Moisturizers come in various types, shapes, sizes and compounds. There are millions of women who wake up across the globe every morning, wash their face, and put moisturizer on to hydrate, protect, and infuse their skin with botanicals and ingredients that will allow their faces to look youthful, beautiful, and fresh. There’s more behind these products than meets the eye, and of course Vine Vera wanted to be the ones to uncover the science behind moisturizers and what makes them work, and bring that information to you today in this article.
What is Transepidermal Water Loss?
Transepidermal water loss, otherwise known as TEWL, is the process of moisture being lost from the skin due to dry climates, artificial heaters in the home or office, or the use of products which can often times dry out the skin. This process happens when water moves from the dermis, or middle layer of skin, to the skin’s surface, the epidermis, and then evaporates, leaving behind dry, dull skin that is begging for attention through means of lotions, creams and of course, moisturizers.
The Three Types of Moisturizers
There are three types of moisturizer products in which you will typically buy in a store, catalog, or online. They are:
You’re probably sitting there thinking, “Whoa. That sounds scientific.” And in fact, it is. To give you a breakdown of the three and explain in terms you can understand, lets take a look at each individual moisturizer type, and what they do.
Humectants work exceptionally well for dry skin, because they retain moisture within the epidermis and alleviate the flakiness of dry, itchy skin. They have also been known to help stimulate ceramide production within the body, which in turn give a waxy, protective coating to the skin, giving the skin a more youthful, moist appearance. These products are not usually recommended for those with oily skin.
This is known as the ‘Old School’ moisturizer. They work by forming a protective barrier over the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, that water is not able to get through. Water on the skin can actually dry the skin out, and these types of moisturizers also prevent water from escaping the skin as well. You might know an occlusive in the form of petroleum jelly, more commonly known by the brand name, Vaseline. These types of occlusives can cut TEWL by up to 98% and therefore, are very effective. They can tend to have a thick, greasy feel, however; and therefore, aren’t practical to cover yourself in – which is why they are generally used for target specific areas, and mainly used at night time nowadays. These products are generally geared towards those with severe dry skin, or to those with aging skin.
Emollients are meant to penetrate the skins layers, creating softer, smoother skin which feels better hydrated and more supple. They are able to be absorbed by the skin, filling in the gaps and areas where proteins have broken down within the skin’s cells, providing long lasting moisture and a more flexible feel. Emollients work well for most skin types – even oily and greasy skin. You can find many different types and lotions labeled under the emollient category on your favorite drug store’s shelves for purchase. Most body lotions contain emollients.
Choose Your Moisturizer Wisely
Vine Vera hopes this scientific breakdown has helped to give you a better understanding of what each of these types of moisturizers can do for you, and what skin types should use them. Who knew moisturizers could be so scientific? Make sure you choose the appropriate lotion or moisturizer for your particular skin care needs to obtain maximum benefits from the product.