Tips for Teen Skincare: More on Moisturizers

Tips for Teen Skincare: More on Moisturizers

Wondering how to keep your skin hydrated, fresh, and glowing? Moisturizing effectively is a BIG part of the solution. Keeping your skin strong allows your skin barrier to do its job: protecting your internal system and working as the gateway between your body and the outside world. 

In my dermatology practice, I frequently get asked about various moisturizing ingredients. And having 3 daughters of my own, I was on the hunt for the best face moisturizer for girls. I wanted a girls daily moisturizer that absorbed beautifully, was lightweight, and non-comedogenic. Understanding how ingredients work to hydrate the skin, balance the microbiome, and strengthen the skin barrier helped shape the Bright Girl formulations.

Here’s the quick rundown on skin moisturizing ingredients so that you can be SMART about your skincare.

3 Basic Categories of Moisturizing Ingredients

  • Humectants: draw water into the skin
  • Moisturizers: nourish and strengthen bonds between the skin cells
  • Barrier creams: form a protective film by becoming one with our skin so that water doesn’t evaporate from our skin into the external environment
Dr. Casey applying face cream on Eloise


Our skin is strongest when:

  • It has an optimal pH of 4.5-5.5
  • A barrier is in place (such as an oil or shea butter) to prevent transepidermal water loss (i.e. water leaving our skin and migrating into the air around us) 
  • It is well-hydrated (and not dehydrated)
  • It is well-moisturized (and not dry)
  • The bonds between our skin cells are strong (think of a brick and mortar image with the moisturizer working as the mortar to keep the bricks tightly bonded so that nothing the wall stays strong)

Examples of Humectants (ingredients that draw water into the skin): 

  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid (absorbs 1000x its weight in water; sometimes seen as sodium hyaluronate within ingredient lists)
  • Aloe vera

water droplet

Examples of Moisturizers (ingredients that act like glue or cement between skin cells):

  • Ceramides
  • Fatty acids
  • Cholesterol

Examples of Barrier ingredients (ingredients that prevent the loss of water from the skin): 

  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter

One final BRIGHT thought: Moisturizing with something is better than not moisturizing at all.

Note to our Bright Girls

When selecting the ideal products for your teenage skincare routine, an understanding of how each ingredient works with your skin will allow you to make a thoughtful and informed choice. The ideal girls daily face cream is going to protect and strengthen your skin while being a non-comedogenic moisturizer that won't exacerbate acne-prone skin. Your daily moisturizer should hydrate while absorbing easily into your skin. Use a girls facial moisturizer every day! You will see your skin perform better than ever while staying clear, BRIGHT, and healthy.


--Dr. Angela