Moisturizers improve function and the look of skin. They are products that, when applied, delay water evaporation from the skin surface- Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)- thereby helping to retain the skin’s moisture content. Moisturizers also help to soften and improve physical appearance such as fine lines, dullness, flaking, etc.
This, therefore, means that moisturizers should contain occlusive, humectants, and emollients to effectively carry out these functions. Many misconceptions exist on moisturizers; here, we share some that we commonly see.
Myth #1: Creams Are More Effective Than Lotions.
Creams are thicker and more viscous but do not mean they contain a higher concentration of active ingredients that effectively prevent TEWL. Advances in product formulations can deliver the proper amount of effective ingredients without increasing the thickness of moisturizers.
Tip: All skin types need a moisturizer. An ideal moisturizer you like and works well for your skin.
Myth #2: Moisturizers Add Water To Skin
Moisturizers help temporarily decrease water loss through the stratum corneum and aids in the restoration of the skin barrier. Skin repair occurs internally from the inside out.
Tip: Moisturizers often work better when applied to damp skin. For extra dry skin, consider layering on petrolatum over moisturizer.
Myth #3: Ceramides Are The Only Effective Ingredients At Repairing Skin Barrier
Although ceramides are essential for healthy skin, many other effective ingredients help restore the skin, such as petrolatum, fatty acids, cholesterol, glycerin, urea, PCA, lactic acid, etc.
Tip: Ingredients such as niacinamide and lactic acid enhance skin’s internal ceramides production. They are often formulated together with ceramides.
Myth #4: All Moisturizers Are The Same
Moisturizers are grouped into various types such as cream, lotion, water/gel, and ointment. The outcome of the moisturizer can vary differently depending on ingredients and formulation.
Tip: In general, creams with an occlusive (petrolatum) work better for dry skin. Water/gel and oil-free are best suited for oily skin.