How I learned to love moisturizer

Ok, so, I’ll be honest.

I didn’t own a full-size moisturizer until a month before my 24th birthday.

Growing up with normal to oily, sensitive skin, moisturizer slightly terrified me.

My skin is already oily enough, I thought. Why would I need a moisturizer? Wouldn’t that clog my pores, making me even *more* oily and prone to breakouts?

Wrong.

The first moisturizer I ever tried was Glossier‘s Priming Moisturizer, a product I still use regularly. When I became an official Rep for the company, I received a sample size of this cult-favorite moisturizing primer with an order.

So, I tried it. And, guess what? I really, really liked it–so much so that I began to research the benefits of moisturizing. It turns out, there’s more to it than just mere hydration.

Using a moisturizer daily, after cleansing and toning, helps regulate the skin’s natural production of oil.

You see, when you dry out your skin, stripping it of its natural oils, it kicks into overdrive, producing more sebum than it would otherwise. (Our skin–and hair!–creates sebum naturally, as a form of self-lubrication. As a rule of thumb, individuals with oily skin naturally produce more sebum, while those with dry skin tend to produce less sebum.)

It turns out, drying out your skin to reduce oil or breakouts is actually counterproductive. If you want to regulate your skin’s oil production, you should *actually* moisturize every day.

Not only that, though. Oils are great for our skin in other ways.

Those with oily skin can thank their body’s natural sebum production for suppressing signs of aging. After all, our skin is made of this oil, so, it only makes sense that stripping our skin of it would speed up the aging process.

I’ve learned to love my skin’s natural dewy sheen; I think it looks healthy and glow-y. And letting it shine through looks a hell of a lot better than caking my face with powder and other mattifying products.

After moisturizing, my skin not only looks better, but feels better, too. I never realized how tight and irritated my face was without moisturizer until I began moisturizing. (Typing that out now, I definitely realize how obvious that may seem…especially to those who are in a longterm love affair with moisturizer.)

And, my makeup goes on more smoothly. I’ve never been a huge makeup person (I’m more into skincare and holistic beauty), but I do love getting glam-ed up once in a while. With a freshly moisturized face, makeup no longer looks blotchy or flakey (and it definitely doesn’t cling to dry patches)!

Finishing the sample of Priming Moisturizer took me all of two days. Then, I received a sample of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which I also loved. This was a travel-size bottle, which lasted me a couple weeks. After I finished it (I actually cut the tube to scrape the last bit of it out), I bought the full size.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a newer version of Clinique’s original (and infamous!) Dramatically Different Moisturizer. The Gel’s formula, however, is designed to work with oily skin, while the original is targeted at normal to dry skin.

It absorbs quickly and leaves skin hydrated–never greasy.

Like all Glossier‘s products, Priming Moisturizer is great for sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid plumps skin as it moisturizes; plus, it reduces redness and blurs pores, creating a smooth surface for makeup (or not). It’s also loaded with antioxidants–vitamins A, C and E–that help protect skin from damage.

Both Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and Priming Moisturizer are build-able, meaning you can layer it on for the amount of moisturize your skin needs on a given day (factors like season, climate and hormones all play a role in skin’s moisture levels).

To prep the skin for makeup, I’ve also been using First Aid Beauty’s Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer. It blurs pores and cuts shine, while also moisturizing the skin, creating a smooth canvas for foolproof makeup application.

When it comes to all three of these products, I love to put a layer over my entire face, then add a little more where I’m prone to dryness, like around my nose and between my brows.

Other notable moisturizers in my makeup collection include Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask. But, I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I don’t use this product as a mask. Instead, I find it works much better as a night cream. Before I go to bed, I’ll add Moisturizing Moon Mask to any problem areas; by morning it’s fully absorbed, and my skin looks–and feels!–super supple.

There’s also Glossier‘s Super Bounce, a hyaluronic acid serum whose concentrated formula really plumps up the skin where I need it most (such as the little fine lines around my mouth and on my forehead).

Last but not least is my holy grail Balm Dotcom. If you know me, you know I can’t go a day without this (and that it’s replaced every other lip balm I’ve ever owned). I’ve talked a ton about this product on Haute Mess and on social media, so I won’t bore you guys too much.

But, BDC is the longest-lasting, most effective salve ever. It does its job for hours on end, and it even holds up through long workouts. (Plus, in addition to the original, it come in five yummy flavors! Birthday and Coconut are tied as my all-time favs, but lately I’ve also been reaching for Cherry quite a bit.)

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