THE TOP THINGS TO KNOW WHEN PICKING A MODERN MOISTURIZER
Moisturizers: They are arguably the most popular cosmetic product on the planet—used by both babies and octogenarians; available in hundreds of thousands of iterations; ranging in price from $5 to $500. Fittingly, the global skincare market was valued at 134.8 billion in 2018,1 with face creams and body lotions occupying the majority of that market share.
In other words, the moisturizer business is a big business.
Yet the truth is, many of us don’t even know where to begin when selecting a moisturizer. Perhaps it’s because you’re unaware of what ingredients constitute a “good” moisturizer; maybe you’ve had a poor experience with a given moisturizer and have sworn off the category altogether. Or, more than anything, perhaps it is because selecting a moisturizer can be an incredibly confusing process.
Yup, when it comes to moisturizers, it’s an oh-so-complicated world. And that’s why we launched eXO Skin Simple. We’re ushering in a new, revolutionary beauty philosophy: Simplicity is radical.
Why We Believe Simplicity Is Radical
Forget complicated skincare regimens that require multi-step treatments; forget different moisturizers for daytime and evening, for oily versus dry skin types, for 20-year-olds versus 60-year-olds. eXO Skin Simple moisturizers are designed to adapt, in real-time, to the nuanced skincare needs of a broad spectrum of people.
They’re formulated for use anytime, anywhere; there’s no prescriptive formula to follow for “best results” and they are not merely just one step in a lengthy, complicated skincare routine. Given the beauty industry has long-operated by the philosophy “more is more,” we believe our streamlined approach is a refreshing departure from the oppressive norm.
Here’s what our beauty philosophy is all about:
Efficiency—Who has time to spend hours obsessing over their reflection? We’re all about streamlining a multi-step regimen—one that encompasses serum, toner, eye cream and night cream—into one simple step, with products that work overtime to drive results. Speed is crucial to all that we do, so there’s no waiting months and months to see a difference after you’ve applied our products on your skin.
Technology—We use proprietary, cutting-edge Zen3 exosome technology (more on this soon!) to differentiate ourselves in the moisturizer market. So in a sea of stock formulas and not-so-great ingredients, our moisturizers are carefully engineered with best-in-class ingredients to produce amazing results. A combination mother nature and human nature formula.
Simplicity—It’s not just about one step and done. (Although that’s part of it!) We’re all about a lifestyle that sees simplicity as a luxury, particularly in an increasingly complicated and complex world. Simplicity is at the core of all that we do, and is integral to the eXO Skin Simple lifestyle.
So now you know what we’re about… but we wanted to do more!
In our efforts to radically change and thoughtfully challenge the traditional beauty routine, we thought it was about time we talked, in-depth, about moisturizers: Providing you with the information you need to both understand what a great moisturizer can do for you, and to give you the insight you need to confidently invest in our thoughtful edit of cutting-edge creams and lotions.
So, without further ado—read on!
What Is A Moisturized?
In the most basic sense, a moisturizer is a cosmetic product that’s applied topically in order to restore moisture to the skin. What’s more, a “moisturizer” is really more a marketing expression2than a medical or scientific term. Add in the fact that moisturizers can be marketed in all shapes and forms—as creams, oils, serums and gels—and it can be hard to discern what constitutes a moisturizer, let alone an effective one. No wonder people are confused!
But despite all of this murkiness, the unifying element of any moisturizer is that it contains ingredients that help to moisturize the outer layer of the skin. The ingredients that make this possible can different greatly from product-to-product, which accounts for the wide variety of moisturizers available on the market. But, for the most part, the end goal remains the same: Hydrate the skin.
All this noted, there are certain categories and classes of ingredients that constitute a “typical” moisturizer—in all likelihood, any moisturizer you’re eyeing will contain at least one.
The primary goal of using a moisturizer is to hydrate the skin topically. But, hold up: Why does having moisturized skin matter, anyway?
For one, skin that’s well-hydrated is skin that is more elastic,3 which means it shows less signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Dry, cracked skin also has a dull and lackluster appearance, so topically hydrating the complexion can help skin appear brighter, plumper and dewier.
