Every acne complex has one – the moisturizing lotion they tack-on to the end of their treatment. After all the harm you’ve done irritating your skin with their over-drying creams and cleansers, you’re supposed to apply a moisturizer that will prevent your skin from suffering real damage. In fact, many times the moisturizer also offsets the benefits of the creams and cleansers in the first place, making the whole treatment kind of pointless.
I don’t mean to sound too harsh towards moisturizers, but the fact is these are often the most useless steps in acne “systems”, right up there with cleansing lotions that are basically no different than normal facial soap (only more expensive). Moisturizers are also often marketed in flatly unethical fear-mongering tactics, such as implying that you need them in order to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Aging is going to happen with or without moisturizers, and what you put into your body is a *lot* more important than anything you slather over your face with regards to keeping your skin cells healthy and supple.
In almost all cases, moisturizers attempt to make up for damage to your skin that you really shouldn’t be inflicting in the first place. As I’ve mentioned before, virtually anything (from garlic cloves to baking soda to brand-name spot treatments…) that dries out your skin will diminish the appearance of acne for a time. But that doesn’t make it a healthy or reliable acne solution.
Most of the time, if you are experiencing dry skin not caused by a harsh treatment, you can solve the problem simply by drinking more water. Give your body what it needs to hydrate your skin cells, and that’s what it will do. Unless you have a unique medical condition or are caught in extreme weather, moisturizers are usually unnecessary.
Do not buy into the “never leave the house without plastering your face with SPF15″ marketing tripe. Just as most people don’t drink enough water, similarly most people don’t get enough sun. Deaths related to low vitamin D levels (from insufficient sun exposure) are at an all-time high. So go ahead and get some sun – it may just save your life.
And guess what? Moisturizers are a common cause of clogged pores. Even moisturizers labeled as “non-comedogenic” can still clog your pores when applied a bit too liberally, and thus can lead to even more acne blemishes. Is it worth it?
Again, there are occasions when using moisturizers is a good idea, especially during times of extreme heat or cold. But most of the year, you shouldn’t need to bother (and you may even be inviting negative reactions). Moisturizing your skin from the inside-out is almost always a healthier and smarter decision.