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Should I moisturize my face after cleansing every time?

James M.. Wilmott
Dermatology

It is a good practice to apply a light moisturizer to the skin after each cleansing.  Look for one that have lipids in it that are part of the natural lipid barrier. This will help re-fortify the skin.  Also, look for a moisturizer that contains some of the skin's natural moisturizing factors (NMF's) such as sodium lactate, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), and urea to keep it properly hydrated.   

Exposure to water actually dries the skin as it evaporates. When the skin becomes too dry, it loses the important protein and lipid brick and mortar building blocks that make the stratum corneum,, the protective outer skin barrier. Applying a moisturizer after cleansing seals in moisture and helps maintain a healthy skin barrier. Look for a product containing a potent humectant like glycerin or  hyaluronic acid to pull in moisture from the environment above and living skin layers below and an emollient like dimethicone or cyclomethicone to seal the spaces between skin cells and produce a silky feel. If your skin is very dry, make sure it also contains  an occlusive ingredient like petrolatum or an oil to keep moisture from evaporating.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Cleansing can remove essential moisture from skin, especially if you are using a harsh soap. By using a mild cleanser followed by a moisturizer each time you wash, you can help your skin to retain its natural moisture. A good moisturizer will create a protective barrier that prevents water from evaporating and drying out your face.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.