Every good moisturizer is made of five ingredient groups: emollients, humectants, emulsifiers, penetration enhancers, and active ingredients. It’s good to know and understand how these ingredients work so your expectations of your moisturizer will be reasonable, and the next time you buy a new hydrating lotion or serum, you’ll be armed with the latest knowledge.
Traditionally, moisturizers were believed to work by slowing down water loss from the epidermis by locking it in with film-forming agents. Water originates in the deeper skin layers and moves upward to hydrate cells in the stratum corneum, eventually being lost to evaporation.
Every day we lose up to one pint of water through the pores! The higher the water content in the epidermis, the more pliable and wrinkle-free the skin will be. Moisturizer is the most important antiaging step and must be used consistently, no matter how old you are.
“Take care of the skin you have; it is meant to last a lifetime,” says Anne Do beau, the founder of organic spa line Inara. Moisturizers work together with the skin’s own hydrators, such as natural moisturizing factors and sebum, to maintain the skin’s protective barrier.
They increase water content, reduce water loss, and preserve skin’s youthful appearance. Moisturizers also hydrate by providing water directly to the skin.