What to look for when purchasing moisturizer?

A major category of skin care cosmetics are moisturizers and nourishing preparations. There is a wide range of both products and of prices.

Moisturizers are valuable for all skin types. The keratinocytes of the epidermis have a high water content, but a modern environment in a centrally heated office or home means that moisture is continually being drawn out of the skin. If the keratinocytes lose some of their water content, small lines appear on the skin and it loses its youthful bloom. Most skins look better and feel more comfortable if a moisturizer is applied in the morning after washing the face. In some dry environments this may need to be re-applied at lunch time.

Low-end Moisturizers

At the lower end of the scale are the light moisturizing lotions, which are generally inexpensive and often aimed at both sexes and a wide age-range. These can be used not just on the face but on any other part of the body, and may be non-perfumed and non-colored. Preparation such as Neutrogena moisturizer falls into this category. These are very suitable for teenage or mildly dry skin if it feels tight or slightly uncomfortable after washing. These preparations are also often marketed as day-time moisturizing agents for use under make-up.

Heavier Moisturizers

Heavier moisturizing and nourishing preparations, containing both moisturizing and nourishing preparations, containing both moisturizing agents and heavier lipids (oil and grease components) aimed at replacing the body’s lost surface sebum, are often marketed as night-time moisturizers or night creams. Another constituent may be a humectants – a preparation that attracts moisture to the skin from the surrounding atmosphere.

These heavier moisturizers tend to be thicker creams that are sold in pots rather than in bottles, and leave the skin surface looking slightly shiny and oily. These may make older, drier skin more comfortable but should not be used by teenagers or by anyone with a tendency to acne as they may clog the pilosebaceous follicle openings (pores) and make the situation worse.

A condition known as cosmetically-induced acne is the result of applying excessive grease to the skin. This grease may be found in heavier moisturizing creams and in pomades and greases used to tame curly hair. For this reason, cosmetically induced acne can often be seen around the hairline.

Night Creams

Some of the more expensive, heavier night creams and moisturizing creams have very specialized actions and special ingredients. One particular type of ingredient advertised in some of these products are liposomes.  Liposomes are small sphere that carry lubrication in the form of lipid and fatty, oily material plus water between individual cells on the skin surface down into the deeper cells of the epidermis.

Thus, the claims that these liposome-containing preparations can penetrate deeper into the skin than other products may be correct. Remember, however, that all this action is going on within the epidermis and above the basement membrane, so the main value is that they help plump up the keratinocytes in the deeper as well as the more superficial layers of the epidermis, but have no effect on the underlying dermis.

Therefore, be cautious when you select a skin care product that is suitable for your skin.

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