sunlight decreases efficacy, so night creams containing retinol are a great choice. Some of you may know that retinol can irritate skin, but there are now natural alternatives to retinol, that provide all the benefits without the irritation! (more about this coming in a blog soon).
Why is moisturizer important?
Moisturizer is important because it actually balances the skin. It prevents skin from becoming too dry, and from becoming too oily. Lotions and creams don't just feel good going on, they protect skin from the elements by maintaining a healthy barrier, keep skin looking and feeling healthy by diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and trap in water to keep the skin hydrated. If you like to keep it simple, and don't want to layer your skincare with a bunch of products, cleansing, moisturizing and applying sunscreen are three steps you should include in your daily ritual.
Ingredients to look for in Moisturizers:
As mentioned above, most lotions and creams contain water and oil. Using waters such as aloe vera juice and flower waters infuse soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, while active ingredients provide anti-aging and antioxidant benefits. Water not only hydrates skin, but acts as an absorption enhancer for active ingredients.
Look for carrier oils such as jojoba, hempseed, camellia seed, rosehip, sacha inchi, sunflower, grapeseed and more, which are rich in linoleic acid (omega - 6 fatty acid). It is hands down the most important fatty acid to look for in a non-comedogenic oil. Linoleic acid is the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid in the skin, and is a critical nutrient in the skin's sebum. Linoleic acid, or Vitamin F, provides moisture and “plumpness” without weighing down the skin; it fortifies and protects the skin's barrier, thereby helping to fend off UV rays and air pollutants, both of which cause free radical activity that can result in wrinkles and signs of aging.
Shea butter, cupuacu butter, cocoa butter, and others, are high in nutritious vitamins and fatty acids. They are emollient ingredients that contribute to soft smooth skin. Shea butter also provides healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Humectants pull moisture from the air or from deeper in the skin. Glycerin, hyaluronic acid and squalane (plant derived alternative to squalene) are types of humectants that help retain water in the outer layers of skin.
Emulsifying waxes bind water and oil together to create lotion or cream. They thicken and stabilize the formula. For our lotions we use self emulsifying wax N, composed of 90% Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol and 10% Sodium Cetylstearyl Sulfate derived from vegetable oils. It is PEG-free and gluten-free, and is approved by Ecocert for use as an ingredient in natural and organic cosmetics.
Herbal and botanical extracts, vitamins, acids, retinol, niacinamide, peptides etc. are all active ingredients that may be added to skincare products to further benefit your skin.
Essential Oils are used in skincare for both their aromatic and skin healing qualities and when used for their therapeutic properties we use the term aromaceuticals.
Any product that contains water needs a broad spectrum preservative. There is just no circumstance where a preservative is not needed. Vitamin E oil (tocopherol) is not considered a preservative. It works well as an anti-oxidant in anhydrous (no water) formulations, but is not adequate as a preservative in products containing water. The same goes for essential oils; they are not substitutes for proper preservation systems. The desire to use products with nutrient filled plant-based ingredients is growing. Customers are educating themselves, and are learning more about harsh synthetic ingredients. However, skipping preservatives to keep products clean is simply not recommended. Scientists and chemists have been working hard to come up with safer plant derived preservative systems, and formulators are working to find the most suitable ones for their products. At SiSi Georgian Bay, the preservatives we use make up a very small percentage of the overall formulations, but still provide broad spectrum protection activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast and molds. We will blog more about preservatives soon.
Thanks for reading and stay wild!