Furthermore, hydrating the skin can actually help it become less oily; oil production actually goes into overdrive when skin is lacking in necessary moisture. In this sense, using a moisturizer can assist in balancing oil production, resulting in skin that’s optimally hydrated—not too dry, not too oily.
Aside from providing skin with essential hydration, a moisturizer can have a broad range of secondary and tertiary benefits. Earlier, we discussed “active ingredients,” such as retinoids or AHAs. The inclusion of “actives” in moisturizers can provide a broad range of additional benefits outside of hydration, such as driving cell turnover, offering free radical protection and promoting antioxidant activity.
Ultimate smoothing and hydration - Zen3 exosomes infuse skin with tailored hydration, while noni, macadamia nut, coconut and grapeseed oils act as all-important emollients.
Rapid rejuvenation and collagen production - Zen3 exosomes assist skin in self-repair, reducing the early signs of aging. Blue algae and sea lettuce help drive collagen production.
Youth preservation — Along with Zen3 exosomes, kombu and Vitamin E fend off free radicals to slow down the aging process, plus help to speed up youth-boosting cell turnover.
Inflammation, stress and redness control — Noni oil and kombu alleviate redness and puffiness, while Agascalm4 neutralizes the negative effects associated with psychological stress by improving vascular tonicity, enhancing radiance and evening out skin tone.
At this point, perhaps we’ve convinced you that investing in eXO Skin Simple can help address a range of skin problems—from dryness to inflammation, redness to fine lines and wrinkles. The next question is often, “Well, how do I use it?” We got you covered!
What Are The Typical Ingredients Of A Moisturizer?
A common moisturizer ingredient is a humectant, which is an ingredient that helps to pull water from the deeper layers of the skin into the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. This is important, because this outer layer is primarily composed of dead skin cells, which can easily look and feel dry and lackluster. The more moisture these skin cells have, the plumper, firmer and better your skin looks. There are two types of humectants—synthetic and natural; glycerin is an example of a synthetic version, while aloe vera is an example of a natural version.
Along with humectants, other common moisturizer ingredients include plain-old water, which helps in the hydration process. With that noted, water can often evaporate quickly upon application to the face, so its inclusion isn’t solely for moisturization purposes. Water can help to dilute a given formula and, in some aspects, may simply act as filler for other ingredients. Heads up!
While on the topic of water, it is also typical for a moisturizer to use a class of ingredients called occlusives. These elements—mineral oil, shea butter and dimethicone—are typically fatty and waxy substances that act as blockers for water evaporation.
You may notice that many moisturizers include some sort of plant oil (think coconut oil, macadamia oil, noni oil), a mineral oil or shea butter. These are all categorized as emollients, ingredients that help the skin look and feel soft, thanks to their high content of fatty acids and naturally smoothing benefits. They can also help prevent water loss and, in the case of certain plant oils, can provide additional antioxidant benefits.
Which brings us to one last class of ingredients…
Many moisturizers contain “actives”—ingredients that may play a role in moisturization, but are often added in for additional benefits, such as fighting free radicals. In an interview with SELF Magazine, Emily Newsom, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, notes, “An active ingredient has been proven in a lab by research to change the skin in some way; it's an ingredient that has data behind it.”5
Examples include retinoids/Vitamin A and AHAs/BHAs—elements that aren’t added merely for hydration purposes, but also to do things like brighten, tone and texturize the skin.
At eXO Skin Simple, our ingredients—particularly our “active ingredients”—are the core reason why our moisturizers are so different from the sea of other available creams and lotions. Namely, our use of proprietary Zen3 exosomes sets us apart from any other cosmetic company on the planet.
Okay, you’re thinking: Exo-what? Let us explain.
Exosomes are naturally occuring microvesicles found in the billions inside of our bodies; they help with the exchange of critical data like RNA, DNA and proteins from cell-to-cell. Think of them as super-couriers, pinging between cells to ensure operations stay in sync and things run smoothly.
