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7 Reasons moisturizers are a must

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Why you really must moisturize

You slab it on religiously every morning, but do you have any idea why? Moisturizers are important for several reasons -- read on to find out why.

woman applying lotion to arm

Restore moisture

Your skin loses precious moisture all day long, especially after a shower or bath. To rehydrate skin that's very dry, look for heavy moisturizers with ingredients like dimethicone, grape seed oil or petroleum. The thicker the moisturizer, the longer it will stay put, providing you with moisture all day long.

Best moisturing ingredients >>

Seal in moisture

Occlusive moisturizers form a barrier on the top of your skin that seals in the moisture you already have, preventing it from escaping. Search the store shelves for a moisturizer with a petroleum base if you're looking for this kind of protection.

Protection from the elements

Your skin protects the rest of your body from the elements, so take extra steps to make sure your skin is protected too. A good coating of lotion goes a long way toward protecting your skin from harsh wind, extreme cold or low humidity -- all situations that can be detrimental to skin.

Soothe irritation

Stop the scratching! Moisturizers that contain soothing ingredients like aloe or chamomile help soothe irritated skin. Make sure the lotion you choose doesn't contain any allergens and is scent-free, or you'll make your problem worse instead of better.

Stop irritation

You know that a good lotion can stop the symptoms of irritated skin, but did you know that it can also prevent the irritation from happening in the first place? Moisturizers form a barrier on your skin that helps protect it from allergens and dryness, both major culprits of annoying irritations.

Tips to get rid of dry skin >>

Also, skin that isn't properly moisturized is susceptible to dryness and cracking. Those tiny openings in the skin open you up to even more irritation, according to Dr. G. Todorov, so stop them before they start.

Help it heal

Dry skin isn't healthy, and if it isn't healthy it can't heal itself from common skin injuries like sun damage and exposure to harsh chemicals. According to Todorov, proper moisturizing helps skin continuously heal itself from the battles it faces every day.

Dealing with sunburned, peeling skin >>

Combat wrinkles

Looking for a way to hide those wrinkles? Moisturizing is a great place to start. Properly moisturized skin is plumper, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Oil-based moisturizers are great at replacing the moisture you lose as you age, but if you're looking for more, there are many moisturizers on the market that can help you take a stronger stand against wrinkles. Retinol, hydroxy acids and kinetin are all widely-used ingredients in moisturizers that help you fight off signs of aging.

Quick Tip

Run a humidifier at your house to help keep your skin moisturized throughout the day.

More on moisturizers from SheKnows

The moisturizing guide for your face and body
Moisturizing acne-prone skin

How to save money on skin care products

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