Moisturizers were originally created to treat and relieve dry skin. But for many people, their ability to help fine facial lines and wrinkles is much more important. How do they work this magic? Stay tuned!
In a previous episode, I discussed the obvious and original reason to use a moisturizer: To combat the signs and symptoms of dry skin. These signs and symptoms include a feeling of mild tightness and the appearance of fine flaking, both of which are much more common on the cheeks, but can occur in other places.
Since dry skin is caused by insufficient water in your skin, the reason moisturizers work is because they effectively increase the moisture content of your skin. Simple enough. Right?
To go deeper, if the moisturizer increases the moisture content of your skin, it thereby also slightly increases the volume of your skin, which makes it more supple and less taut… and voila! Feelings of tightness are relieved.
Adding moisture also hydrates over dried, dead, and flaky surface cells. This changes their shape and optical properties, and therefore literally hides them from sight. Cool right?
Now here’s the even cooler part. If increasing the moisture content of your skin can slightly increase its volume… Well… What a perfect way to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even if only temporarily.
For those of you who receive the weekly DermTV newsletter, do you remember the tip on how to temporarily help crows feet? The answer is by rubbing the area firmly for a few minutes with a cream or ointment. The pressure from repeated rubbing causes a little inflammation which causes a tiny bit of fluid to leak into the skin that literally pushes out… or really fills in… the lost volume that caused the lines.
Moisturizers work similarly in helping fine lines and wrinkles. Although instead of from the inside out, moisturizers work by infusing water from the outside in. They do it with humectant ingredients that literally grab, bind and then cause water to absorb into and slightly swell your skin. And as you now know, that safe swelling will temporarily diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Goodbye lines and wrinkles… Not for long, but at least for now.