A parched, dry skin is often referred to in dermatology as a lipid dry skin.
There are a few things going on within a dry skin:
- It characteristically has small pores, which secrete only a minimal amount of oil (sebum).
- There is a lack of moisture in the skin’s surface, which is why it often feels dehydrated
Role of Moisturizers
Ingredients vary depending on the type of skin the moisturizing formula is for.
For example, the best moisturizer for a dry skin usually contains humectants, which prevents moisture escaping from the skin.
They also contain protective ingredients, such as emollients, which help to keep the barrier function intact.
However, a formula for an oily skin, should ideally contain ingredients that help to slow the flow of oil from the sebaceous glands.
A formula designed for blemishes, should contain anti-bacterial and anti-microbial ingredients.
Best Moisturizing Ingredients
Most moisturizers are oil soluble, whilst humectants are water soluble, there is often some confusion around the role of humectants and moisturizers in skin care.
So us folks at The Naked Chemist, have decided to set the record straight and review these ingredients.
If you have dry skin, then we have three words to say to you, hydration, hydration, hydration.
Humectants are going to be your new best friend, because dry, dehydrated skin loses its ability to hold water.
The main role of humectants is to form hydrogen bonds, that contain molecules of water,
Essentially, humectants are substances that are designed to absorb water from the air.
Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol and Sorbitol, these are all good examples of valuable humectants used in skin care.
The best moisturizers for a dry skin help to lock in moisture.
The role of a moisturizer is to increase the level of hydration and replenish moisture loss in the skin.
They are hydrophobic, which means they create an occlusive film on the skin, preventing trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).
This is what leaves the skin feeling nicely hydrated, giving the skin its soft, smooth feel.
If the skin has problems with absorbing water, some moisturizing ingredients help create a barrier on the skin,
This not only prevents moisture loss, but it also helps to protect the skin from environmental conditions.
The best moisturizer for dry skin, should contain emollient ingredients.
Emollients help to keep the surface lubricated and protected, they include ingredients such as Silicones, Glycerine, Fatty acids, Ceramides and Lecithin.
Lipids have a protective role on the skin, helping to improve the barrier function.
They patch up gaps between cells, whilst also boosting hydration and smoothness.
Some of the best moisturizers contain lipid ingredients that include Phospholipids, Sphingolipids or Glycosphingolipids, which are more commonly known as Ceramides, Cholesterol and Fatty Acids.