A dermatologist named Pierard stated, “Dry skin is not a unique, well-defined condition but represents a medley of totally unrelated changes in the structure of the stratum corneum associated.” In other words, the skin can become dry by the environment around you in lots of different ways.
The skin is made up of three main layers; the epidermis, which is the upper most layer, the dermis in the middle, and the layer on the bottom that also contains a layer of fat called the hypodermis. It contains nerves and blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to all other parts of the body. The dermis contains hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. The sebaceous gland produces an oil like substance that secretes to protect the top layer of skin. When these glands produce an excess of oil, the skin will often break out into acne.
Just below the layer of fat that surrounds the top layer of skin is the stratum corneum. These are cornified cells that are produced at the base layer of skin and act as a constant guard for our bodies by keeping foreign material out. It does this by constantly producing new cells and pushing them to the top and out the top layer of skin almost like an ocean current that washes things back to shore. Cornified cells attach themselves to the foreign matter and flush themselves up and out of the skin.
Moisturizers are combinations of chemicals that make the external layers of skin softer and more pliable by restoring the bodies’ natural level of hydration. They do this by using a variety of ingredients such as oils, humectants, emollients, lubricants, and fragrances to compose a completed product. These ingredients help our skin not only to restore the body’s natural moisture level, but can have many other effects as well.
One is that a moisturizer can help build a barrier against the loss of water the skin experiences while this protective coat gives the epidermis time to heal itself. When the environment damages the skin and makes it dry, a restoration of moisture to the skin can delay the signs of aging and help repair wrinkles and blemishes on the skin surface.
Manufacturers over the years have made bold claims on what their products can do if used on a regular basis, but understanding the skin and the environment around us is knowing that often these elaborate claims are just not possible. There are a number of products out there that are better than others, but your unique skin type is the most important factor when considering which is the best moisturizer to use on your face and body.