27th February 2015

What is a moisturiser

Most of us have one, or use one but what exactly is a moisturiser and why do we need one?

A moisturiser is an ointment, cream, lotion or serum designed to prevent dryness, to maintain oil and water levels in the skin. Some studies have shown that those who have moisturised daily over 8 years did actually age less than those who didn’t! 

 
Why do we need a moisturiser? 
A little bit of technical talk about your skin 
The outer layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum, its about 15 layers of cells thick, a little bit like a brick wall, with lipids, amino acids, lactic acid and urea making up the cement between the keratinocytes which make up the bricks. This outer layer has natural Moisturising factors NMF which help to maintain hydrated even when the environment is dry, it helps along with other things prevent bacteria entering the skin. Also sebum production is really important in maintaining out skin hydration. So applying a moisturiser will help maintain this balance of hydration and protect the skin. 
 
keeping the outer layer of the skin  (Stratum corneum) hydrated is vital for healthy, hydrated, comfortable flexy skin. 
Things to avoid – Hot showers, foaming cleansers, bath soaks, shower gels, soap and detergents wash away this barrier. So the use of a moisturiser to help restore this is vital not just for hydration but our total barrier. 
 
 
Whats your moisturiser made up from?
Your moisturiser is usually made up of a balance of three types of ingredients. They all have different concentrations of each of these types of ingredients which make it suitable for different skin conditions. So using a moisturiser which is too top heavy in one aspect may cause your skin to become overly oil, so selection is key for the best results for your skin. 
 
1. Occlusives, this is like a full barrier, the oil part such as castor and jojoba oil
2. Emollients are softening, soothing and smoothing by filling in the gaps 
3. Humectants, these protect and maintain moisture by drawing water from its environment, such as glycerol and hylauronic acid. They are all intended to increase moisture in the skin, increase our natural Moisturising Factor and help maintain the skin barrier. but they achieve this in very different ways. 

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