Are Moisturizers Beneficial?
Moisturizers are useful for
dry skin. The mechanism of
action is to prevent
the natural oils and water within the skin from escaping ;
they do not put moisture into the skin. They give the skin a smooth, soft
texture and, plumps up the fine
wrinkles making them less obvious.
Chances are you will require a moisturizer at one time or
another. Unless you have unusually dry skin, however, the use of a moisturizer
should not necessarily become part of your daily routine. If
used too often they can prevent the normal sloughing off of the top layer of
dead skin cells. This gives the appearance of dryness and falsely induces the
individual to use more moisturizer. This moisturizer induced dryness is called
cosmetic seborrhea. If the problem persists, the skin becomes inflamed, and
scaly patches form.
Choosing a Moisturizer
cleansers, the choice of moisturizers is a
period decision and involves a certain amount of experimentation to find the
right one for you.
There are three qualities to look for in a moisturizer ;
whether it helps control the dryness.
whether it occludes the
causes acne the
whether it irritates the skin.
Oil and water are the two basic ingredients of
moisturizers. The difference between moisturizing products is the ration
of these two ingredients in the products. Products labeled oil free may actually
have oil in them but the ration of water to oil in more as compared to their
counterparts in which the ration of water to oil is usually much greater. Oils
are necessary to trap the natural moisture.
moisturizer will smooth skin to make wrinkles less apparent, but only
temporarily; unfortunately, moisturizing your skin will not have any
long-term effect on wrinkles.
If you are unable to determine the ratio of oil
to water in a moisturizer from its label, try the following tests before
purchasing large amounts of the products.
Put on some of the moisturizer. If the skin where you
applied the moisturizer is warm, the moisturizer has a lot of oil in it. On the
other hand, if the
skin is cool; the moisturizer
has a lot of water in it. The reason for this reaction is that the water evaporates from the skin and evaporation
is a cooling mechanism. Oil, on the other hand, does not evaporate. It traps
the heat in our bodies.
Put a dab of moisturizer on a piece of tissue paper and
hold it over a hot light bulb for several minutes. If there is a lot of oil in
the moisturizer, it will melt around the dab of moisturizer. The wider the
spread of oil into the tissue, the greater the oil content in the moisturizer.
Lotions tend to have a greater water to oil ratio and will
allow the skin to breathe (sweat and cool) more than ointments which are often
petroleum – based and greasy. Creams fall somewhere In the middle of the
Beyond the two ingredients of oil and water cosmetic
companies try to differentiate their products from similar ones through
creative packaging and by adding special ingredients for which they often make
Here is a realistic look at some of the more commonly
added ingredients .
Mineral oil and petroleum – based products are very good
moisturizers because they effectively look in the moisture. In high
concentrations however they may occlude the pores, preventing natural oil from
surfacing, resulting in acne and milia.
tend to feel sticky on the skin.
Vegetable oils generally are not as effective for
moisturizing as are animal fats and mineral oils. Fats, polyunsaturated oils,
such as apricot kernel, olive and avocado oils are common occlusive ingredients
used in moisturizers.
Hormones and placental extracts attract can hold water,
but can also cause allergic reactions. If these hormones are absorbed into the
body, they may effect the internal organs. Other ingredients such as
vitamin E, collagen,
and amino acids may encourage
They cannot however assist in
aging skin because they do not pass through the top layer of the
skin to the dermis where wrinkles originate. In addition, these ingredients
can also cause allergic reactions.
Vitamin A derivatives have been added to some products as
anti-aging agents. Whether or not the enzymes in the skin actually convert
these derivatives into Tretinoin, which is the rejuvenating factor in the
anti-aging products Retin-A, Renova, and vitamin A acid, remains in question
until they have been exposed to the cold light of scientific scrutiny. The doses
are so slow that even if they do convert to tretinion in the skin
probably do not provide the hoped
benefits. Examples of products containing
vitamin a derivatives include Estee lauder’s future perfect micro- targeted skin
gel, prescriptive extra firm and Avon bio advance.
Chemical agents, such as urea ,glycolic acid and lactic
acid, improve the moisture retaining ability of the moisturizer. Examples are, Reversa lotion, Neo strata cream, Lachydrin lotion, Lacticare lotion and
Uremol lotion. These agents, often called chemically enhanced moisturizers,
are frequently recommended for dry skin problems and are most effective when put
on moist skin. If they are not put on moist skin or are put on skin with small, dry skin cracks, they tend to sting.
Fragrances are used to mask the odor of formulation ingredients and to impart a
pleasant fresh aroma. Fragrance is added to 65% of moisturizers. Fragrances are
the most common sensitizers. They are the most likely irritating agents,
especially in individuals who already have a preexisting
Tip: Before purchasing a moisturizer know your skin type.
Is it dry,
normal or have a
T zone. Also, You should always apply
moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp.