Moisturizers are one of the most sought-after skincare products on the market, especially as the temperature drops and the winter approaches. Whether from the drugstore or department store, hydrating creams and lotions have been the foundation of anti-aging regimens for years. But, the industry has come a long way since moisturizers first emerged onto the skincare scene; and while they may remain the “go-to” skincare product for consumers, incredible advances in dermatology have paved the way for a new class of better products formulated with more effective ingredients for the best skin rejuvenation results.
But, before delving into what a moisturizer is, it’s first important you understand the why.
Healthy Skin & the Moisture Barrier
Contrary to popular belief, healthy, strong skin doesn’t require additional hydration and moisture unless it’s exposed to extremely dry or cold air conditions. Although moisturizers are often the standard for most skincare routines, the surface of the skin (known as the moisture barrier or skin barrier) is designed to retain moisture when it’s healthy. The skin barrier’s role is the keep the “good stuff” in (moisture) and the “bad stuff” out (bacteria, infections, pollutants, etc.). If your moisture barrier is healthy, you actually shouldn’t need a moisturizer.
But, when the skin barrier is unable to retain moisture that naturally resides in our bodies, it becomes dry. This is most often the result of a damaged skin barrier.
Restoring a Damaged Moisture Barrier
A damaged moisture barrier creates microscopic cracks in the skin, invisible to the naked eye, which allow moisture to seep from our bodies into the air. This then leaves our skin both dehydrated and dry, and typically much more prone to irritation. These cracks can result from a variety of factors including surfactants in foaming cleansers, alcohol in toners, frequent exfoliation, and/or excessive sun exposure.
It’s a common assumption that a moisturizer will fill in and smooth these cracks. However, this is typically not the case. Traditional moisturizers just sit on top of the skin, providing only a temporary solution to hydration, but require repeated daily use to be effective. In essence, your skin then becomes addicted to using a moisturizer to maintain healthy hydration levels.
As with any good, effective skincare, it begins with the right ingredients. So, it’s not the moisturizer, but what’s in the moisturizer that matters. To restore lost moisture in order to achieve a healthy skin barrier, first eliminate what might be causing the damage.
- Switch to a creamy cleanser
- Eliminate usage of toners (they aren’t necessary anyway)
- Avoid excess exfoliation (rather, exfoliate just 2-4 consecutive days a month)
- Use a mineral-based sunscreen daily
Next, introduce important, dermatologist-grade ingredients that will maintain a healthy moisture barrier. These ingredients include:
- Retinoids (Retinoic Acid, Tretinoin and Retinol) actually increase the thickness of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) to help improve moisture retention
- Vitamin E—Tocopherols and Tocotrienols
- Omegas 3, 6 & 9—Alpha Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Gamma Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid
- Oat Extracts—Naturally, oat extracts have a calming effect on the skin, and they have also been shown to nourish a stronger skin barrier
- Plan Sterols—At a molecular level, plant sterols look like cholesterol and have been shown to strengthen the skin barrier
- Sunflower Seed Extract
A new class of breakthrough moisturizers, formulated with nutrient-rich ingredients and essential vitamins, hydrate and restore the natural moisture barrier for a healthy complexion. Deep Moisturizer, when paired with retinol treatment products, offers dermatologist-level hydration like you’ve never felt before. Choose something that’s good for your skin.