35 Beneficial ingredients to look for when buying moisturiser

makeup kit moisturiser ingredients

Great moisturiser – an important start for any makeup application

An important part of any makeup kit is a good moisturiser, because it conditions the skin ready for you to apply makeup. And the better quality your skin is in, the better your makeup will look and last.

But there are so many moisturiser brands and types out there and they all tell you they do the best for your skin, but how are you really supposed to know if they actually work or not.

What make’s a good moisturiser?

Do you know what you are really looking for when reading the ingredients list?  Well, I thought I’d write this blog to hopefully make choosing the right moisturiser a little easier.  I have put a list together of some of the most popular ingredients found in moisturisers and what their benefits are for your skin.

Keep in mind, these are in no particular order and there are sooooo many ingredients out there, I really had to cull the list so you’re not reading this blog for days.

1 Aqua

It’s water, the life liquid of all that is living on earth. So it’s great in your skin care.

2 Shea Butter

Derived from the nut of the Shea Tree. Full of vitamins and fatty acids, it’s great for moisturising and soothing the skin. Usually found in thicker moisturisers like body butters and lip balms, but is very versatile for all areas of the body.

3 Apricot Kernal seed oil

Derived from the seeds of apricots. It has light moisturising properties which make it perfect for normal to oily skin types. It also makes for a great lightweight natural massage oil.

4 Sesame Seed Oil

A natural oil which is awesome in cooking. Sesame contains Zinc, which can help with protecting the skin from sun damage. Zinc is also said to help accelerate the skin’s elasticity production, thus helping to minimise lines and smooth the skin. It also smells and tastes Amaaaaaazing in food!

5 Cetearyl Alcohol

Now the word alcohol sounds bad. Related to dehydration, partying and getting drunk, but there are 2 types of alcohols:  Fatty Alcohols and the bad/fun alcohol.  The ones you want in your skin care are the Fatty type, some others you may see are Cetyl Alcohol, Glycol and Stearyl Alcohol.  Fatty alcohols are naturally found in our body and help our skin to retain and absorb moisture. They are often used as thickeners and emulsifiers which help bind water to oil and create desirable textures to your products. They are also great emollients, which smooth and hydrate the skin.

6 Aloe Barbadenis

If Aloe Vera is not in your backyard already, get it!  It’s a natural gel, great for calming, hydrating and soothing skin.  If you have sun burn, smear this all over it and feel the relief.  My grandmother taught me this trick and it works a treat! Stick it in the fridge for more intense skin refreshment. This ingredient has so many awesome benefits, I could do an entire blog on it. Eat it, drink it, smear it, either way get this in your garden for an easy, quick and effective home remedy for so many things. My fave plant!

7 Glycerin

This ingredient can be used as a sweetener too, but for the skin it works best as a humectant. What does a humectant do, I hear you say?? A humectant helps the skin attract and absorb moisture.

8 Zinc Oxide

It is found in many products that boast sun protection, as it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.  With our harsh Australian sun, this is excellent to see in day moisturisers.

9 Macadamia Nut Oil

Derived from the macadamia nut, it works as a natural moisturiser and helps the skin retain moisture and slows the ageing process by restoring the skin’s omega 7 levels.

10 Oleic acid

This helps restore the skin by increasing it’s regenerative properties, along with moisturising the skin.

11 Linoleic Acid

This ingredient is a fatty acid that helps prevent dehydration and promotes healing within the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is great to treat acne, damaged skin and dehydration.

12 Pomegranate oil

Pomegranates are what I call a super food. High in anti-oxidants, this protects from free radicals (basically toxins and crap really) You can drink it, eat and smear it. Either way it has protective and healing properties. You want anti-ageing?  You need this ingredient in your life.

13 Green Tea

Another strong anti-oxidant to protect from free radicals, it is also an anti-inflammatory so good for puffiness, as well as being an anti-bacterial, which make it helpful for treating acne. Plus, like pomegranates you can drink it.

14 Cottonseed Oil

Derived from the seed of cotton plants, this oil has hydration and anti-inflammatory properties.

15 Coco-Glycerides

Derived from coconut oil, this is a brilliant fatty acid (skin conditioner), surfactant (it attracts dirt to water, so a great cleanser), it helps heal damaged skin, soothes bug bites and has anti-oxidant properties (protects from those toxins and free radicals mentioned earlier).

