The debate on moisturising creams and oils has even the scientific community divided.

So, which is best? We examine the difference between the two, and how to hydrate skin in the best possible way.

Most hydrating skin oils contain one or more vegetable-based oils such as avocado, jojoba, macadamia and almond, which mimic the natural lipids found in our skin. This is great for several reasons.
• Similarities in structure can help repair and reregulate the skin’s moisture barrier, which is responsible for oil production
• Oils are simple, clean and natural ingredients and therefore most tend to contain less questionable ingredients and additives than lotions
• Oils are great for those with sensitive skins

Now, although oils may feel quite hydrating, they are really only best at locking in moisture once your skin is wet. For example, after your skin has absorbed water from a shower or bath, an oil can help lock in this hydration.

Lotions, on the other hand, are actually made partly of water and are often better at penetrating skin. Lotions also include more than just oil and water, functioning as a cream to address several skin issues from acne and pigmentation to antiaging. This is ideal for a few reasons:
• It can act as your “anytime moisturiser”
• It can act as your all-in-one cream for skin issues
• It can include UV protection

Ultimately, the choice is personal. So next time you’re trying to decide which one is for you, keep in mind these takeaways:

• Best used to seal in hydration
• Dermatologists recommend for acne and works well for both dry or oily skin
• Look for formulas with herbs and extra oils
• Apply when skin is wet for best results

• Absorbs water into the skin because they are partly water-based
• Look for formulas containing hyaluronic acid and ceramides
• Avoid gel-based products or those containing alcohol – as these ingredients can dry out the skin

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