An Overview Of Skin Moisturizers
The water content of the skin varies but for the epidermis it is approximately 80%, this is the same water content as in other cells. The very surface of the skin, the stratum corneum, is made up of dead skin cells and this layer is much drier, with the water content varying between 10-30%.
The stratum corneum, when it is dry, will tend to lose its luster and produce what we know as dry skin. In normal circumstances there will be movement of water from the dermis up through the more superficial layers of the skin, the water then in turn will evaporate. Skin that has low water content will dry and fissure, this makes it more prone to both bacterial and fungal infection.
Moisturizers are designed to reduce water loss from the epidermis. These do not reverse sun damage but they do prevent further dryness. They also can protect the barrier to soot and dirt and there is a temporary feeling of smoothness when these are used. The skin may swell slightly and cause some loss of fine wrinkles. The pores may appear to be smaller because of this swelling. Moisturizing is not required for those with oily skin.
Not every skin will be dry, there is the occlusive layer that waterproofs the skin. This is called the stratum corneum. This is essentially a fat protein sandwich, sebum that is secreted from the oil glands will also have a moisturizing effect on the skin. Moisturizers are essentially a combination of occlusive and humectants. There are a number of different skin types that require different skin care.
Dry skin is more commonly seen in lighter coloured individuals. Moisturizing should be applied to the skin after washing. It should be used when the weather is cold, small amounts of moisturizer should be applied, and it is best to have multiple applications rather than using an excessive amount at one time.
Moisturizing Of The Hands:
Moisturizers that are best used for the hands will have an oil-based silicone. This is a water repellent. It also will not allow the normal fats of the surface of the skin to be washed away. These products protect the skin even after washing the hands.
Back to Skin Moisturizers Index |