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Moisturizer

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A moisturizer adds moisture to skin . It makes the skin softer and more pliant by increasing its hydration. On the most basic level, moisturizers hold water in the outermost layer of skin. They also act as a temporary barrier.

Contents

[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

  • Moisturizers increase the water content of the skin.
  • They protect the skin.
  • They provide a temporary support system to fill in for lost collagen and elastin.
  • Moisturizers help to repair the skin’s own moisture retention capacity.
  • It encourages an orderly desquamation (shedding) process that makes the skin appear more smooth.
  • Moisturizers keep the skin plumped with moisture.
  • They slow the progression and deepening of wrinkles.

[edit] All about moisturizers

Moisturizers contain oil and water with a variety of other additive ingredients. Moisturizers have two basic formulas

  1. Oil in Water --This formula is a very light liquid or lotion and does not feel heavy on the skin. The majority of the formula is water, which may evaporate on the skin, leaving a small amount of oil; or, the formula may have an agent that binds the water to the skin. Skins that need a very small amount of oil and much water are comfortable. The body is still producing the majority of oil on the skin and does not need much help from a product. These products mix or remove easily with water.
  2. Water in Oil--These are heavy, greasy products, only comfortable on dry skin. The skin has good water content but the oil glands are not producing enough oil and need help from a product. These products do not mix well with water and are usually thick creams.

[edit] Ingredients of a moisturizer

The key ingredients in moisturizers are humectants, occlusives, emollients, as well as other ingredients.

  • Humectants -- These appear on the label as Urea, Glycerin, Alpha hydroxy acids, Ammonium Lactate, Butylene glycol, Hylauronic acid, Sorbitol, Sodium PCA and Propylene Glycerol.
    • Humectants absorb water from the air and hold the moisture in the skin.
    • They need very high humidity levels to be effective.
    • Humectants are also useful in softening thickened or scaly skin.
  • Emollients --These appear as Lanolin, Mineral oil, Petrolatum, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicome Copolyol, Glyceryl stearates, Lanolin, Isoprpyl palmitate and Propylene glycol linoleate.
    • Emollients smoothen and lubricate rough skin.
    • Emollients are either oil based, which means that a small amount of water is dissolved in oil, or water based, which means they are primarily water and have a light, nongreasy feel.
    • Oil-based creams leave a slight residue on the skin and have more staying power than water-based creams do.
    • Water-based creams are easier to apply and don't leave much of a residue, but they don't have as much staying power.
  • Occlusives -- These appear as Beeswax, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Mineral oil, Paraffin, Propylene Glyceol Dioleate, Dimethicone and Cyclomethiconeincrease.
    • Occulsives increase the water content of the skin by slowing the evaporation of water from the surface of the skin.
    • These ingredients are often greasy and are most effective when applied to damp skin.
    • Mineral oil is often used because of its favorable texture, but it is not as effective at preventing evaporation of water as many other occlusives.
    • Lanolin is expensive and potentially irritating.
    • Silicone derivatives (dimethicone and cyclomethicone) are not greasy but have a limited moisturizing effect. They are often added to petroleum to make it feel less "greasy."
  • Fragrances -- Most moisturizers include fragrances, which give the product a fresh, pleasing odor and cover up the smell of other ingredients. Fragrances in skin-care products are the most likely cause of skin irritations or contact allergies.
  • Preservatives-- Any product that includes water and oil must contain one or more preservatives to help prevent bacterial contamination after the product is opened. Most products contain multiple preservatives. These ingredients can sometimes cause skin allergies or reactions.
  • Other ingredients -- These ingredients are sometimes added to moisturizers to create a special effect on the skin such as enhancing the appearance of dry or damaged skin.
    • Chemicals that slow oxidation by reacting with free radicals include tocopherols and ascorbic acid.
    • Citric acid, tartaric acid, and EDTA do not have strong antioxidating properties, but enhance the antioxidant effects of other ingredients. These ingredients are sometimes added to moisturizers to create a special effect on the skin such as enhancing the appearance of dry or damaged skin.
    • Chemicals that slow oxidation by reacting with free radicals include tocopherols and ascorbic acid.
    • Citric acid, tartaric acid, and EDTA do not have strong antioxidating properties, but enhance the antioxidant effects of other ingredients.

[edit] What can I do?

When choosing a moisturizer for your dry skin, look for a moisturizer that contains both emollients and water binding agents.

  • Emollients are lubricating ingredients.
  • Water binding agents, also known as Natural Moisturizing Factors or NMFs, are ingredients that not only bind water to the outer layer of dry skin, but also work to repair the external skin matrix. Water binding agents to look for are: collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid (a.k.a. sodium hyalurate, sodium hyaluronate or trademarked variants) and other glycosaminoglycans, urea, glycerin, glycogen, glucose, fructose, sucrose, polysaccharides, amino acids, cholesterol, lipids, ceramides and lecithin.
  • Urea has been prescribed by doctors for many years to treat atopic eczema and ichthyosis. It is broadly recognized to be a very effective NMF.

[edit] Reference

  • Moisturizer & hydrator what is the difference?
  • Understanding Moisturizer Ingredients
  • What to Look For in Effective Moisturizer Skin Creams
  • Moisturizers: Options for softer skin