How Moisturizing Works & Why Your Skin Needs It

When you get thirsty, you drink a glass of water. When your skin gets thirsty, you moisturize. But what does moisturizer really do for your skin?

In this article, we’ll explore the subject of hydrating your skin and supporting its natural protective barrier against moisture loss. We’ll also talk about the different types of moisturizer and how to choose the one that is best for your skin.

What Does Moisturizer Do for Your Skin?

Between 50 and 65% of the human body is water, though body composition varies between the genders and among different body types. Although the amount of water in your body may differ, its importance never wavers. Water is essential for life, and optimal hydration levels are essential for healthy skin.

The word “moisturizer” is a broad term used to describe skincare products that increase the comfort and lubrication of your skin. Moisturizers don’t technically add moisture to your skin, as many assume. Instead, they attract water or trap existing water already present in the skin.

Though you may think of water when you think of moisture, water is actually one of the weakest moisturizers for skin. It evaporates too quickly and doesn’t penetrate the skin’s protective outer barrier. Lotions, creams, and ointments, on the other hand, improve the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture while resolving other skin problems that can lead to loss of moisture.

To better understand what moisturizer does for your skin, consider the different types of moisturizer and the benefits each provides:

  • Emollient – This type of moisturizer fills the gaps between the skin cells that are lacking moisturizing lipids (fats). Emollients are typically oil-based, and as they fill the spaces between skin cells, the skin becomes smoother and more hydrated.
  • Humectant – This type of moisturizer draws water into the skin cells to improve hydration. They are suitable for all skin types because they tend to be light, water-based, and devoid of heavy oils.
  • Occlusive – Typically used on the body rather than the face, occlusive moisturizers are heavy, designed to douse the skin in much-needed moisture.

In most cases, the term moisturizer refers to a product that creates a seal on the surface of the skin to protect against loss of moisture. Hydrators, on the other hand, are specific ingredients that absorb water from the atmosphere (or from your skin) and hold it on the skin. Yon-Ka Paris uses both moisturizing and hydrating ingredients in our moisturizers.

Understanding the Skin’s Protective Barrier

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it acts as a protective barrier against the harsh elements of the outside world. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the skin itself requires protection. When the skin’s protective barrier becomes compromised, it leads to water loss and increased sensitivity. These things often manifest in the form of dry, itchy, and irritated skin.

The skin cannot make water for itself, but it can trap water in its protective barrier and use it to produce sebum or oil. The skin’s protective barrier consists of three layers – the epidermal lipids, hydrolipid film, and the acid mantle.

The epidermal lipids make up the skin’s permeable barrier and bind moisture to prevent bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances from penetrating the skin’s surface. The hydrolipid film is an emulsion of water and fats that covers the surface of the skin, and the acid mantle gives the skin its mildly acidic pH to promote skin-friendly microorganisms and protect against harmful ones.

The skin’s protective barrier can be compromised by dehydration and dryness. Dehydration refers to a lack of water in the skin, while dryness refers to a lack of oil. Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type can help resolve these issues.

Choosing the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

If your skin is dry or dehydrated, using the right moisturizer can repair the underlying issue and restore the healthy condition of your skin. Not using moisturizer can make the problem worse, but so can using the wrong moisturizer for your skin type.

When shopping for moisturizer, you should be aware of your skin type and have some idea which ingredients are needed to repair your specific problems. Restoring ingredients like peptides encourage the skin to return to its natural state prior to the damage while replenishing ingredients like glycerin restore the skin’s healthy appearance. Other ingredients like antioxidants and plant extracts help soothe irritated skin and defend it against environmental stressors.

Here is a quick overview of which moisturizers are best for different skin types:

  • All skin types. Dry, oily, combination, and acne-prone skin can all benefit from humectant moisturizers because they increase the natural hydration of your skin and don’t overload it with heavy oils. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Dry, dehydrated skin. If your skin is extremely dry, dehydrated, or mature, you may need an emollient to fill the gaps between skin cells, giving your skin a smoother appearance overall. Key ingredients to look for include shea butter, grape seed oil, and avocado oil.
  • Normal or combination skin. Skin that has minimal dryness, such as normal or combination skin types, may do best with a humectant
  • Mature, dehydrated skin. For skin that is very dry and dehydrated, particularly mature skin in an environment devoid of humidity, occlusive moisturizers are best. Look for ingredients like avocado oil, hazelnut oil, and jojoba oil but avoid this type for acne-prone skin.

Your skin is likely to change over time, so the moisturizer that is best for your skin right now may not be the ideal choice several months or years from now. If you’re not sure which moisturizer is best, talk to a skincare professional or visit a Yon-Ka Paris salon and spa for a consultation.

Yon-Ka Paris Moisturizers

If your skin is severely dehydrated, a professional-level treatment may be the best way to restore its natural health and hydration. In addition to professional spa treatments, Yon-Ka Paris also offers a variety of at-home skin care products that can soothe, hydrate, and strengthen your skin.

Here are some of the top moisturizers Yon-Ka Paris has to offer:

  • Hydra No. 1 Crème – This vitamin-enriched cream infuses the skin with age-defying and repairing ingredients to prevent visible signs of aging caused by dehydration. It creates a comforting cocoon that restores your skin’s soft, supple, and plumped complexion for glowing health and renewed radiance.
  • Hydra No. 1 Fluide – Perfect for normal to oily skin types, this product features the super-humectant hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin to the deepest layers, leaving it comforted and mattified with reduced signs of aging.
  • Hydra No. 1 Serum – The above two products can be layered over this luxurious serum for a deeper, more intensive hydration for dry and dehydrated skin.
  • Nutri Defense – Rich in plant oils and butters, this moisturizer offers intense comforting and repairing moisture for dry to very dry skin. Ingredients like sacha inchi oil, shea butter, grape seed oil, and avocado oil nourish the skin and restore its natural protective barrier.

Hydration is just as important for your skin as it is for the rest of your body. Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type and utilizing it as part of a daily skincare routine can help reduce moisture loss, improve the tone and texture of your skin, and restore your youthful glow.

Brianna Cunningham
Brianna Cunningham

Brianna is a writer and blogger living in Austin, Texas. When she isn't working, she enjoys running, watching beauty/skincare videos on YouTube and taking her dog to the park.

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