Moisturisers or moisturizers (see spelling differences) are complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and more pliable, by increasing its hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation. Naturally occurring skin lipids and sterols as well as artificial or natural oils, humectants, emollients, lubricants, etc. may be part of the composition of commercial skin moisturizers. They usually are available as commercial products for cosmetic and therapeutic uses, but can also be made at home using common pharmacy ingredients.

Moisturizers prevent and treat dry skin, protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections.

Risks of moisturizers

A recent study found that the application of certain moisturisers increases the incidence of skin cancer in mice. Four popular moisturisers were tested, providing the same result. It is not yet known if the same applies to humans. A fifth moisturizer, specially prepared without mineral oil and sodium lauryl sulphate, had no such effect.

Some people are sensitive or allergic to certain products, and this can cause outbreaks.

Moisturizers can (rarely) be (or become) contaminated with bacteria that can cause disease.

See also

  • Corneotherapy combination of moisturizer and similar for improving skin disorders


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