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Why do I need to use a facial moisturizer?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are many good reasons to use a facial moisturizer. Keep skin hydrated is an important step toward keeping it healthy. Facial moisturizers can enhance the functioning of the stratum corneum, the uppermost layer of skin. The stratum corneum is made up of fat, oil, and skin cells that help keep moisture in the skin. Applying a moisturizer to your face can increase the moisture level of the stratum corneum, prevent skin from drying out, and, if the moisturizer contains a sunscreen, also protect against sun damage. Ask your dermatologist to recommend the best moisturizers for your face.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Think of the skin's surface like the paint job on a car. If the paint is cracked, the metal underneath is left unprotected from the elements and quickly oxidizes and rusts. The same concept goes for your stratum corneum - once it's dry, brittle, or cracked, you've lost your shield and the skin is vulnerable to exposure from the outside and water evaporates from the dermis. You can get fissures on the skin, and infections can easily occur. When the barrier function is compromised for any reason (trauma, wind, dry air, too many chemicals on your skin), bacteria enters the dermis through the cracks on the surface. The stratum corneum contains approximately 30 percent water and lipids. Its water content is essential, even though it's made up of dead cells. If that Gore-tex dries out completely, it can't protect the layers of skin underneath. Similar to the shiny, beautiful coating on a car's exterior, putting on moisturizer not only makes the surface look pretty, it seals and protects what is beneath it.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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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.