How Moisturizers Help Your Skin

Open Bottle of Skin Moisturizer
Photo by: dawvon, Creative Commons

The skin experiences damages due to many factors, such as prolonged exposure to the sun, smoking and extreme weather conditions. These factors primarily target robbing the skin of moisture, thus resulting in an overly dry skin. Solving this problem is how moisturizers help your skin. Skin moisture relies heavily on its ability to retain the water produced in the deep areas of the epidermis.

Unfortunately, as water transports from the inner layers of the epidermis to the outer layers, or the stratum corneum, much is lost due to evaporation. The rate of evaporation speeds up in the presence of the aforementioned factors. The key is to provide skin with a barrier that seals in all the moisture and prevents it from evaporating, which happen to be the main benefits of moisturizers.

Moisturizers perform three main functions: as humectants, as emollients and as an occlusive. As humectants, moisturizers replenish and add to the overall water content of the skin. They also encourage faster water production. As emollients, moisturizer soften and makes the skin smooth by repairing broken lipids and filling in gaps between dead skin cells. They also lubricate the skin, which is perfect for treating itchy and irritated skin. As an occlusive, moisturizers lessen the occurrence of transepidermal water loss. In simpler terms, transepidermal loss is the loss of water as it moves from one layer of the epidermis to another.

Moisturizers hold in moisture and distribute it among the skin cells. As skin care technology progresses, many companies claim to put in additional elements to their formula, which yield additional benefits to the skin. There are now moisturizers with Alpha Hydroxy Acid, sloughing off dead skin cells to give way to new, young cells. There are those loaded heavily with sun protection factor. While moisturizers seem to act internally, a healthy, glowing, soft and smooth skin manifests their effects externally.

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