Moisturizers are formulated to hydrate your skin and are available in different forms including creams, lotions, gels and oils. Moisturizers provide a seal over your skin, which is important for retaining water. Thicker moisturizers such as creams are more effective than lotions.

Dry skin needs to be hydrated regularly. Even oily skin needs added moisture and protection from insufficient hydration, or it will overcompensate for dryness and produce excessive oil.

Some symptoms of dry skin:

• Red or itchy skin
• Skin that is peeling, flaking, or scaling or is dull-looking
• Rough rather than smooth skin
• Tightness in skin, especially after bathing, showering, or swimming
• Skin that looks dehydrated or shrunken

Dehydrated skin is also caused by exposure to environmental factors such as:

• Hot baths and showers (better to take lukewarm showers or baths)
• Central heating and air conditioning
• Harsh soaps and detergents. Many soaps on the market will remove water and lipids from your skin. The most detrimental soaps are Antibacterial and Deodorant soaps.

Additional factors that will dehydrate your skin:

• Age: Your skin has a tendency to become less hydrated with age because the glands that produce oil become less active. The corresponding decrease in oil causes cells to clump together in scales or flakes; this causes skin to look dull and rough.

• Sun Exposure: Solar radiation will not only dehydrate your skin, but damage from Ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetrates deeply into your skin. Most of the damage occurs within the underlying dermal layer, where collagen and elastin fibers break down more rapidly. This causes sagging, loose skin and deep lines and wrinkles, making skin look older.

• Gender: Everyone’s skin changes with age. However, a man’s skin will typically stay moist longer than a woman’s. With advancing age, men’s skin experiences a relatively small decrease in oil production, whereas a woman’s skin tends to become drier after menopause.

The most effective moisturizers contain Hyaluronic Acid in a sufficiently high concentration to yield results. Hyaluronic Acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water and is an important ingredient in the best moisturizers.

Whether you have oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin, everyone needs to moisturize. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and needs a lot of care. If you moisturize every day and remember to use your sunblock, you will have the youthful, glowing and healthy skin you deserve.

Lee Slaney is a licensed esthetician. More information on products recommended in this article can be found at and

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