How Do Moisturizers Affect the Skin? – Hints For Choosing the Best Body Moisturizer

The best body moisturizer should do more than just coat the skin to keep in moisture. If that’s all it took, you could just moisturize with lard, goose grease or petroleum jelly. All of them coat the skin just fine.

The big question is, how do moisturizers affect the skin? The three I just mentioned all block the pores, a problem with lots of common moisturizers. Of course, nobody uses lard or goose grease. I wish I could say the same about petroleum jelly.

Petroleum jelly/petrolatum/mineral oil (and other names for the same chemical) is well known for blocking pores, encouraging acne, stripping the skin of its natural oils — and still used all the time in the cosmetics industry, just because it’s so cheap.

Sometimes I suspect this one ingredient has led to the invention of the scientific-sounding phrase, “Non-Comedogenic.” That just means the product doesn’t encourage blocked pores or blackheads. Not much to ask, is it?

The best body moisturizer will do a lot of good things. For example:

— It should encourage the growth of new collagen and elastin, which tends to gradually decline as we get older

— It should contain antioxidants, to neutralize the free radicals that cause much skin damage and cause premature aging

— It should naturally raise the levels of hyaluronic acid, which you might think of as the glue that holds collagen and elastin together, strengthening and adding flexibility to the skin. Hyaluronic acid also tends to be lost as we get older.

— And it should contain natural vegetable-based oils that have been proven in clinical studies, with human volunteers, to moisturize the skin, protect it from environmental damage, and encourage growth of new skin cells

All of this is available in the best body moisturizer, though I’ve never seen anything close on the shelves at my local pharmacies and retail health-and-beauty departments.