When it comes to moisturizing body creams, most people think of adding water to the skin. However, we will try to explain the operation of these creams in depth.
To begin with, we must know that moisturizers for the body do not add water to the skin. You cannot get water into the skin beyond the most superficial layers. Also, if you apply water to the skin, it will evaporate, taking more or less depending on the other compounds in the cream.
We have mentioned that you cannot get water into the skin beyond the most superficial layers, but what are those layers? And above all, do we know what skin is exactly?
The skin is the largest organ in the body. One of the main functions is to act as a protective barrier against dangers of all kinds: bacteria, chemical substances and extreme temperatures. To defend ourselves against bacteria, the skin is capable of releasing various secretions.
The skin has the ability to produce melanin, which is a natural pigment that serves as a defense against ultraviolet rays that can damage cells.
Another important function of the skin is the regulation of body temperature. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis contract and vasoconstriction occurs.
Apart from the protection function, it also performs other functions such as:
- Store water and fat.
- Serve as a sensory organ.
- Prevent water loss.
Throughout the entire body, the characteristics of the skin vary. For example, the head contains more hair follicles than anywhere else, while the soles of the feet have none. In addition, the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are the areas in which the skin is thicker.
This organ is made up of 3 layers. Each of them has a specific function. The first that we find is the epidermis, the second the dermis and finally a layer of subcutaneous fat.
The epidermis is the outermost and thinnest layer of the skin, on which we apply moisturizers for the body. This layer is made up of three types of cells:
- Squamous cells : they are the most external.
- Basal cells: they are just below the previous ones.
- Melanocytes : they are present in all the layers of the epidermis and form melanin, responsible for giving the skin its color.
The next layer is the dermis. This layer is held together by a protein called collagen, produced by fibroblasts. The function of this layer is to give flexibility and strength to the skin. In the dermis there are blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, collagen, fibroblasts, and nerves.
Last is the subcutaneous fat layer . It is the deepest layer of the skin and consists of a network of collagen and fat cells. It helps conserve body heat and protects it from injury as it has the ability to absorb shock.
How do moisturizers for the body work?
There is a mechanism by which water passes from where it is most concentrated to where it is least concentrated called the osmotic balance. So, to hydrate the skin, the first measure we must take is to drink water.
The body is always producing sweat thanks to the sweat glands. Moisturizing body creams create a film that prevents this perspiration. Therefore, they prevent the loss of water from the skin.
This effect is achieved by several mechanisms depending on the composition of the moisturizer. It can be due to the use of oils or petroleum derivatives.
They can also contain hygroscopic substances. A hygroscopic substance is one that is capable of absorbing moisture. These substances are capable of holding water three or four times their own weight. By retaining water, it does not evaporate and we do not lose it.
Do you use moisturizers for the body well?
Every skin needs a specific moisturizer. Each dermis has different needs. Here we discuss a series of recommendations when using moisturizers.
To begin with, we must clean the skin well before applying the cream. It is important that there is no makeup and that it is exfoliated. It would also be good to apply a toner to balance the pH.
Moisturizing body creams should be applied with some sun protection. Especially if it is for the face or for areas that are going to be on the air. The sun in winter does not disappear and can cause unpleasant spots on the skin.
So, you have to use moisturizers frequently. If you only use it for a day or two and then forget about it, you will not notice any change.
In addition, they should be applied both in the morning and in the evening every day. However, moisturizers used in the morning should not be the same as those used in the evening. During the day you need extra protection, and at night it is about recovering nutrients and renewing cells.
The functioning of the skin, as well as its composition, is really fascinating. In addition, to achieve long-lasting and effective hydration, it is worth following the advice described here. It should also be borne in mind that each skin type is different, so beauty routines may vary in terms of the products to use.