Talk about any beauty routine, the first thing that comes after cleansing is moisturizing. Is this habit of using a moisturizer doing any good? Do moisturizing lotions really improve the skin hydration?
Why do people recommend a moisturizing lotion?
- Soon after you shower, apply a moisturizer.
- When you step out in the cold winter, apply a moisturizer.
- When you exfoliate your skin, apply a moisturizer.
- Apply a moisturizer when you do this, and when you do that!
That is the amount of hype given to the use of a moisturizer for your skin. But not all experts agree with the statement that you should never skip the moisturizer.
- Few doctors argue that using a moisturizer would only rid the skin of its natural tendency to hydrate itself.
- There are claims that moisturizers clog the pores and cause the buildup of dead cells.
- The heavier the moisturizer one uses, the lazier the skin becomes. The human skin has the tendency to balance the moisture levels and hydrate its upper layer of skin. But using a moisturizer regularly can make the skin stop doing this.
The science behind the concept of moisturizers:
The use of moisturizers is justified with the following biological explanation. The blood supply to the skin is only up to the dermis. The epidermis layer which is the actual layer exposed does not get the direct circulation of the blood. Water from the dermis reach the epidermis and hydrates that layer. This keeps the skin from getting dry due to exposure to the rough environment. But the moisture reaching the epidermis tends to evaporate easily, thus leaving the skin dry again. So a moisturizing lotion traps the skin’s natural moisture and keeps it hydrated.
Moisturizers fall under 3 broad classifications and lotions fall in the emollients category. These consist of moisturizers that fill gaps between the cells of the epidermis. The gaps are due to the dead skin cells. So, on exposure to air, the lotion particles cover the gaps and prevent the skin’s natural moisture from escaping.
Moisturizing lotions are mainly composed of fats or lipids, proteins, and water. These are the entities that are required to protect the outer layer of the skin. They provide insulation to the body and the inner cell layers. When a moisturizer containing all these is artificially supplied to the body, the body might stop taking efforts to produce them. In the long run, this would make the body totally dependent on the moisturizing lotion. So your skin would start drying out if you skip the lotion even once.
What are the other ways to hydrate your skin?
Ideally, the moisturizing lotions are for those with extremely dry skin. The others can skip on the moisturizing lotion. Here are few other ways to hydrate the skin besides using a lotion:
- Drink enough water for stay hydrated. This is obviously no surprise. Dehydration causes dry skin.
- Choose a gentle soap. Sometimes a harsh soap can dry out your skin. Any skin care product that has too much chemical composition can cause dry skin.
- Wear climate friendly clothes. Tight and suffocating clothes during the summers can cause excess water to escape as sweat and thus can dry your skin. Not wearing warm clothes in winter can also rob your skin of the moisture left and lead to lower hydration.
Unless you have a very dry skin, skip the moisturizing lotion whenever you can. Use the other methods to keep your skin hydrated.