Having healthy and beautiful skin is not just good for your look, but also important for your health. Skin is the first physical barrier of the body that will prevent germs, bacteria, and foreign particulate to enter the body. The skin barrier also protects the body from pollution, ultraviolet rays, dehydration, irritation, inflammation, and toxin that will harm us. However, when the skin barrier is damaged, its function to protect the body will decrease.
According to WebMD, these are some symptoms of skin barrier damage
- Lack of skin elasticity
- Itchy, dry skin
- Excessive water loss
- Thinning of the epidermal layer (the outer layer of the skin)
- Visible bacterial or viral infections
When the skin barrier is damaged, it could not protect the body anymore and will make you prone to infection.
So, how to protect our skin from damage?
The easiest and simplest way to protect our skin from damage is by using moisturizer.
According to Pons-Guiraud in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (2007), to maintain the skin elasticity and ensure that the skin carries out its function, stratum corneum (the top layer of epidermis) water content should be in the range of 10-15% so that the enzymatic reaction in skin layer will take place simultaneously.
Moisturizer is a preparation that can help maintain the water content of the skin. Moisturizer is available in the form of cream, lotion, ointment, and gel.
There are three types of moisturizers that work in different mechanisms in maintaining the skin’s water content.
Types of moisturizer based on its mechanism of action (picture credit to SpecialChem)
Example: petrolatum, jojoba oil
Found in Vaseline, CeraVe, Aquaphor
Mechanism of action: forms a protective layer on the skin to prevent moisture loss
Example: hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, AHA, glycerine
Mechanism of action: attracts and locks moisture/water from the skin environment to the epidermis.
Example: dimethicone, diaryl ether, propylene glycol
Mechanism of action: soothe and hydrate the skin directly. Also, it can form a barrier to preventing water loss.
Among the three types of moisturizers, you can choose the most suitable for your skin condition or the one that gives you the best skin feel and suit your taste.