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Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredA barrier-repair emollient is a moisturizer that restores oils and lipids to the skin, helping it to stay hydrated and function as a barrier against the outside world. Dry air, wind, sun, soaps, and other elements can dry the protective outer layer of skin, possibly worsening conditions such as acne and rosacea and making skin more prone to irritation. Moisturizers that contain lipids such as ceramides, or humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, draw water to the skin and help skin retain it. Applying a barrier-repair emollient to skin immediately after bathing, when skin is still wet, is often recommended for good skin hydration.