Although they’re now deemed important, exosomes have long been overlooked by both the medical and scientific communities. This has changed rapidly in the past five years, as exosomes have gained attention for their healing and regenerative capabilities. Recently, exosomes have been shown to be effective wound treatments; they’re even being explored for therapeutic purposes in cancer treatment.
We won’t get too bogged down in the science of it all, but here at eXO Skin Simple, we’re not only using “typical” moisturizer ingredients, such as emollients like coconut oil, but we’re also leveraging an ultra-powerful “actives,” such as our Zen3 exosomes. This proprietary element helps to promote the radical perfection of skin: Offering deep hydration, powerful youth-boosting nourishment and enhanced radiance and brightening effects, to name just several benefits.
But we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Let’s delve into how you should select your moisturizer, and why eXO Skin Simple is the smarter, simpler choice for the modern man and woman.
Are There Certain Ingredients To Watch Out For?
Try to find a product that is as clean and natural as possible, meaning at least 80% natural ingredients from the earth and the sea.
Read through the ingredients label and look for natural ingredients and as few chemicals as possible. Some chemicals or preservatives may be necessary in a formula. But do your homework and know what each ingredient is before putting a product on your face. Also take the time to make sure the product you pick is effective. A product may be 100% natural and organic, but if it doesn’t help with your skincare concern it’s time to keep looking. Read the reviews on the product.
Where Should I Buy A Moisturizer?
Should I buy a moisturizer at a drugstore? Many consumers opt to do so, but every store is different. Drugstores have been upgrading their beauty products and department to a degree in recent years. But most products sold in drugstores aren’t as curated as in other retail spots and are less expensive (which may mean less active ingredients or more chemicals). Beauty stores are another option, they generally have someone more product savvy who is there to assist you with your individual needs and concerns. Or you can buy directly from a company that you trust.
How To Choose The Right Moisturizer?
It’s the million dollar question, right? Or, to perhaps be a little more literal, it’s the however-much-money-you-are-willing-to-spend question. Given the seemingly limitless options of moisturizers out there—which can cover a broad range of prices—selecting the right moisturizer can feel like a daunting task. Let’s start by addressing the variety of factors that may influence your decision in purchasing a moisturizer.
Your Skin Type — Although there is some dispute over what constitutes a “normal” skin type, the accepted consensus is that there are five main types of skin: Oily, dry, combination, sensitive and normal. The definition of each is relatively apparent; oily skin tends to produce an above-average amount of oil; dry skin is dehydrated; combination skin contains a mix of oily and dry patches; sensitive skin is reactive; and normal skin is healthy and hydrated.
Different moisturizers are better suited to address the needs of different skin types; for example, sensitive skin types may be allergic to the fragrance of one moisturizer and therefore require a moisturizer without fragrance; dry skin types may require more emollients and humectants than an oily skin type.
The examples go on and on, but suffice to say that identifying your general skin type is very helpful when selecting which moisturizer is right for you.
Your Age — Depending on your age, you may be seeking different things from different moisturizers. That’s because many moisturizers are formulated to address traditionally age-specific issues, such as acne (younger consumers) or fine lines and wrinkles (older consumers). For example, a moisturizer enriched with salicylic acid—an ingredient often used to address blemishes—may appeal to a 17-year-old shopper, but a 70-year-old shopper without acne may want something like a retinol, an ingredient that addresses the signs of aging.
Your Environment — Do you live somewhere very hot? If so, an ultra-rich, thick moisturizer will probably feel too heavy; something with a lighter formulation may be more appropriate. On the flip side, if your environment is very cold and dry, that same thick, heavy moisturizer may be exactly what your skin requires in order to look and feel hydrated. In this sense, your environment can dictate what type of moisturizer you should be investing in—which, incidentally, can change for people according to a given season.
Your Lifestyle — Do you wear a lot of makeup or do you typically go barefaced? Are you a gym rat or do you shun sweating? Do you drink a lot of water or is coffee your go-to beverage? Lifestyle choices impact the way our skin behaves, and will therefore play a factor in selecting the right moisturizer.
Let’s take the makeup example: Layering on lots of primer, foundation, concealer and setting spray can lead to clogged pores. If you’re battling clogged pores, you may be experiencing more breakouts than usual, or have issues with combination skin. These symptoms—blemishes, oily and dry patches—may influence your moisturizer choice, as perhaps you will seek out something that is appropriate to address these particular concerns.
