Creams, Lotions, and Serums; Blah, blah, blah! Here’s What You Really Need to Know!
Ladies, we’ve all been through this: Should I be buying a cream, a serum, a lotion, or an oil? It can be absolutely maddening trying to tell one from another! What's that? You want Redii to break it down a bit for you? We thought you would never ask!
Oil. Don't skip this section just yet! Facial oils have gotten a bad rap! Who wants an oily face, right? Well, the right oil can be an absolute superhero in your fight for amazing skin, and it can actually help to UNCLOG your pores! A good oil can actually draw out the evil, blemish-causing oils from below the surface of the skin. So in other words, oil won’t clog your skin, but it may clear it!
What to avoid with oils. For starters, toss anything with mineral oil. Mineral oil is usually petroleum-derived, it often carries contaminants, and it offers zero benefit in terms of vitamins, anti-inflammatories, or anti-oxidants. Yuck.
So which oil should you choose? Well, natural, plant-based oils are an “okay” choice. Oils like jojoba, olive, and various essential oils are decent for the surface of your skin, and they aren’t introducing skin-damaging free radicals. Bonus. However, real Australian Emu Oil remains our number one choice of skin oil. Because emu oil mirrors our skin’s natural lipids, it will penetrate much deeper to the lower layers of skin.
Cream. Creams are specifically designed to keep your skin hydrated for as long as possible. They tend to have that thick, luxurious feel and are stiffer than lotions. Don’t expect your cream to absorb as quickly as a lotion, because they seldom do. Oh, and remember when we said a good oil is good for oily skin? That isn’t the case for creams. If you have oily skin, skip the heavy skin cream. It can tend to trap the bad oils within your pores.
Creams are usually the product of an emulsified solution or colloid that combines oil and water. Run for a good, natural cream when you suffer from dry skin, need your skin to appear soft and supple for a particular occasion, or live in a dry environment.
What to avoid. When it comes to ingredient lists, the sky is the limit. You can find just about anything in the tens of thousands of creams on the market. Here are the worst offenders:
· Mineral oil
· Synthetic colors
· Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Which cream should I choose? If you want a quality vegan formula, we recommend Jillaroo by Y-Not Natural of Australia. The line contains several body creams and a high quality eye cream – all at great prices. If you don’t mind spending the extra money, Osea of Malibu also has a great line of natural creams.
If creams are the Brad Pitt of moisturizers, lotions are our Jake Gyllenhaal of great skin. Well, that should clear it up.
Okay, okay! What we’re saying is, creams have been around awhile (although we still love to have them against our skin). Lotions are a sort of newer version. Like creams, they’re also made of a mixture of water and some sort of oil, but a little lighter on the oil. The finish is a bit lighter. It absorbs more quickly, but it may not stick around as long. (We hope Jake Gyllenhaal stays for awhile of course!) If you have an oily face, be careful. Lotions may still be too much for you.
What to avoid. (This one is easy. It's the same as creams.)
What might be a good lotion for me? If you think lotion might be what your skin will benefit the most from, Tom’s of Maine offers a pretty good low-cost version. For those with more, well, selective tastes, Ursa Major’s Zen Body Lotion is about as good as you’re going to get.
Serum. If lotions are the Jake Gyllenhaal of skin care, serums are maybe… Zac Effron? (Don’t worry; we won’t judge.) Serum is truly the newest kid on the block when it comes to skin care, and serums have become the darling of fashion insiders.
Serums are very lightweight, and they absorb quickly. (Hint: This is the one to toss in your purse for that amazing date you’re heading out on.) Like creams, serums can be specially formulated for anti-aging, anti-redness, problem-skin, or even to give your skin a little pizzazz. Serums are great for almost any type of skin, because they’re so incredibly light. In fact, if you do happen to have problem-skin, a good, specialized serum just might be the place to start.
What to avoid. (Surprise, surprise; you’re looking for the same culprits that find their way into creams and lotions.)
Which serum should I select? You can find some truly amazing ingredients in serums, e.g., bee venom, 24k gold, collagen, manuka honey, etc. In fact, Saintsco Limited’s Bee Venom and 24k Gold contains all of the above. Wow.
Have questions or comments? Make sure to leave them in the comments section!
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