Healthy Benefits of Moisturizers or Emollients


This article explains the importance and needs of moisturizers which are also known as emollients. They are composed of complex chemical compounds and mainly serve to prevent dehydration of skin making it soft and smooth.

Introduction


Moisturizers are products which usually are mixtures of few chemicals and are also known as emollients. They are applied over the skin to make it soft. Its main purpose is to increase hydration in surface layers by reducing evaporation. Moisturizers can be either purchased from stores or else can be prepared within home by using certain pharmacy products. It is a mixture of oils, humectants, lubricants, skin lipids, emollients etc.


How Moisturizers Work


Skin acts as a protective layer to underlying tissues from been infected or desiccated. It acts as a barrier and do not allow harmful products, chemicals, toxins from penetrating deeper layers and also protect them from mechanical stress. If skin does not carry out its function well then risk of dermatitis and skin diseases increases. Moisturizers are the products which help to restore integrity of stratum corneum. Once this is done, further loss of water and essential skin lipids stops. Moisturizers increase softness and suppleness of skin and help to delay aging by reducing fine lines.


Types of Moisturizers


There are different types of moisturizers manufactured keeping in mind needs and necessities of different skin types. However, there are three main types and they are ointments, lotions and creams. Ointments are usually semi-solid type of moisturizers. They reduces water loss from the skin and maintains moisture within. It is a little greasy. Lotions on the other hand are composed of oil and water, making its application quite easy due to its consistency. Creams are the kind of moisturizers which are considerably less greasy but quite thick when compared to lotions.


Different Types of Moisturizers for Different Skin Types


Moisturizers have to be used carefully taking into consideration skin type on which they need to be applied. Usually it is believed that oily skin do not require any kind of moisturizer. However, this is not true. Dryness does occur in oily skin types too. This is due to frequent washing and usage of multiple other skin care products. Oil-based moisturizers if used can cause or worsen acne as they contain oil in them. Thus, water based moisturizers are better to be used as they are light and there is low risk of comedo formation. Dry skin requires oil based moisturizers for treating dryness. Normal skin neither is too dry nor too oily and thus water based moisturizers will do the work. On the other hand, combination skin which is combination of both oily and dry requires oil free moisturizers. Sensitive skin should be treated with moisturizers containing products which create soothing effects on skin and does not contain irritants like acids, dyes, allergies, preservatives, fragrances etc. If moisturizers containing irritants present if used then it can cause irritation, inflammation, rashes, redness, itching or infection on the sensitive skin. Aged skin requires plenty of moisture due to aging process. Aged skin is unable to produce its own oil and thus lots of oil-based moisturizer will restore water and oil within skin which will consequently slow down aging and formation of wrinkles.


Need for Moisturizer


Moisturizer restores lost water and thus prevents dryness. It protects skin of all types, particularly sensitive one. It creates soothing effect on skin, making it soft and supple. It crates evenness in skin and masks irregularities and imperfections. It shows remarkable improvement in texture and tone of skin. It prevents redness, rashes or irritations of any kind. It balances the skin and does not allow to get it dry or oily. It protects skin from dust and dirt and also nourishes the skin with ingredients which body is some how not able to produce. It decreases fine lines formed due to aging as well as reduces appearances of wrinkles if used regularly. Some of the moisturizers are packed with SPF factor which rejuvenate and revitalize skin, reversing sun damage. Ingredients packed within moisturizers tend to fill in the spaces present between cells of the skin and repair the damage. This leaves skin soft and smooth.


Moisturizer is Very Important for Face


Skin of the rest of the body is not so susceptible to damage as most of the time it is covered underneath clothes and is also not as relatively sensitive as facial skin is. Facial skin is the most exposed and thus damage leading to early aging, occurrence of fine lines, wrinkles, unevenness of skin, color and texture, blemishes etc are all very natural. More the damage, more spaces gets created between skin cells. More amount of water gets evaporated from epidermis of facial skin. Also, oil glands present on facial skin cannot effectively produce required amount of oil essential and hence comes dryness and loss of moisture. This is the reason that facial skin faces more damage than skin of any other body parts. Moisturizer thus plays an important role here by reversing the whole damage and maintaining adequate amount of water and oil in facial skin, returning back its softness and smoothness as well as enhancing inner glow. Only thing that has to be noted is right moisturizer has to be chosen as per the skin type. Otherwise, more damage will be done rather than anything good.


Know the Difference between Moisturizer and Lotion


Moisturizer meant for face should not be applied on body and body lotions should never be applied on face. Both of them are meant for locking moisture within the skin. But this does not mean that either of them can be used to replace each other. Moisturizer of face is light and soft in consistency. It not only moisturizes facial skin which is relatively sensitive one but also is packed with other properties like SPF, anti-aging etc. On the other hand, body lotion is quite heavy and has creamy consistency, especially designed for body parts to relieve them of dryness. Applying body lotions on face will be a terrible thing to do as sensitive skin of face will not be able to breathe properly through such heavy cream as well as applying light cream meant for face on body will not serve the purpose as skin of other body parts need much more than that.


