For decades, everyone swear by the importance of moisturisers, no matter whether your skin type is dry, oily or sensitive. It has been regarded as one of the most essential steps of skincare, guaranteeing anti-aging benefits along with many other superior claims.

Since our skin naturally produces its own oil, are all these artificial moisture really necessary, or is it just a disguised marketing scheme to push skincare sales? Are we simply brainwashed with decades of “skin-scare” propaganda, when in reality these moisturisers are harmful towards our skin?

Moisturising is actually BAD for the skin

To maintain youthful and healthy skin, women of the 21st Century are educated to believe in an indispensable ritual of Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturise. This has become a habitual routine, similarly to eating our meals and brushing our teeth. Of the three steps, moisturising is seen as the most essential.

However, is moisturising really so crucial, or are we simply brought up to this belief?  A recent discover claim that moisturising can, in fact, bring more damage than good. According to cosmetic dermatologist Dr Rachael Eckel, ‘moisturisers are a widespread and silent traitor, and an important contributor to skin diseases’.

Dr Christopher Johnson also adds in a talkshow that moisturisers block our pores, turns off our skin’s natural ability to hydrate itself, and keeps dead, damaged skin trapped on our face. You heard that right ladies; sebum, the natural oil our face produces, is actually good for our skin.

Instead of purchasing a thicker moisturiser to combat our “dry skin”, what we really need is an exfoliator to remove the dead skin, which causes the feeling of “tightness” after a shower.

Moisturising is said to be the biggest myth in skincare history. So does this mean that we should stop moisturising our skin?

 Moisturising the skin is still important

After all the warnings of the impending destruction of moisturisers, why is it still vital in our skincare routine? Should we simply use exfoliator and thrash all thoughts of moisturising? Why is this skincare step still a fundamental procedure?

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  1. We need to restore moisture after washing our face.

Despite major claims of killing our skin’s competence to moisturise itself, moisturisers are still required to replenish hydration after stripping the natural oil (sebum) from our skin. This occurs when we wash our face, leaving the skin exposed and more susceptible to germs.

  1. Using the right type and right amount of moisturiser is the key to healthy skin.

Blockage of pores stems from applying heavy-duty moisturisers. Instead of overloading our skin and thereby, aggravating acne, opt for oil-free moisturisers to leave our skin hydrated with unclogged pores.

The lesson here is to continue the use of moisturisers, but don’t overdo it.

  1. Most sunscreens provide enough moisture.

Possessing dry skin type, I used to believe in piling on numerous moisturising products to achieve radiant-looking skin. My morning skincare routine (after cleansing) consisted of a lightweight moisturiser, eye cream, and a SPF50 sunscreen which can pretty tedious and time-consuming.

In time, I realise that too much moisturising actually causes my skin to become reliant to external man-made hydrant, inevitably leading to even dryer skin. Flaky acne started to occur as my skin became parched dry because it has become “too lazy” to moisturise itself. What I initially thought was beneficial has taken a toll on my skin, and likewise, my bank.

Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is the most important part of skincare, as stated by Dr Stefanie Williams. Most formulations these days are so hydrating it is often unnecessary to use a separate moisturiser.

I’m currently using these 2-in-1 products for hydration and uv-protection:

Cetaphil Daily Facial
Cetaphil
Daily Facial Moisturiser SPF15

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Innisfree
Eco safety aqua perfect sun gel SPF50+ PA+++

So should we moisturise?

After countless discussions on this age-old myth, the big question is: Do we moisturise? The answer is a big YES. Despite all the damaging claims of applying moisturiser, it is still vital in our everyday routine.

In a nutshell, we should still moisturise, but with the appropriate type of moisturiser and in the right amount. If you only wash your face occasionally, then similarly, you should moisturise less. Exfoliating and sun protection is as important as moisturising, if not more.

At the end of the day, it comes down to common sense. Do not invest in a belief simply because you think you’re worth the maintenance, or because it comes in a pretty packaging. Instead, be a discerning beauty buyer, and invest based on the moisturiser’s necessity and benefits.