The water content of the skin varies but for the epidermis it is approximately 80%, this is the same water content as in other cells. The very surface of the skin, the stratum corneum, is made up of dead skin cells and this layer is much drier, with the water content varying between 10-30%.
The stratum corneum, when it is dry, will tend to lose its luster and produce what we know as dry skin.
In normal circumstances there will be movement of water from the dermis up through the more superficial layers of the skin, the water then in turn will evaporate. Skin that has low water content will dry and fissure.
Moisturizers are designed to reduce water loss from the epidermis. These do not reverse sun damage but they do prevent further dryness.
There is a temporary feeling of smoothness when moisturizers are used. The skin may swell slightly and cause some loss of fine wrinkles. The pores may appear to be smaller because of this swelling.
Moisturizing for those with oily skin will consist of sunscreen and oil free product, stay away from petrolatum!
Not every skin will be dry; there is the occlusive layer that waterproofs the skin. This is called the stratum corneum. Sebum that is secreted from the oil glands will also have a moisturizing effect on the skin.
Moisturizers are essentially a combination of occlusive and humectants. There are a number of different skin types that require different skin care.
Skin Moisturizers for Different Skin Types
Oily Skin: The moisturizers for people with oily skin should be non-comedogenic or oil-free.
Stay away from Petrolatum and mineral oil!
Dry Skin: Dry skin is more commonly seen in lighter colored individuals. Moisturizing should be applied to the skin after washing. Small amounts of moisturizer should be applied, and it is best to have multiple applications rather than using an excessive amount at one time.
For aging skin an Anti-Wrinkle cream at night and a moisturizer with sunscreen for the day would be a good regimen.
There is a small percentage of people who actually have dry skin on their face, these people will be dry on the cheeks and jaw line. If a person is scaly in the center of the face central forehead, around the nose, and on the central chin, this may be seborrheic dermatitis.
The use of a heavy moisturizer in people who have central facial dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) could lead to acne. Again, stay away from Petrolatum and mineral oil!
Normal – Combination Skin: Most people have oily skin on the forehead, nose, and chin (called the T-zone), and dryer skin on the cheeks and neck. The recommended moisturizer will be a non-comedogenic moisturizer which contains a minimum SPF of 15 in it for daily use. Sunscreens will help the prevention of skin cancer and photoaging.
Moisturizing of the Hands
Moisturizers that are best used for the hands: contains Silicone, Lanolin and coco butter. Silicone is a water repellent. It also will not allow the normal fats of the surface of the skin to be washed away. These products protect the skin even after washing the hands.
Moisturizers for Body Skin
Because there are very few sebaceous (oil) glands on the arms and legs, moisturizers are very important. Winter, dry climates, and windy climates are very hard on the skin of the body. Moisturizing is also a very important final step when shaving any area of your body.
Many body lotions incorporate sunscreens for a daily routine. This is very important for sun exposed skin, and again the prevention of skin cancer and photoaging.