Moisturizers in Skin Related Problems


Some people simply get scared when they suffer from one or the other skin related problems. They have no idea of what they should be really using on their skin and what not. For example, people suffering from acne have a strong opinion that moisturizer is not essential for their skin type as already their skin is producing oil in excess amount. However, this is not right. Instead of using products which contain large amount of alcohol in it for clearing acne, one can choose to treat the same by moisturizing and taking care of their skin properly. They have to use water based moisturizers which contain more water and less amount of oil. This will balance out water and oil ratio in their skin resulting in clearing of acne. In the same way, eczema is a condition which can be very well treated by moisturizers. However, water based moisturizers do not do any good is eczema. Its treatment requires frequent and regular application of thick ointments.


Moisturize Everyday


Both men and women have to moisturize their skin daily. It should not just be confined to winters, when skin starts flaking out due to excessive dryness. Whether it is summer, winter or rainy season, one should make it a routine. After one application itself, we can experience the softness that can be remarkably seen in our skin. Thus, we can have an idea how incredibly healthy our skin will become if we make it a routine in our every day life. It is a secret to young, ever glowing skin because moisturizers blesses it with softness, allowing skin to remain elastic. Skin will always remain hydrated. It will be beneficial, if we apply moisturizers at the same time every day. Applying it after a bath, face wash or shaving is particularly more beneficial as skin is still moist and it helps to lock moisture within skin. When applying moisturizer on face, make sure to massage it gently with upward strokes. This will help it to penetrate the pores at the earliest. By regular daily application of right type of moisturizers on both face and body we can seen great benefits over time.


Choose Right Moisturizer


Today many types of moisturizers are available in market. All one has to do is to know what is right for them and purchase it. Some moisturizers contain active ingredients and others don't. Buying both of them will be beneficial. However, it is important to know when to use actives one and when not. While going out in sun, moisturizer containing active ingredients can be applied as it contains SPF factor. If one is not going out and is confined within house premises and does not come in contact or get exposed to sun can apply moisturizer with non active ingredients, which will very well nourish skin but fails to protect it from sun rays. Natural moisturizers are completely chemical free. Also, if skin is very sensitive do use hypoallergenic moisturizers which will reduce the risk of skin allergies and irritations. Broad-spectrum labelled moisturizers offer great protection form both UVA and UVB rays. Some moisturizers contain fragrance and some don't. So again depending on one's likeability and skin type one can choose from the varieties available. Very commonly it can be noted that moisturizers will be labelled as non-comedogenic and it means it is oil free. It can be used by oily skin types as it will not clog pores, worsening acne.


Risks Associated with Moisturizers


Moisturizers are great for skin health. However, certain care has to be taken because certain ingredients present in them can cause allergic reactions like formation of rashes, irritations in case of sensitive skin. Thus, sensitive skin individuals should always chose moisturizers of right type. Sometimes, moisturizers can itself be contaminated with bacteria and thus to avoid any such risk, a little patch test should always be done. Always apply moisturizer on face from bottom to top, to prevent sagging of skin.


Things to Remember


When winters arrive, switch to heavier moisturizer or if using light one then use it more often. On the other hand, summers make skin oily and thus switching to a light water-based moisturizer will be beneficial to skin. Each and every individual should apply moisturizer depending on their skin type. Not only moisturizer helps hydrate skin but also replenish it with lots of vitamins and other nutrients. Right time to moisturize is after a bath or washing face with mild cleanser. Also, do apply moisturizer after shaving or exfoliating as lots of essential oils are removed in the process and thus moisturizing will replenish them back. Never use moisturizer in under eye area cause area around and under eye is very sensitive and demands much lighter under eye cream. Our skin goes into repair mode during night and also it tends to loose lots of water during night time. Thus, apply good moisturizers at night to prevent dehydration of skin.


Conclusion


By mixing many chemicals a moisturizer is manufactured and its main function is to make skin soft, smooth and retain its elasticity. Wide varieties of moisturizes are available in market. Some of them may contain active ingredients, others may contain non-active ingredients. Some of them are water-based and less greasy whereas others are thick like lotions. Depending upon skin type, moisturizers must be carefully selected and applied daily on a regular basis. With change in weather, need for application may increase or decrease. Long-term benefits which are obtained form moisturizers are great as it always keep skin young and glowing. It delays signs of aging as well as reverses the damage that has occurred either due to exposure to sun, heat or pollution.


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