Does a moisturiser work?

Agnes & Me face cream

Have you ever wondered whether a moisturiser really works?

If you’re like me, your mother probably advised you to apply a face cream at night. My mother certainly didn’t know the science behind skincare but she knew what worked.

But now science proves what our mothers knew all along, a good face cream will work wonders for your skin, especially when you apply it at night.

Using a face cream might seem a bit old-fashioned in the days of face oils and serums and there are a lot of companies out there telling us that face creams are just full of water. I always check out those companies to see if they sell anything other oils!

I make both, a face oil and face cream, so feel I am a wee bit more balanced here. Both face oils and face creams have an important role to play in your skincare regime and I will talk about face oil in a later blog.

I started making my own face cream 15 years ago to make sure I was putting something good, nourishing and luxurious on my face.  I use it day and night so maybe I am biased but science backs up my experience that a moisturiser works.

For 20 years I have cleaned my face with oil and made different oil and essential oil blends but face cream was my first complicated creation.

I wanted something that delivered gorgeous nourishing oils to my face but also the much needed water my skin needed. That’s especially true in New Zealand where the sun in summer, the cold in winter and the wind all year round cause your skin to dry out.

Importance of water to your skin

Our skin constantly loses water, at a rate of 300-400ml per day, and this is before you start sweating from exercise. Our body replaces the lost water on the top layer of skin by pulling up water from the lower layers. It’s a natural process but sometimes the body lags behind; it struggles to deliver water fast enough and we end up with dry skin.

We need water in our outer layer to maintain skin elasticity so that we’re less prone to damage like cuts and scrapes. Our skin also contains water-activated enzymes responsible for maintaining our natural skin barrier, which is needed for health.

The body falls behind in this process because water loss is accelerated by modern living. Air-conditioning really dries out your skin. The more time we spend in offices, at home with heat pumps running or even driving a car with air-con, the more we dry our skin.

how to fix your dry skin
We all battle dry and dehydrated thanks to our modern lives

Second, our obsession with cleaning ourselves doesn’t help. Washing with detergents like soap, shampoo and other cleansers strips the skin of its vital oils, which play a critical part in holding water in the outer layer.

Finally, aging reduces Natural Moisturising Factors. These are a complex array of amino acids, fatty acids, sugars and minerals that combine to create a humectant – or water-attractor – that keep keeps moisture in the outer layer of skin.

A good moisturiser works by helping the skin cope with this water lag.

Face cream is made with three different elements:

  • a water base which delivers hydration to the outer layer;
  • a humectant which draws water up from our lower tissues to deliver more hydration to that outer skin
  • oils to soften, nourish and protect your skin and aid hydration by forming an occlusive layer that locks in water.  

Night time is the right time for a moisturiser to work

And here’s why our mothers were right when they advised using a good thick night cream.

At night our skin is more permeable, that is holey, leaky. Or as the Oxford dictionary says “allowing liquids or gases to pass through it”. We literally lose more water when sleep. And as we age our skin loses those vital Natural Mositurising Factors and gets thinner so this worsens.

But fear not the flip side of being more permeable at night means our skin is also more absorptive. So what we deliver to it soaks in like a sponge. So a good face cream applied at night is going to effortlessly feed you, giving your that much needed TLC.

Our face cream is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients and has a natural humectant. Below are the skin-loving ingredients I choose and why.


A highly penetrating oil that closely resembles skin’s own sebum and is a great barrier to moisture loss. Contains myristic acid, which is anti-inflammatory. Especially good for mature, dry and oily skin. It balances, softens, and soothes and leaves the skin silky and smooth. It improves elasticity and suppleness, has anti-oxidant and astringent qualities.

natural skincare ingredients | jojoba | Agnes and Me NZ
Jojoba oil resembles the skins own serum


A luxurious oil that is a powerful antioxidant that nourishes and protects from free radicals. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness while leaving a youthful glow. It is a natural anti microbial


Another antioxidant powerhouse, full of  fatty acids and vitamins. High in linoleic and linolenic acids as well as Vitamin A and C, which are essential for skin. It promotes skin regeneration, and can improve skin flexibility and permeability and is one of the best anti-aging oils.

Evening primrose

Full of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which helps skin retain moisture. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties and promotes, strong skin cell regeneration. It’s an exceptionally nourishing oil that assists with dry skin and is regarded as an anti-wrinkle agent.


A natural plant sugar lubricates the skin and draws moisture from both the lower tissues and from the air to makes the skin feel softer and smoother.

Don’t take our word for why this face cream works so well, check out what our users say by clicking the “review” tab on the product page.