At eXO Skin Simple, we pride ourselves in creating products that work for a broad spectrum of ages, ethnicities and skin types. Because our formulas use exosomes, which are already found in our own biology, they possess an adaptive quality. This means that instead of working hard to find the perfect moisturizer for your age, skin type, ethnicity and so on, our moisturizer works hard for you to produce optimal, tailored results. What kind of results? Well, we’re glad you asked!
How Do I Use A Moisturizer?
We think that applying a moisturizer shouldn’t be brain surgery. In fact, it should be the simplest and easiest thing you do all day. With that said, there are certain skincare regimens out there that require you complete up to ten steps for optimal results. No wonder it feels intimidating to apply a product on your face!
We think that’s crazy—but we do believe there are two simple things you should know before you apply any of our moisturizers on your face:
Apply AM and PM, or as needed—We typically recommend that our customers apply our face moisturizers both morning and evening. But sometimes, your skin requires a little extra love. That’s why we suggest applying our products whenever you feel like your complexion is a little lackluster, thirsty or dull.
Apply after cleansing—Most moisturizers work best when applied to skin that has been recently cleansed and/or exfoliated. This is because the top layer of dead skin cells has been removed and skin is free from potential congestion like makeup, dirt and oil, allowing the moisturizer to really absorb and be most effective. When you do apply, take the time to really rub the product in using broad, sweeping motions. Massage thoroughly into the skin and face, and don’t forget to pay attention to the sensitive, but all-important décollete area, which can often be the first place to reveal the signs of aging.
Still have some questions? We’ve created the below video to help guide you through the application process. Give it a watch!
But Wait… Should’t I Use A Different Moisturizer At Night?
Many skincare companies suggest using a “night cream” and a “day cream”—a recommendation that can be confusing once you start actually using a moisturizer.
One product, AM and PM. Keep things simple, period.
With that noted, if you require deeper, more intensive hydration, we do suggest using our newest product, eXO Face Bio.digital Moisturizing Cream for either daytime and evening use—or both. Some of our customers also like to use this thicker, ultra-deluxe cream specifically for nighttime application, when their skin feels extra thirsty.
In any of these scenarios, however, all of our moisturizers can act as eye creams (just be careful when applying to this sensitive area), plus don’t require the additional application of serums and toners for performance. In fact, we find that sticking to just our product helps to produce the best results—plus it’ll keep your beauty regimen oh-so-easy. And that’s the ultimate goal, right?!
When It Comes To Moisturizers, What Are My Choices?
For the reasons we’ve stated throughout, we believe that eXO Skin Simple is the best choice for a moisturizer that’s versatile, effective and works on a broad range of skin types. But obviously, there are tens and thousands of moisturizers on the market, so knowing what is available, and at what price point, can help you make an informed decision.
We’ve gone ahead and broken down four price points and discussed some of the popular moisturizers available within each.
There are countless articles that highlight the “best” moisturizers for under $50. Typically, these moisturizers are widely available, usually at your local drugstore. Some examples include Pond’s Cold Cream, a tried-and-true classic available for just $5.
In fact, the list of drugstore moisturizers is truly endless, with every big-name beauty brand—L’Oreal, Olay, Neutrogena—producing literally thousands of options.
Yet despite these big-name behemoths’ market dominance in your local CVS and Rite Aid, there is a new class of up-and-coming beauty brands that are producing moisturizers at an accessible price point, too. Glossier, the beloved-by-Millennials beauty company, has their own version of a thick, lush moisturizer, available for $35: Priming Moisturizer Rich.
Furthermore, as the natural / organic skincare movement continues to grow rapidly,6 there are countless moisturizers that fall under $50 in this sector. Available for $12, Weleda Skin Food has a rabid following and is one of the most popular “clean” beauty options. These products are increasingly widely available both through mainstream retailers like Amazon and via grocery store chains like Whole Foods.
