Why a Moisturiser Doesn't Stop the Skin Aging Process

We label our day and night creams as treatments rather than moisturizers.  This is an important distinction.

What are moisturizers?
Moisturizers are usually mixtures (emulsions) of oil and water, which hinder water loss from the skin and other compounds such as humectants, which draw water from lower layers of the skin to the surface.  As you know, oil and water don’t mix but in skin care products, emulsions of oil and water are desired and are achieved, generally by the addition of particular emulsifying agents. Because they are added to the skin they are called exogenous moisturizing agents. 

Why moisturizers don’t stop aging?
An immediate benefit of exogenous moisturizing agents is that they make the skin more supple and plump. This effect is however temporary and should not be confused with long term biological changes associated with slowing or reversing the aging of the skin. Furthermore, the use of exogenous moisturizing compounds may have a negative feedback effect on the skin’s own moisturizing mechanisms. Importantly, emulsifying agents, which are helpful in the manufacturing of stable products, may have a harmful effect in the skin. This is because they continue to behave as emulsifying agents in the skin and increase the movement of the skin's own protective oils outwards, especially when the skin comes in contact with water. This is known as a 'wash out' effect. Ao Skincare works in a very different way, allowing the oils naturally occurring your skin to hydrate the skin, while we focus on reducing the signs of aging. 

The health and vitality of the skin is controlled by complex endogenous interactive mechanisms.  One such system is the production of natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) – amino acids, urea, lactic acid and other molecules.  These agents act to keep the skin supple and protect it from environmental hazards. 

In the vast majority of people these natural endogenous agents provide ample moisturizing of the skin.  True dryness of the skin is in fact uncommon.  Rather, it is the skin thinning and retention of dead surface skin cells (corneocytes) resulting from natural aging and following environmental stress such as wind and UV exposure, which gives the impression of skin dryness rather than this being due to a lack of water per se. The application of moisturizers improves the look and feel of the skin but it is a temporary illusion and does nothing to address the underlying pathology.

There is evidence in fact, that the overuse of moisturizers can switch off or reduce the production of NMFs. This can lead to a cycle where the skin actually becomes drier over time and feels tight. This ironically often leads to an increase in the use of the offending moisturizer or worse switching to a more viscous oilier product. A vicious cycle!

The solution
So what is the solution to this conundrum? The answer is to treat the underlying pathology. This is achieved in Ao Skincare’s day and night  treatments by the inclusion of multiple carefully selected active ingredients, which promote and preserve NMFs, protect the skin barrier and help to slow or reverse the pathological effects of skin aging and environmental stresses and by the omission of harmful emulsifying agents made possible by cold processing methodology. The result of these treatments over time is a sustained (not temporary) improvement of the appearance and biological function of your skin.



"Skincare science needs to be on the very edge of social change and evolution in order to succeed."

Dr. Mark Gray