Could Moisturizer Be Wrecking Your Skin?

by Lindsey Rose Black

Face wash, toner, and moisturizer all have their reserved places on my bathroom counter, but what if one of those products was doing more harm than good? Reported in DailyMailUK, several leading British dermatologists claim, unless you have truly genetically dry skin, moisturizer is likely damaging your skin instead of nourishing it. Say. What?!

Moisturizers are normally made up of water and emollients (like the mineral and plant oils ancient skincare treatments often used), and humectants, which make your skin glow by pulling up water from the lower layers to the surface. This all sounds fine and dandy, but cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Rachel Eckel claims moisturizers can contribute to, "the accumulation of dead surface skin cells, dryness, large pores, acne and sensitivity." Well that's awesome.

Sort of like the whole chapstick theory (you know, the more you use the more you need it for moist lips), Eckel argues moisturizers "make the skin 'lazy,' so it becomes less able to hydrate itself ... The epidermis shrivels and thins, and fine lines start to appear." She and another dermatologist, Dr. Sarah Tonks, encourage using wrinkle-reducing retinol creams and exfoliating scrubs as the best ways to combat a history of over-moisturizing. At least there's hope, friends.

Other dermatologists, however, are a little hesitant to ditch moisturizers completely. Dr. Stefanie Williams, of European Dermatology London, encouraged seeking out moisturizing sunscreens as a way to not overdo the product while still protecting your skin. She explains, "formulations now are so hydrating you often don’t need a separate moisturizer." Dr. Meryvn Patterson of Woodford Medical Aesthetics, agreed that while there is certainly moisturize overuse, "aging, sun exposure, harsh skincare, pollution, hormonal imbalances and even taking statins all mean your skin may need a moisturizer." Hmm. I guess it just really comes down to you and knowing your skin.

If you're trying to sort through the maze of moisturizers and whether or not you need one, check out this list of moisturizers for every skin type.

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