Is Your Moisturizer Training Your Skin to Give Up?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but daily moisturizing could be bad news for your skin. Here’s why.
Our bodies are complex systems, with feedback mechanisms and metabolic pathways that are constantly being reinforced or down regulated. And the habits you enthusiastically adopt may have paradoxical effects.
So if you train obsessively in the gym you may build muscle mass but will increase the risk of damage that makes you less physically capable. Similarly, hundreds of star jumps every day will not adequately prepare you to climb a mountain.
Bodies need variety and periods of rest. Then the native metabolic pathways can switch on and begin the process of responding appropriately to the environment.
This applies to your skin, which is a sensitive organ with an array of biological mechanisms at its disposal. So if you religiously apply a daily dose of moisturizer, you are training your skin not to bother regulating its own moisture levels. It gives up, and becomes dependent on external sources. Needless to say, we have concerns about this.
It seems we’re not the only ones who believe skin is better off when it learns how to maintain its native state of health:
Daily use of moisturizers on normal skin could theoretically interfere with the functional organization of the stratum corneum or with the synthesis of endogenous lipids, resulting in a change in the barrier function of the skin.
So what’s the alternative?
Break the habit of slathering on moisturizer every single day. Mix things up a bit. And make the most of the new generation of skincare products that don’t just pump water into your skin, but instead support its natural functioning. We’ll explore this in more depth in a future post.