What Is a Moisturizer? Everything You Need to Know Before Buying One

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Moisturizers are a necessity for anyone who wants to maintain healthy skin. Most people don’t think of them as interesting, but they are fascinating in many ways.

A moisturizer is a skincare product designed to help keep your skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. It helps deliver water to the skin’s surface, where it also works to prevent moisture from evaporating.

This article explains everything you need to know about a moisturizer, including what it is, how it works, how to choose a moisturizer for your skin type, and more.

What Is a Moisturizer?

A moisturizer is a cosmetic product that aims to reduce dry skin. It does this by adding water and preventing moisture loss in the external layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis.

A moisturizer can be a lotion, cream, or ointment. Lotions are less greasy than creams and ointments and are often used for people with sensitive skin.

Creams and ointments tend to give more relief from itchiness and irritation but can also be heavier and leave a greasy residue on clothes.

The best way to know which one you need is to read the label carefully and try out different types until you find one that matches your needs best.

How Do Moisturizers Work?

When you use a moisturizer, it hydrates and locks in water within your skin. Moisturizers help to stop water from evaporating out of your skin, which can cause it to dry out.

This helps protect the skin from dryness, flaking, and irritation, which is especially important during the winter months when the air is dry and there’s less humidity.

A moisturizer can also protect your skin by reducing inflammation and preventing damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals are harmful unstable molecules that can cause premature aging or skin cancer.

What to Look for in a Moisturizer


Occlusives are substances that seal the top layer of skin by forming a protective barrier. This protective barrier helps shield it from damage and invasion of microorganisms and environmental toxins.

These ingredients are very effective and can be found in many moisturizing creams, ointments, lotions, and gels. Examples of occlusive substances are petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, beeswax, and glycerin.


Emollients are ingredients that help reduce itching and cracking by softening and moistening the skin. They can also help protect against water evaporation by providing a protective barrier on the skin to trap moisture.

One of the most common emollients for those with sensitive skin is jojoba oil, as it doesn’t clog pores or cause irritation. Other common types of emollients are ingredients like petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, and shea butter.

SEE: Reasons Why You Should Moisturize Your Face


Humectants are ingredients in skincare that help to keep the skin hydrated. They work by attracting water from the air and holding it on the surface of the skin.

This helps the skin stay soft and smooth, by fighting wrinkles, dryness, and other signs of aging. Humectant ingredients can be either natural or synthetic, and you can find them in a variety of moisturizers, like creams, gels, and serums.

The most common humectant ingredients in skincare are glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol, and methyl pentanediol. They’re often combined with other ingredients to keep the skin hydrated all day long.

Benefits of Using Moisturizer On Your Skin

Hydrates skin

Moisturizers work by sealing moisture into the top layer of your skin, which helps to increase the water level in skin cells. They typically contain ingredients such as humectants or emollients that help to attract water to the skin and keep it in.

Repairs skin barrier

The skin barrier works hard all day to protect us from dust, dirt, bacteria, and other potential nasties that can harm us. This means that you need to take care of it so that it performs optimally at all times.

One way to do that is by applying a moisturizer. Moisturizers contain ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid that helps repair damaged skin barrier by increasing skin hydration and elasticity.

Rejuvenates skin

Moisturizers contain ingredients like vitamin C that help to shed away dead cells on the surface of the skin by increasing cell turnover.

Using a moisturizer with SPF during the day can also help to protect your skin from UV rays and free radicals which are the main causes of dull skin.

Reduces the appearance of wrinkles

Moisturizers are one of the most important steps in preventing skin aging. These products help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, which is disrupted by environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), moisturizers can help correct or prevent common signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines, by combatting the damaging effects of environmental factors on the skin.

Treats acne

Moisturizers work from the outside to treat acne. They help prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming by controlling excess oil production on your skin. In addition, they help your pores remain clear by removing dirt and debris that clogs them up.

Protects skin from sun damage

We all know how harmful the sun can be to our skin – it causes cancer, age spots, wrinkles, and other forms of damage. Even just driving out is enough time for your skin to soak up some harmful UV rays.

Using a moisturizer is crucial because many of them now contain SPF protection as well as other important ingredients like antioxidants. This will help protect against sun damage and promote healing after long hours spent outside.

SEE: Keep Your Hands Moist With the Best Hand Cream

How to Choose a Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

The most important thing to do when it comes to choosing a moisturizer is to know what type of skin you have. The second most important thing is choosing a moisturizer that will meet your skin needs.

There are many types of moisturizers on the market, and they’re not all suited for every skin type. If you have dry skin, you want a moisturizer that will lock in moisture and hydrate your skin.

If you have oily skin, you want a lightweight, non-comedogenic lotion to control the shine. For acne-prone skin, you want to look for a product with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

If you have sensitive skin, it is important to select one that does not contain irritants or known allergens. For example, if you have an allergy to fragrance or redness from products containing licorice root, avoid products with these ingredients.

From there, identify which ingredients will be best suited for your skin needs, such as SPF or anti-aging properties. If you are looking for anti-aging benefits, then look for retinol, vitamin C, and E in your lotion.

When to Moisturize Your Skin

Moisturizing is an essential part of any routine—and the best time to moisturize your skin depends on what kind of routine you’re following. If you’re using a daytime moisturizer with SPF, then apply it in the morning after washing your face.

For nighttime moisturizers or creams, apply them after cleansing before you go to bed. However, it’s highly recommended not to use day moisturizers at night and night moisturizers during the day, as this can cause problems for your skin.

How to Use Moisturizer on Skin

  • Cleanse your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser specific to your skin type.
  • Pat your skin with a clean towel but avoid patting it dry (moisturizers absorb better on damp skin).
  • Apply your moisturizer to all areas of your body, including the neck, eyelids, and hands.
  • Smooth the moisturizer over your skin using gentle upward strokes.
  • Apply an extra layer of moisturizer on any dry areas of your skin (if necessary).
  • Apply your sunscreen and other skincare products if desired.

SEE: Sunscreen- Your Best Form of Protection Against the Sun


Is moisturizer necessary?

Yes, it is. Moisturizer is an essential part of every routine. It can help keep your skin looking youthful and elastic by preventing it from drying out.

Moisturizing your skin also helps it to maintain its natural oils and keeps the top layer of your skin smooth. This prevents you from experiencing flaky or dry patches on your skin that are caused by dehydration, which can lead to breakouts.

Can you moisturize at night?

Yes, you can. Applying a moisturizer at night is recommended because it helps hydrate the skin before bedtime, which means you will feel more refreshed in the morning.

Moisturizing at night will also increase the effectiveness of your moisturizer because your skin absorbs better at night. This provides an extra layer of protection against toxic elements while you sleep.

Can you use a moisturizer on your face?

Yes, you can. Using a moisturizer on your face prevents dryness and cracking on your face, by allowing more oil to flow out and keep your skin soft.

In addition, it helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines by keeping the skin plump and smooth. Moisturizing your face will also help prevent acne and blackheads, giving you smooth, baby-like skin.


Moisturizer is a skin product that helps to hydrate and soften the skin. It works by trapping water in the skin and forming a protective barrier around it. This keeps the skin hydrated and helps to fight off irritation, dryness, and flaking.

There are many different ingredients in a moisturizer, but they all work similarly. By adding a moisturizer to your daily beauty routine, you can improve the health of your skin while also reducing the signs of aging and other damage.

Thanks for reading.

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