Your skin is about 45% water and your body overall is about 75% water. Even your bones are about 22% water! So, water is essential to health and to life in all things. This reveals the hidden truth in skincare – if water is not the star of the show, the product is not truly healthy for your skin. However, we are conditioned to use oil-based products to keep skin “looking” and “feeling” healthy, yet science says that in order for skin to actually be healthy water delivery and retention would have to be the priority.
Unfortunately, in the mainstream skin care market, oil is king because it soothes and shines, which makes everything and everyone involved “feel” better. But are these products actually making your skin any better? What makes skin healthy to begin with? If we answer this question we will be able to easily determine what is the best moisturizer for dry skin and the best way to moisturize skin overall.
The Real Deal
Healthy skin is soft, smooth, and supple due the water it retains. For skin to feel supple and pliable like it should the epidermis (top layer) of the skin must be 20-35% water and can be no less than 10% water. To assist you protect the exterior layer of skin from dehydration, the sebaceous glands produce an fatty substance called sebum, a sophisticated blend of body fat, sugars, waxes and various other organic chemicals that shape a defensive barrier against water loss. As sebum is washed away with soaps and detergents or is otherwise depleted due to some other internal or external changes, the skin dries out. If hydrating moisture is not delivered swiftly to the skin (which gives the skin time to produce more sebum) it begins to shrivel, crack, and flake.
So, if the skin stayed hydrated there would be no need to add oil to it because the natural, tailor-made oil that your skin produces for itself would be sufficient. The key is not producing a false sebum to protect the skin but by delivering the moisture that the sebum protects so that it can replenish itself. If you have itchy dry skin, your skin is not calling for more oil or even more sebum – your skin needs more water! The fatty sebum only protects the water, so conditioning skin with water and humectants that will help it retain water is the best way to moisturize skin and to help skin heal itself.
The Oil Facade
So, why do oils and creams seem to make your skin supple, soft, and healthy? The answer is actually pretty disconcerting. What topical oils do is lay down the layers of dead skin on the surface, weighing shriveled skin cells down and making them appear flat and moisturized…for a while. Then, when the oil is depleted, the dead skin begins to flake and chafe and the skin underneath is still dry because no real moisture has been added or retained! The water that is in commercial cream concoctions sits on the skin but is not properly absorbed because oil and water don’t mix; remember, sebum is not just oil. Sebum is a complex substance and the oils in skin creams and lotions are not structured like sebum. Oil on skin only gives the appearance of hydration – only water and water retaining minerals and botanicals can help the skin to retain moisture and stay healthy.
So, What Is the Best Lotion for Dry, Itchy Skin?
There isn’t any! Lotion is not good for dry, itchy skin! Oil-free skin-lasting however, is. Try skin-lasting today and start taking steps toward smoother, healthier, hydrated skin!