Skin Moisturizer

Written by Serena Berger
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Moisture is essential for the skin to remain smooth and supple. You skin is constantly losing moisture through the epidermis, however, due to a number of factors. These include exposure to the elements (sun, wind, cold), excessive use of degreasing products, artificial heat or air conditioning, and a diminished level of sebum (oil) production with age.

The Two Best Types of Skin Moisturizers

While many of us, especially those with oily skin, think of oil as the beauty enemy, it's actually essential to maintaining proper skin moisture. Oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsion is the only way we can hold on to the water we need for hydration. Without the oil in emulsion, water just passes out our system without giving any of its benefits to the skin. The best facial moisturizers are typically oil-in-water emulsions, while the best hand and body moisturizers are the water-in-oil variety.

For the delicate and often oily skin on the face, an oil-in-water emulsification hydrates the skin and protects from dehydration. It improves water retention in the epidermis without adding unnecessary oil. The use of a thickening agent will turn the emulsion into a lotion, cream, or serum, depending on what you need. A good moisturizer is also likely to include a non greasy sunscreen.

Because the rest of the body is typically less sensitive than the face and oiliness is less of a problem, a water-in-oil emulsification can make a stronger moisturizer which is more effective for other skin. Many people would describe these moisturizers as greasier, but on areas of the body where that doesn't matter, these emulsions leave a thin layer of lipids on the skin which serves as a strong barrier against the loss of water, even when you wash or sweat. Top tier cosmetics companies are working on modern (less greasy) oil-in-water formulas that can be used on the face since they are so much more effective.

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