In a recent interview with Dr. Gabriel Nistor, Chief Science Officer, AIVITA Biomedical and ROOT OF SKIN skin care brand, I asked him to explain why moisturizers sometimes do not seem to work? Following is his scientifically based reason why it seems that many moisturizers don’t always help us we we want them to.
When we were young our skin had all the moisture it needed. There was no need for moisturizing products, our skin had all the natural oils and protective layers necessary to keep our skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. As we age, this can change, with many of us finding it unthinkable to leave the house without first applying a moisturizer.
But did you know that you can end up in a vicious cycle of dependency by overusing moisturizers? Many moisturizers available today make your skin feel well-hydrated when applied but can make your skin look worse in the long run.
Let me share with you why your moisturizer doesn’t work.
Healthy skin has a natural waterproof layer that should be self-sufficient in protecting against water loss. However, through natural aging and other factors this natural barrier becomes less effective over time, allowing moisture to easily slip out of the skin’s upper layer. This is known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, or TEWL for short. Many moisturizers work by applying waxy or oily ingredients to your skin to prevent this water loss.
This is where the viscious cycle begins. The waxes and oils added in many moisturizers to reduce TEWL can cause a build-up on the surface of the skin. This unwanted build-up can also disrupt sweat and sebum glands, natural moisture regulators, or cause inflammation. It can even cause enough build-up so that the skin appears flaky and bumpy.
Some products also contain detergent-based ingredients to provide a silky feeling. These ingredients can strip the skin of its lipids when removed, essential components which maintain the strength of the skin’s protective barrier. This gets to the heart of the reasons as to why your moisturizer doesn’t work.
“Did you know that our natural cycle of cellular turn-over, where fresh clean cells replace the dead and dirty ones, is reduced by half by the time we are 30?”
Dr. Gabriel Nistor
This is where the viscious cycle starts. The moisturizer you are using to help your skin may actually be causing inflammation, build-up, unevenness and can even also strip away the moisturization you are trying so hard to get back!
For true rejuvenation, skin needs a “vacation” from the heavy waxes, oils, detergents and toxic components that can disrupt its natural moisture regulating capabilities. To restore its vibrancy and youthful appearance a product is needed which supports healthy skin nutrition and does not disrupt its natural function. Check product labels for ingredients and try to carefully observe your skin as it responds to a moisturizer. Careful observations will tell you what is working, what isn’t, and help you break the viscious cycle.
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