Moisturizers in the $50-$100 range tend to be perceived as more high end, although they’re not “luxury.” Moisturizers in this category are available on a mass scale, but are often found in more elevated environments than your typical drug store—such as in Sephora or in Blue Mercury.
One of the best examples of a moisturizer in this price range would be the best-selling Protini Moisturizer by Drunk Elephant. Available for $68, this moisturizing cream offers a more advanced formulation than your typical drugstore lotion. Other brands that produce more high-performance moisturizers at similar price points include Sunday Riley and Tatcha, both of which are Sephora staples.
In the $100-$150 range, a moisturizer starts to become an investment—with advanced technology and superior ingredients integral to the formulation process. These are prestige products and should deliver targeted, superior results. Usually, moisturizers in this range are available through more niche, luxury retailers or directly through a brand’s website.
They offer serious hydrating properties, but also provide anti-aging activity, inflammation control and rejuvenative action. In this sense, they actually do the job of several products in one, justifying their higher price point.
And this price point, incidentally, is actually quite reasonable given the myriad of benefits our moisturizers offer. Given we’re an independent manufacturer, we’re actually able to keep production costs down; if our creams and lotions were produced by a mass beauty company, they would actually fall in the $150+ price range…
Which brings us to our final category! Moisturizers that are above $150 in price fall firmly in the “luxury” designation, and should be infused with an array of active ingredients to deliver high-performance results.
Typically, moisturizers in this range are found in upscale retail environments, such as high-end department stores and luxury e-commerce destinations like Net-A-Porter. Additionally, similarly to the $100-$150 price range, moisturizers that fall in this category can be purchased directly through a given brand’s website.
Examples of moisturizers in this category include Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, a product with a cult following—and a jaw-dropping $265 price tag. On the more mass side, La Mer’s classic Crème de la Mer has dominated this category for years and clocks it at an astonishing $335.
If you’re shopping in this price range, now is the time to be super-smart and to diligently examine the ingredients that make up that face moisturizer you are eyeing, as even dermatologists admit that an ultra-expensive cream may not be all that much better than its cheaper counterpart.7 As with any big purchase, be wary of marketing claims and do your research—which has hopefully been assisted by reading this!
What Is The Right Age To Start Using A Moisturizer?
Typically, most people start using cosmetic products in their teenage years, although every person is different. A good moisturizer is always a good investment, and at eXO Skin SImple, we pride ourselves at appealing to—and working for—a broad, inclusive age range of customers.
We have customers who are teens, with acne who have used our products and found they’ve helped tremendously with reducing redness and tampering inflammation; we also have had customers in their 70s who have felt reinvigorated by using our moisturizer to combat fine lines and wrinkles and to provide youth-boosting refreshment.
In this sense, there is no “right age” to begin using a moisturizer. Making the decision to invest in happy, healthy and hydrated skin can happen at any time—and, in our opinion, it’s always a great decision!
Why Isn’t My Moisturizer Working?
There’s a million trillion reasons why your moisturizer isn’t working for you. You may have picked the wrong kind of product. It could be based on your environment - factors like humidity, sun exposure, extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on this skin. Your exercise plan or because of your diet; take a look at the food you are eating and your alcohol consumption. Or even your routine - it takes time for products to work. We recommend applying a moisturizer consistently for at least two weeks to see results.
eXO Skin Simple And The Future Of Moisturizers
While we’ve covered the ABCs of moisturizers—and beyond—perhaps the most important thing to know about the future of moisturizers is that it’s a category that is undergoing a tremendous amount of change.
Ten years ago, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are today, which is both a blessing and a curse for the modern shopper. On one hand, more selection and enhanced competition means better products are being produced; on the other hand, it can create a cluttered and often chaotic retail environment where false claims can go unchecked.
At eXO Skin Simple, we hope our mission to radically redefine, streamline and simplify inspires you to change your beauty routine and invest in your best skin ever. What’s more, we’re confident that our Zen3 exosome technology and highly engineered, clean beauty formulas are truly differentiated in an ever-competitive category. This combination of product and philosophy drives all that we do, and we hope you join The eXO Tribe and embrace a future-forward mindset where modern luxury is all about smart simplicity.