Best Ingredients to Look For in Cleansers and Moisturizers for Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Dry skin and dehydrated skin may seem similar, but they have distinct differences. Dry skin is characterized by a lack of natural oil production, resulting in a rough and flaky skin texture. Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition due to a lack of water or moisture in the skin, leading to skin tightness and dullness.1


To address these skin conditions effectively, choosing skin cleansers and moisturizers with suitable ingredients is essential to caring for and helping prevent these skin concerns.

close up of person's eye with dry skin

How to manage dry and dehydrated skin

If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you may want to avoid ingredients in face and body moisturizers that could further strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture, such as drying alcohol. Opting for gentle cleansers can help maintain and restore the skin's hydration levels while effectively removing impurities, contributing to a healthier-looking and more balanced complexion.


Cetaphil offers a range of gentle cleansers that are suitable for dry and dehydrated skin, such as Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Both of these cleanser’s ingredients are designed not to clog pores, are fragrance-free, and dermatologist-recommended.


Using hydrating moisturizers is crucial for maintaining the skin's moisture balance, especially for dry and dehydrated skin. Moisturizers help to replenish and seal in moisture, improving hydration levels and restoring the skin's natural protective barrier.1


When selecting a moisturizing cream for dry or dehydrated skin goods choice may be Cetaphil Deep Hydration Glow Daily Cream, Cetaphil Deep Hydration Skin Restoring Water Gel or Cetaphil Sheer Hydration Replenishing Body Lotion, these all offer deep hydrating moisturization for the face and body.


Additionally, to help your skin, drinking an adequate amount of water can help to maintain overall hydration.2

Ingredients to look for in cleansers and moisturizers 

There are some ingredients you should look for in a facial cleanser or moisturizer to help prevent dry and dehydrated skin.

Glycerin has the ability to attract and retain moisture from the environment. When applied to the skin, glycerin draws water molecules from the surrounding air and helps to bind them to the skin's surface, where it forms a thin layer to prevent water loss. Glycerin also has the ability to penetrate the skin's outermost layer and draw water into the skin.(3)


Glycerin is a main ingredient in many moisturizers, such as Cetaphil Hydrating Foaming Cream Cleanser. This gentle skin cleanser helps promote a smoother, healthier-looking complexion.3 You can boost your moisturization by using a deep long-time hydration serum that also contains glycerin, such as Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum.

Hyaluronic acid is another naturally occurring, ingredient of many moisturizers and excellent for your skin. This skincare ingredient is able to attract and retain water. By penetrating the skin's surface layers, hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin hydrated.(3) View all Cetaphil products which contain hyaluronic acid.

Urea is another natural component of the skin and part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF), which is responsible for ensuring sufficient hydration of the skin by attracting water from the atmosphere and the environment and binding it to the layers of the skin.(1,4)


Products like Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion and Cetaphil Daily Smoothing Moisturizer for Rough and Bumpy Skin include urea. Moreover, urea has exfoliating and softening properties, which in turn helps to improve the skin's texture, making it smoother and more receptive to moisturizers. Overall, urea is one of the best ingredients in moisturizers for dry skin. 

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is an essential vitamin for the skin that comes with a range of beneficial properties. Niacinamide acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect the skin from environmental damage. Niacinamide boosts the skin's protective barrier, reduces water loss, and helps to improve the skin's ability to retain moisture.(5)


Including niacinamide in skincare routines, by using products like Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion and Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, can improve the overall appearance of your skin, giving it a more radiant look.

Shea butter has intense moisturizing properties and an ability to restore and supplement the skin's natural barrier, making it one of the best ingredients for dry skin. Derived from the nuts of the shea tree, it acts as an emollient, locking in moisture to your skin and preventing water loss. 


Shea butter also is rich in vitamins, and antioxidants like vitamins A and E, that benefit and nourish the skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and protected from dryness.(6)


Try Cetaphil Advanced Relief Lotion With Shea Butter, which also contain niacinamide and panthenol (vitamin B5).

Aloe vera is a plant known for its soothing properties and is widely used in skincare products as a natural moisturizer. Its high water content helps to hydrate skin and replenish moisture by forming a barrier on the skin's surface. Aloe vera also contains various vitamins and minerals that support the skin.(7)


Try Cetaphil Soothing Gel Cream With Aloe Vera, to benefit from its 24-hour moisturization.

Tocopherol, commonly known as vitamin E, is an important nutrient for the skin as some studies have shown that it has moisturizing benefits and may help improve your skin's natural barrier.(8)


Look out for Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer and Cetaphil Restoraderm Soothing Moisturizer which are both formulated with a blend of moisturizing ingredients, including tocopherol, to replenish and soothe your skin with long-term hydration. 

The bottom line

For dry skin, look for moisturizers containing nourishing ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, niacinamide, and tocopherol which help replenish the skin and provide deep hydration. For dehydrated skin, opt for moisturizers with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, urea, and glycerin. These ingredients attract and retain moisture, restoring hydration levels in the skin.

References

  1. Fowler J. Understanding the Role of Natural Moisturizing Factor in Skin Hydration. Practical Dermatology. 2012 July, 36-40
  2. Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutr Rev. 2010; 68(8): 439–458. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
  3. Verdier-Sévrain S, Bonté F. Skin hydration: a review on its molecular mechanisms. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2007;6(2):75-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00300.x
  4. Piquero-Casals J, Morgado-Carrasco D, Granger C, Trullàs C, Jesús-Silva A, Krutmann J. Urea in Dermatology: A Review of its Emollient, Moisturizing, Keratolytic, Skin Barrier Enhancing and Antimicrobial Properties. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021;11(6):1905-1915. doi: 10.1007/s13555-021-00611-y
  5. Levin J, Momin SB. How much do we really know about our favorite cosmeceutical ingredients? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(2):22-41. PMID: 20725560
  6. Oluwaseyi M. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. Am J Life Sci.2014.2. 303-307. 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18
  7. Fox LT, du Plessis J, Gerber M, van Zyl S, Boneschans B, Hamman JH. In Vivo skin hydration and anti-erythema effects of Aloe vera, Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii gel materials after single and multiple applications. Pharmacogn Mag. 2014;10(Suppl 2):S392-403. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.133291
  8. de Oliveira Pinto C et al. Vitamin E in Human Skin: Functionality and Topical Products. 2021. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.98336