Question: Is there a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores? When my skin gets dry from RetinA or a laser type treatment, I need to put on a moisturizer to relieve dryness and flaking. But whatever I try seems to provoke acne breakouts. Any ideas?
Answer: This is such a common problem and until last week I didn’t have much of an answer. Sometimes a moisturizer that was both oil and fragrance free would work, but often that too could provoke problems. Then at a recent dermatology conference in New York, laser care expert Dr Mark Nestor of Miami recommended a water based spray to provide moisture. In addition to water, the spray should contain glycerin and natural moisturizing factors such as hyaluronic acid. Plain water sprays would actually increase dryness but the glycerin and hyaluronic acid would help the skin hold onto the water that had been sprayed on the irritated face.
I found three such products and they all delivered as promised:
Thermal Spring Water Soothing Serum ( Avene, $34, for 1oz)- Don’t confuse this product with the Eau Thermale from Avene which is just plain water– albeit apparently very healthy water. The Soothing Serum includes both glycerin and dimethicone which provides long lasting moisture holding properties. No hyaluronic acid, but it still hydrates the skin beautifully.
Ultracalming Mist ( Dermalogica, $32 for 6oz)- I really love product although it does not contain hyaluronic acid. The soothing ingredients like oat kernal extract and the water holding glycerin really provide hydration without clogging the pores.
Hyaluronic Hydrating Mist ( Derma e, $13 for 2 oz)– So far this is the only mist that I have found with all the ingredients recommended by Dr Nestor. It also has antioxidant rich green tea and two super soothers– allantoin and aloe vera.
There are two other types of water sprays that are less effective. Some like those from Evian have just plain water which can actually dry out the skin further. Others have oils and waxes that put it back in the category of a traditional moisturizer. You need to read the labels carefully to spot unwanted ingredients like oils and alcohol.
You can use the spray before bedtime or in the morning. However during the day you will also need to use a sunscreen to protect against aging UV rays. If you find sunscreens, even oil free formulas provoke acne breakouts, brush on a SPF fortified powder such as Brush On BlockSPF 30 from Susan Posnick.