11/06/2012 05:30 EST | Updated 01/06/2013 05:12 EST

Which Moisturizing Products Do You Really Need?


I have been using night cream and eye cream since I was 11 years old. I'm not kidding. I had a Hungarian grandmother who believed the skin had to be constantly moisturized to stay beautiful. At 86, she passed away without a wrinkle so I have followed her lead. While, there is no magic cream that gets rid of wrinkles, there are many products that can help slow down the aging process. Of course genetics, sun damage, and sleep play a role but here is what you do and do not need to help your skin age gracefully.

Great skin is a process and you won't get it overnight with a cream that breaks the bank. But, moisturizers do make a difference. While I have researched and tested products for years, I called Kristin Petrovich from Sjal Skincare to help me navigate all the products on the market.


According to Kristen, skin needs nutrition first then sunscreen over it. A moisturizer that contains SPF will have a higher concentration of ingredients going to SPF. While it seems a lot faster to buy a moisturizer that contains SPF, you are better off with a nourishing moisturizer. For sun protection, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF over your regular moisturizer.

Oil-free Moisturizer

If you have oily skin but are not prone to breakouts, an oil-free moisturizer is the perfect solution. However, if you have a lot of breakouts or acne, you should not be using a daily moisturizer. Your skin has enough oil and does not need the extra cream on your face.

Serums and Face Oils

Once you hit 30 years old, you need to penetrate the skin's surface and go deeper to moisturize. Serums and face oils used under your regular moisturizer will step up the anti-aging benefits because the smaller molecules of serums and oils will penetrate the skin more deeply.

Eye Cream

Look for firming and hydrating creams. Kristen warns if a cream is just pulling your skin without hydration, it is temporary. She says eye creams should be "clean" without a lot of synthetics. Toning, firming, and elasticity is key. Depletion around eye area is the first sign of age. Look for products with ceramides, minerals, peptides, and something soothing like aloe, cucumber and algaes. Minerals feed that area. Ceramides replenish, peptides are anti aging, and aloe soothes the skin.

Night Cream

If you use a good serum or oil, you can use a lighter weight night cream that can double as your daytime moisturizer. Personally, I like a heavier night cream so I do not feel dry when I wake up. While this is personal preference, if you can't feel your cream on your face after five minutes it is not rich enough to be a night cream.

In addition to caring for your skin, you have to stay out of the sun, drink lots of water each day, and nothing renews your skin like a good night's sleep (nine hours not eight). But, if you can get yourself in the habit of daily moisturizing, you will see the difference over time. While it may not be evident in a day or a week, you will see it when your friends age more rapidly than you. If you are on a tight budget, vitamin E oil can be used all over the face, around the eyes, and as a night cream.

I moisturize my skin morning and night and now I have taught my daughter what my grandmother passed on to me. It is a special time we use to talk, to bond, and to connect. It's the fondest memory I have of my grandmother and it will be something my daughter will thank me for when she has beautiful skin for many years to come.

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