Moisturizers prevent trans-epidermal water loss and add moisture to the skin. Most moisturizers contain oily substances that act as occlusives and some also have emollients, which make the skin feel soft and smooth.


Depending on the ingredients, moisturizers can deliver a variety of results for different skin types. We asked dermatologists Zein Obagi (who treats celebs), Mara Weinstein Velez, and Michele Farber to explain how the right moisturizer can benefit your skin.

1. Hydration

Moisturizers add water to the skin to help maintain its natural barrier function and prevent dehydration. They also contain emollients that soften the skin and create a barrier to lock in moisture. They may be available as lotions, creams, ointments, or soap substitutes. Moisturizers often contain emollients such as shea butter, petrolatum, cocoa butter, and castor oil. In addition, they may contain occlusive agents that reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

The skin’s natural barrier helps protect it from infection and environmental damage. When this barrier is disrupted, it leads to increased water loss and a dry, flaky complexion. Moisturizers can restore the lipid barrier to improve skin hydration, smoothness, and overall appearance. 강남피부과

Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type is crucial. For example, if you have oily skin, you might want to avoid moisturizers with added oils as they can clog pores and make them more oily. Gel moisturizers are a good option, as they don’t have the same greasy feel.

People with dry skin should use a thicker moisturizing product, such as an ointment. In addition, they should use a humidifier and avoid using harsh soaps and detergents, as these can cause the skin to dry out further. Additionally, they should always pat their skin dry after washing rather than rubbing, as rinsing can further irritate the skin and make it more flaky.

2. Protection

When skin is healthy, it acts as an exceptionally good barrier against bacteria. But, if it is dry and cracking, bacteria can gain a foothold in the tiny fissures and then establish an infection. Moisturizer heals cracked skin and helps prevent new cracks from forming. 강남피부과

Many moisturizers also contain ingredients that protect the skin from sun damage. The ones with SPF in them block some of the harmful UVA rays that can reach the deeper layers of the skin. Some moisturizers contain antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals that can cause damage.

Most of the ingredients in moisturizers are emollients or occlusives. The occlusives form a layer that water can’t penetrate, stopping evaporation and keeping the skin moisturized. Vaseline is the classic occlusive, but there are many other brands. Some of the emollients used in moisturizers are cocoa butter, shea butter, isopropyl palmitate, lanolin, petroleum jelly, liquid paraffin, polyethylene glycols and stearic acid. Some moisturizers also contain antioxidants, ceramides, plant extracts, fragrances, penetration enhancers and preservatives. Moisturizers can be used twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – or more often if your skin is very dry. They should be applied after cleansing and exfoliating the skin.

3. Brightening

If you’re struggling with uneven skin tone or dullness resulting from hormonal pigmentation, sun damage or ageing, a brightening moisturizer can help. This moisture-boosting cream features a trio of brightening superstars – pumpkin seed oil (rich in natural alpha hydroxy acids and enzymes that gently exfoliate), Kakadu Plum extract and edelweiss extract – to improve the appearance of dullness, dark spots and sallowness for a radiant complexion.

Other key ingredients include UP302 (dimethoxytolyl propylresorcinol), a targeted brightening molecule inspired by border silver, and gyokuro extract, a Japanese green tea to quell irritation that can trigger future dark spots. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which helps create a moisture reservoir for ideal hydration.

4. Anti-aging

Moisturizers restore lipid balance, prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and help skin look smooth and soft. Depending on the formula, moisturizers can also provide brightening, anti-aging or other benefits for the skin.

The skin’s natural barrier function is critical to keeping the underlying layers of tissue healthy, and it gets disrupted by factors such as dryness, environmental stress and chemicals. Moisturizers reduce these effects by providing a protective layer against the elements, replacing lost skin lipids and reducing flakiness and itchiness.

In addition to hydration, moisturizers also keep skin looking younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. However, they can’t prevent them from forming in the first place. What they can do is make them appear less obvious, if used consistently.

Moisturizers are the foundation of any good skincare routine, and they’re essential for all skin types. The key to a great moisturizer is in the ingredients, not in hyped claims or fancy names. Most moisturizers are formulated with water and oils, such as shea butter, jojoba oil, petrolatum, and cocoa butter. They may also contain humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, vitamins and other substances that improve the condition of the skin. Some moisturizers even have medical-grade ingredients, such as niacinamide, which is known to reduce redness and hyperpigmentation and boost skin barrier function, or retinol, which helps fade fine lines and wrinkles, clear acne and brighten the complexion.