A moisturiser is an agent designed to make the stratum corneum (tough outer layer of dead skin cells) softer and more pliant by increasing its hydration. Moisturisers claim to heal and prevent dry skin.
Moisturisers are a group of cosmetic products designed for skin care and hygiene. Their claims are centered on the treatment of dry skin that results in smooth, more supple and healthier looking skin.
A large number of preparations are available, many of which are marketed as cosmetic and therapeutic moisturisers.
Besides imparting or restoring normal levels of hydration to the skin, moisturisers can have several additional intended and unintended effects on their users, including building a barrier against the loss of water through the epidermis, repairing scaly, damaged or dry skin resulting from external environmental aggressions or internal changes (such as in acne or naturally dry skin), repairing or postponing the aging effects on the skin.
Moisturisers, at times, are referred to as humectants, emollients, lubricants, oils, and greases; however, these terms are not interchangeable. Each term has a specific definition.
Moisturiser - A substance that imparts or restores moisture to (something); to supply moisture
Humectant - A substance, such as glycerin, that absorbs or helps another substance retain moisture
Emollient - A substance that makes something soft or supple; also, soothing especially to the skin or the mucous membrane
Grease - Rendered animal fat; a thick lubricant; oily matter
Lubricant - A substance, such as grease, that is capable of reducing friction, heat, and wear when introduced as a film between solid surfaces; something that lessens or prevents friction of difficulty.
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