16 Stearic Acid

Mostly used in soaps and cleansing agents, this ingredient can be found in moisturisers as a softening agent for the skin.

17 Almond oil

Need I say what it is derived from?  High in anti-oxidants, such as Vitamin E to protect from the pollution and toxins our body has to deal with. It contains proteins which is what our skin is made of, so it helps to heal and encourage cell regeneration (great for anti-aging), High in magnesium which is said to fight against the signs of stress.  Who doesn’t need that!

18 Jojoba

A gentle skin moisturiser that closely resembles that of the skin’s natural conditioner, Sebum. Jojoba (pronounced= Yahoba) also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

19 Olive leaf extract

An excellent skin conditioner filled with anti-oxidants.

20 Tocopherol Acetate

It sounds pretty bad, but really, it’s a form of Vitamin E.  A strong Anti-oxidant excellent in the fight against the signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles, also great for healing damaged skin and wounds.

21 Coenzyme Q10

This is a powerful anti-oxidant with strong protective properties. It also helps encourage the skin’s production of collagen and elastin, which naturally slows as we age.

22 Olive oil

Great for anti-ageing because of its moisturising, anti-oxidants and vitamin E properties.

23 Calendula oil

Derived from the Calendula flower, it has anti-bacterial properties which helps with healing wounds and damaged skin. It also stimulates collagen production around wounds to minimise scar tissue.

24 Argan oil

Derived from the kernels of the Argan tree, this ingredient is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. This makes it great for conditioning the skin and fighting against the signs of free radicals.

25 Lactic Acid

A very popular AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) which helps promote exfoliation. This works to treat acne, remove dead skin to promote cell regeneration and expose fresh more youthful skin. Be aware it is important to protect your skin from the sun after using a product with a AHAs.

26 Glycolic Acid

Another AHA ingredient, this is found in many chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin, encourage cell regeneration, and promote a younger, smoother skin.

27 Isopropyl Palmitate

This ingredient acts as a lubricant to allow products to apply and blend easily and smoothly, it can also act as a binding agent, which holds ingredients together, to prevent separation of ingredients. Not really an ingredient for the skin specifically, but it’s in the moisturiser I’m looking at right now and does help to create workable product.

28 Dimethicone

Is a silicon based polymer. This gives products a smooth slip to its texture. It is also often found in primers, as it leaves a soft barrier layer to smooth over the skin and fill in textures of the skin.

29 Titanium Dioxide

Is a UVA and UVB blocker, which gives the skin protection from the sun.

30 Vitamin A

Also called Retinol, it not only acts as a good anti-oxidant, it also works to promote healthy cells and cell regeneration.  Retinol is brilliant for anti-ageing, acne treatments and skin protection.

31 Hyaluronic Acid

This awesome ingredient plumps and softens the skin. It is said to hold up to 1000 times it’s weight in moisture! It hydrates the skin by allowing to skin to attract and retain water.

32 Urea

Now I realize this may sound a little like a liquid that you probably don’t want to smear all over your face, but urea is actually a great ingredient.  It has gentle exfoliation properties, along with providing moisturising and skin plumping effects.

33 Tea Tree Oil

Is an excellent anti-bacterial agent, which makes it great to treat acne.

34 Lemon Myrtle

is a great Anti-oxidant and has antibacterial properties. I also think it smells amazing!

35 Rose Hip oil

Is full of essential fatty acids which help to condition, smooth and plump the skin, along with help heal dry, damaged skin, by speeding up the healing process.

The effects of moisturising ingredients on your skin

The beneficial effects of ingredients will greatly depend on the amount of that ingredient in the product.  So when looking at the ingredient list on the back of your products, if it is listed high up on the list, it contains a higher percentage of that particular ingredient. The lower down the list the ingredient appears, the less effective the ingredient will be.

Now although I have labelled these as beneficial ingredients, please always remember that every skin is different and there is no ingredient on the planet that is 100% allergy free.  So I always recommend getting a thorough skin analysis by a trained skin expert to determine what ingredients and products will suit you best.  What suits your bestie, or your mum brilliantly, may not necessarily suit you. Listen to your skin too, it will tell you if it doesn’t like something.