Let's start with the three types of moisturizers before looking at the question of whether one should use a moisturizer or cold cream. The first type of moisturizer is the oil-based or emollients. This one can come in a gel, lotion or ointment form but it is designed to replace lipids lost from the skin. So it hydrates and smooths dry and rough skin. In addition, it helps balance your skin so the chances of inflammation are reduced.
The second is a water-based moisturizer or humectants. This type of moisturizer takes moisture out of the air and adds it to your skin. Humectants usually contain amino acids, lactic acid, glycerol, and hyaluronic acid. The last type is the occlusives which makes a barrier between your skin and the environment. Since they contain silicon, wax, or certain oils, they prevent moisture loss and are quite thick.
Cold cream on the other hand is an emulsion of water in oil or fat. In general, cold cream is made up of equal amounts of water and oil or fat with an emulsifier to keep them mixed, and a thickener. It got it's name because it feels cold when applied to the skin. Cold cream is able to penetrate the outer layer of skin but is unable to go as deeply as a water based product. Furthermore, due to the oils in the mixture, the cream is more likely to sit on your face like a mask rather than a moisturizer.
Now lets look at the uses of moisturizers and cold creams. In today's society, cold creams are considered ultra-rich and ultra-moisturizing product. They are considered good at repairing, coddling, and moisturizing extremely dry skin. Although cold creams have been used for years to remove makeup, it is highly recommended on use a product designed specifically to remove make up because cold cream can block pores and cause breakouts if it is not removed properly. If you have oily skin, it is recommended you not use cold cream.
On the other hand, moisturizers tend to be formulated so a version can be found for most any skin. In addition, they are designed to be used everyday to hydrate the skin and help it remain in good shape. Furthermore, most moisturizers tend to be lighter than most cold creams so they don't weigh your skin down as much.
So which should you use? It depends on your skin but if you have extremely dry skin, look at the cold cream but otherwise stick with a standard moisturizer. Let me know what you think, I'd love to know. Have a great day.
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