Remember the ‘Silence of the Lambs’, when that psychopathic serial killer Buffalo Bill threatened Catherine with the line, ‘it rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again’?
Well I do. I didn’t sleep for weeks after watching that movie. Spoiler alert if you plan to watch it, Buffalo Bill wanted his victims to apply lotion to their bodies so he could skin them easily.
Gross, I know. Terrifying even, but it gets one wondering, how exactly does your skin get soft when you apply a moisturizer? Oh and also how does a cute little baby become such a horrifying adult?!
Anyway, I digress.
The whole point of moisturizing skin is helping it maintain a healthy moisture barrier. While our skin is virtually waterproof, moisture evaporates from the skin through tiny cracks and fissures. When your skin is healthy, it minimizes this water loss as much as possible since structurally speaking; every skin cell is surrounded by waterproofing lipids and fats like cholesterol, ceramides and fatty acids.
However, when your moisture barrier is destroyed, skin issues like acne, eczema and dehydration will plague it. The damaged skin needs to have its moisture barrier repaired as quickly as possible by reducing the rate of evaporation.
The oils/occlusives in a moisturizing formulation will form a barrier on the skin to reduce evaporation and in the process restore the skin’s moisture barrier.
The best occlusives for a moisturizing formulation are: petroleum jelly, mineral oil, silicones- especially dimethicone, plant oils like coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and olive oil. If you want soft, smooth skin then use moisturizers with these ingredients. Read more about the other key ingredients in a moisturizer here.
What are some of your favorite moisturizers?
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