Product reviews · Tips & tricks

Moisturising – what exactly is it and why do we do it?

This is the third post in a series of three:

Cleansing – what exactly is it & why do we do it?
Toning – what exactly is it & why do we do it?
Moisturising – what exactly is it & why do we do it?

The one crucial skincare step I’ve always had trouble sticking to is moisturising. I love skincare and have been mildly obsessed for a good while, but it’s only in the last few months I’ve finally integrated moisturising into my routine.

Why did it take me so long? For a long time I don’t think I actually understood how skin works as an organ, and as a result not being able to see any tangible results of what moisturising is actually doing was irritating. I think this is fairly common.

The most common problem with our skin is dehydration. Radiators, aeroplanes, trains, hotel rooms, air conditioning, pollution, the underground… we live in a world of constantly recycled gross air that dries our skin out in ways we can’t even imagine. As someone who travels home (by air) and to conferences and meetings (by train) very regularly, it’s no surprise that all of this impacts my skin pretty badly.

For me, dehydration was never particularly obvious. You can see spots, you can see very clearly dry skin, but you don’t see the layers underneath that are crying out for hydration. There is also a tonne of misinformation around oily complexions – for years I wouldn’t dare put anything moisturising on my face because I thought it would make the oil worse, when in actual fact hydration is crucial in helping balance out the amount of oil your skin is producing.

I’ve discovered that when I’m making myself get into a routine with moisturiser, the wrong one can make me oiler, and at the beginning of sticking to a routine (using the correct products for my skin) my skin was a little oiler – but then it quickly balanced out and my skin looks a lot better. It’s more hydrated, and even with some break outs and uneven skin tone, my skin does look better, brighter and more healthy.

I’ve included a list of products from my current routine along with some recommendations from other people. Please note that I have not personally used the latter list of products, but every one was recommended by people with different skin types.

REN Evercalm Global Protection Cream (£28 for 50ml) – I got this in the M&S beauty calendar and it was the product that finally made me get into a proper moisturising routine. I find it’s light and works well in the morning, and a little goes a long way. With this price tag I will be trying cheaper alternatives before I would buy it myself (though I have seen it on sale quite regularly, so if you keep your eyes peeled you may find it significantly cheaper).

Elemis Hydra-Nourish Night Cream (£43 for 50ml) – I got this in a Birchbox my sister bought me for my birthday and have been using it at night. It’s nice and nourishing, but I don’t think it’s worth the price at all. It may be better suited to older skin. I have a lot of small tubes of more high-end night creams that I’ll probably make my way through once this is done before I eventually need to buy a regular one.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant 2 in 1 Moisturiser & Serum (£2.95 for 50ml) – I bought this in a recent Superdrug haul to give my skin an extra hydration boost in the mornings. So far I like it – it’s cheap (currently half price), has a nice gel-like consistency, and I think it’s helping give my skin a bit of a glow. It’s hydrating without being heavy. Plus, the pump bottle is handy and I much prefer it to tubs.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90 for 30ml) – I use this every morning as the last step before moisturising, though it’s a serum rather than a moisturiser. Hyaluronic acid is found in the skin naturally, but this is a more concentrated serum which uses three kinds of HA in order for your skin to reap the benefits (on the surface and layers underneath). I find the science in The Ordinary a bit confusing sometimes, but I think I can see results – my skin is brighter and feels firmer and I would recommend this for all skin types.


Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturiser (£2.79 for 50ml)

Superdrug Vitamin E Moisturising Cream (£2.99 for 100ml)

Nivea Creme (£2.99 for 200ml)

Nivea Refreshingly Soft Moisturising Cream (£4.29 for 200ml)

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion (£5.69 for 200ml) – for very dry sensitive skin

Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche (£13.50 for 50ml) – for very dry sensitive skin

Cold pressed jojoba oil

Rosehip oil

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream (£24.50 for 50ml)

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (£34 for 50ml)


Neal’s Yard

I hope this series of three posts has been helpful, and as always any comments, critiques, questions or recommendations are welcome!


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