A woman using moisturiser

Are Moisturizers Good Or Bad For Your Skin?

Moisturizers may not be as good for your skin as you thought. Here are the pros and cons.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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This may surprise you, but in recent times, moisturizers have been getting a bit of a bad reputation. While they are one of the most popular skincare products on the market, a growing number of people are actually turning their backs on them.

What’s this all about? Are moisturizers good or bad for the skin? We looked into it.

What are the potential benefits of moisturizers?

Before we get to the potential downsides, it’s important to cover why moisturizers are as popular as they are.

During an average day, our skin is exposed to many challenging factors. If you have a long morning commute, you will experience pollution, dirt, dust, temperature fluctuations, and other environmental aspects. All of these things add up and affect your skin.

The most common result of this exposure is the skin becomes dry and tight. This is because it has lost key levels of water and has become dehydrated. Moisturiser has one simple job – to restore that hydration. Once applied, the active ingredients work to loosen up any tight areas and clear up irritating patches of dryness. Hopefully, your skin will be feeling and looking refreshed and nourished after using a good moisturizer.

The potential downsides to moisturizers

However, there cannot be light without dark, and it wouldn’t be responsible of us to list some potentially negative aspects of using moisturizers.

All of the following points are subjective and won’t apply to everyone, but they’re good to know anyway.

Moisturizers can cause dull skin

It might sound weird to say, but moisturizers can actually cause your skin to look duller and less vibrant. Our skin undergoes natural cell regeneration, which is just a fancy way of saying it gets rid of dead skin cells so newer, healthier ones can grow. Unfortunately, using moisturizer too often can actually interfere with this process and delay it significantly, making your skin retain those unsightly dead cells. Not great, huh?

They can cause increased sensitivity

Again, another disappointing potential side effect of moisturizers is the increase in skin sensitivity. The idea is that applying moisturizer too often can scrub away your skin’s natural protective layer that shields it from heat, environmental factors, and other things that can cause it harm. The end result will be a rise in sensitivity in the skin which can cause reactions and discomfort.

They can add to oiliness

The skin’s natural oil, Sebum, is produced to varying degrees depending on the person. People with oily skin produce too much of it, which can lead to greasiness, blocked pores, and breakouts. Moisturizer can add to these symptoms as it will only inject more moisture into areas that already have too much. If you suffer from overly oily skin, we’d recommend you avoid moisturizers.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, nothing is perfect. Moisturizers have some downsides, but they also have positives. It completely depends on you and your individual skin type.

Always figure out what condition your skin is in and critically evaluate what it needs before buying any products. Skincare is all about treating a set of unique circumstances. Moisturizers have a place in millions of daily routines, so take the time to see if it is needed in yours or not.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.