Why Do We Moisturize?
In dark times such as these it’s important to keep things light. So let’s get back to focussing on our skin. You’re probably stuck at home, bored, or trying your best to work. Whatever it may be, hopefully this is a welcome distraction… Have you ever wondered why we have to moisturize? It’s a trivial one and there’s no better time than now for some trivial discussion!
Why Do We Need To Moisturize
For most of us, it’s no doubt quite obvious. We moisturise to avoid dry skin and reduce the effects of skin conditions such as eczema. To be honest that’s likely as far as any of us will go when wondering why we moisturise. But if you would like to know what its really all about then read on!
Moisturizing Keeps Us Young
The reason we must moisturize is mostly due to our environment. The cold airs, the dry air, the pollution and the sun can be damaging to our skin. The skin on your face, ears, neck and chest in particular, are very sensitive to these changes. In these areas you’ll find your skin more frequently sheds cells than other parts of the body, hence the need to moisturize. Moisture helps the body repair itself by making it easier for these cells to reproduce. This enables younger skin cells to rise to the surface, giving you that healthy glow.
Fun Fact: The massaging affect that we use when applying moisturiser can help stimulate blood circulation, which also aids new cell generation.
How Do Moisturizers Work?
There are hundreds if not thousands of different moisturizers the world over. They all claim to help our skin in many different ways but what exactly does a moisturizer do?
The reality is, most moisturizers will help your skin. All moisturizers do is supply a little bit of water to the skin and contain some kind of greasy substance to lock it in. A simple tub of Vaseline (petrolatum) does this job as well as anything but the smell and feel may not be as appealing. Modern moisturizers aim to replicate the way petrolatum holds in water but with a nicer feel on the skin.
Moisturizers typically contain Water along with other ingredients such as Occlusives, Humectants and Emollients. These ingredients all perform different jobs as demonstrated in this great example from Harvard below.
Occlusives hold water in after it has been supplied either by the moisturizer or a soak in water.
Humectants sponge up water, drawing it up from the dermis and, to a limited extent, in humid conditions, from the air.
Emollients fill in rough spots and make skin feel smooth but don’t affect the water content.
Hopefully the above has given you a bit of a feel for what moisturizers are and what they do. In essence they protect our skin by increasing moisture levels on the surface. We would recommend everyone make moisturizing a part of their day.
If you forget or simply do not moisturise you may be more prone to dry skin and eczema amongst many other skin issues. If you’re noticing a bump, spot or rash then give our AI skin image searcher a try or jump straight in and speak to our board certified dermatologists.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. I moved to the Bay Area in January 2013 and I attended the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley from 2013 to 2014 as a visiting PhD candidate. My PhD thesis is on Digital Health and so far I have published 4 peer review scientific papers. I founded First Derm in 2014.