Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beauty Q & A: Facial Creams and Moisturizers

Sandy’s Search for Science:

“I'm curious about all the different types of facial moisturizers out there - eye cream, face cream, face lotion, serum, day moisturizer, night moisturizer...etc. How different are they exactly, and which ones are truly necessary?”

The Right Brain Rejoins:

Well, Sandy, here at The Beauty Brains, we treat all questions as equal. But, not all parts of your skin are equal and that’s why you need different types of facial moisturizers. (How’s that for a segue to your answer?)

Most of the products you cited are designed to perform on different parts of your skin OR they’re meant to perform different functions. Eye creams, for starters, are specially designed for the delicate area around your eyes. As you can see if you click here*, the skin around the eye has unique properties:

“It has virtually no sebacious glands, which makes it highly prone to dryness. It is much thinner and more sensitive than other facial skin. It overlies a particularly dense capillary network and has minimal fat padding, which makes the eye area prone to puffiness. It is stressed by frequent eye movements and squinting.” *courtesy of
Cosmetics made for use around the eyes are formulated to address these specific properties. Facial skin, on the other hand, needs products formulated differently because the area around the nose and cheeks is filled with active oil glands. You don’t want to apply too many oily moisturizers to this area! (Acne anyone?) So, it looks like you need to decide WHERE on your face the product will be used before you pick the product.

Ah, but if only it were as simple as “eye” or “not eye.” There are other factors to consider – is the product meant to moisturize during the day? Well then the formula should probably contain a UV absorber. Is it just a night time product? Then UV isn’t a problem. So, you also need to consider WHEN you’ll be using the product before you pick the product.

What about product forms, you ask? Serums, lotions, creams? Well, these are really just different delivery vehicles. You can have serums for the face, lotions for the eyes, creams for the nose, or serums for the nose, creams for the face and lotions for the eyes or you can have…. Well, you get the picture. You need to decide what kind of product form you like before you pick the product.

Soooo, the Brains bottom line: to some extent, these products are different and understanding where, when and how you want to use the product will help you select what to buy. But beware – there is a lot of Marketing hype out there and you don’t need to buy EVERYTHING they tell you!

Thanks for the question, we hope this helps.

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