Even though moisturizers won’t necessarily affect how the skin functions at the cellular level (that is, they won’t change the production level of collagen and repair of tissue damage), they are an excellent way to keep the skin hydrated, replenishing the natural moisture elements in the upper layers and bolstering the barrier function of the skin. Yes, that smooth, dewy appearance is temporary but if you moisturize frequently you keep that glow turned on. In fact, nothing over-the-counter can change the fabric of your skin. Even a surgical facelift still leaves you with the same skin; its texture and water-holding capacity remain the same. So don’t sweat over the fact it’s difficult to permanently alter your skin’s appearance (and be wary of moisturizers that claim to treat wrinkles and use the term antiwrinkle). You can have a huge impact on how your skin looks just by applying topical ingredients that give it the illusion of youth. And these ingredients can help you prevent future skin damage from the environment, so you are in actuality doing more than meets the eye!
From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.