Hydrators and Moisturizers 101

hands squeezing out lotion to illustrate hydrators and moisturizers
May 29, 2022

Have you ever stopped to think about what’s in that moisturizer you’re smearing all over your face? Not many people do. Many of my patients see the word “moisturizer” and immediately think that this product will be good for their skin. The truth is, some conventional moisturizers can harm your skin. Here’s how.

Even if that over-the-counter moisturizer you picked up off the store shelf says “nourishing,” “gentle,” or “comforting,” it could do some serious harm over time. Most conventional moisturizers mimic the same water, lipids, and proteins that you have in your skin. So it seems like they would be suitable for it. But here’s what happens.

When you apply a conventional moisturizer to your skin, it creates a high level of moisture on the skin’s surface. This makes your skin think that it’s fully hydrated and doesn’t need to hydrate itself anymore.

As a result, your skin becomes weak and sensitized and becomes dry and flaky. What happens when your skin is dry and flaky? You smear on more moisturizer! The cycle continues and your skin becomes dependent on moisturizer.

Moisturizer misuse can also interfere with your skin’s ability to exfoliate itself. One of the ways your skin stays healthy and fresh is to slough off dead skin cells. If you overapply moisturizers you’ll be compacting the dead skin cells, making them stick to the surface rather than coming off. This too can lead to your skin becoming dull and dry and weak and sensitive. It can also cause acne.

Thank goodness ZO Skin Health® has developed a line of functional hydrators!

ZO products to illustrate the difference between hydrators and moisturizers

What’s the Difference Between Hydrators and Moisturizers?

Moisturizers create a seal on your skin’s surface to prevent water from getting out, while hydrators bind moisture to the skin so that it can be easily absorbed.

Unlike moisturizers, manufacturers uniquely engineer hydrators to restore a compromised skin barrier, accelerate skin hydration from within and support your skin’s natural recovery process!

Hydrators are particularly beneficial if you’ve had a peel or laser treatment or a reaction to retinol.

That’s why I’m so pleased ZO Skin Health has developed a line of functional hydrators called ZO® Hydration + Calming that addresses these skin conditions. ZO offers three options based on skin type and needs:

1 Renewal Crème is a lightweight hydrator for mild dryness that contains oat kernel, plankton extract, and a little bit of retinol. This hydrator specifically soothes and reduces redness, stimulates skin renewal, and supports your skin’s hydration levels.

2 Recovery Crème is a mid-weight hydrator that’s richer and more emollient. Squalane and shea butter deeply hydrate moderately dry skin and provide a barrier to protect against trans-epidermal water loss to soothe and reduce redness.

3 Hydrating Crème is a retinol-free hydrator for severely dry, irritated, and post-procedure skin. This colloidal oatmeal-containing formula has been awarded a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association.

I am thrilled to be able to offer these ZO® Skin Health products and more at Primary Care Simplified! Contact us for a skin health consultation today!

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