It can be overwhelming to find the right moisturizer for your skin. There are many products available in the market. They all have many good but contradicting claims. Which one should you choose?
They say it's a good idea to moisturize your skin. A team of health professionals from Columbia University answers the question thrown at them by many people about moisturizers. Do they work at all?
How Moisturizers Work
There are two ways moisturizers work on your skin. Either they keep moisture in, or they restore the ones that are lost. Lotions cannot put moisture back into your skin.
Our body has glands that work as natural lubricants for the skin. They supply the oil and water into the middle layer of the skin. It keeps the skin naturally moisturized.
As the skin's natural oil remains, water moves up to the outer layer and evaporates. This natural water-loss can make your skin dry and flaky. Moisturizers help keep some water on your skin to keep it moisturized.
Types of Moisturizers
While there are many moisturizing products, they all come down to three basic types. Most products combine all these three types.
- Occlusives - Vaseline is famous for this type of moisturizer. It is the oldest type that works by creating a barrier over your skin to keep moisture from coming out. Petroleum jelly is the most common form of this kind of moisturizer.
- Emollients - This type takes the greasy feeling off your regular moisturizer. You can get them as creams, lotions, ointment, or gel. They penetrate the skin and closes the gap left by dead skin cells peeling off.
- Humectants - This third type brings moisture back into the skin. They pull moisture from the air into the skin. They contain a hydroxyl group of chemicals that attract water into the skin. It is responsible for producing the body's natural waxy molecules called ceramides.
As the experts from Harvard Health have said, dry skin is not about the lack of oil but the lack of water. That is why most moisturizers are water-based. Other products put extra ingredients to add more benefits to your skin. It's your call now to try them out and see what works best for you. Just keep in mind these three basic types.