Skin types are now classified according to 1. dry or oily, 2.sensitive or resistant, 3.pigmented or non-pigmented and 4. wrinkled or tight. This allows skin care formulations to be customized for optimal results with each skin type.
Dry skin can be caused by lack of sebum which is a natural moisturizer produced in the skin. Another cause is an impaired ability to retain moisture. Hot and dry climates further exacerbate the problem. With dry skin types, harsh soaps for cleansing should be avoided instead using cleansing milk, oils or cream. The best moisturizers improve skin hydration by combining occlusive barriers like petrolatum and mineral oils with other moisture attracting substances.
Humectants are water absorbing substances like glycerin, urea and alpha hydroxy acids, that help to cause mild swelling in the skin. This makes the skin look smoother and less wrinkled. Other common humectants include lanolin, parrafin, beeswax, soybean oil, grapeseed oil and other natural oils.
Emollients can also be used to smooth appearance by filling in spaces between dry peeling skin cells. Common emollients may also have occlusive and humectant properties. Some natural emollients include oatmeal, shea butter, vitamin C and E, coffeeberry, green tea, CoQ10, niacinamide, soy and copper triplex.
The ideal occlusives also have anti-oxidant properties. These include oils of safflower, sunflower, olive, peanut, walnut and grapeseed. It is important to note that occlusive moisturizers are only effective while on the skin, so they must be reapplied regularly.