Should a moisturizer be applied while the skin is damp?

DaveStoneDaveStone Member
edited September 2021 in General
I've read articles that state applying it to dried skin is pointless as the surface water has already evaporated. Thus it wouldn't be keeping any water in. True?


  • Water evaporation from the skin's surface (which is TEWL - TransEpidermal Water Loss) is permanent, never ending process. If a moisturizer has occlusive ingredients in the formula, they prevent TEWL resulting in skin hydration. If additionally, the moisturizer has such ingredients as Urea, Lactic acid and its salts, polyols, etc, they will help retain water in epidermis. 
    Thus, the complete evaporation of "the surface water" is nonsense. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @DaveStone - What @vitalys says. Skin is never really "dry"

  • The product itself also has 80% water if it needs it
  • SincityfireSincityfire Member
    edited September 2021
    I don't think moisturizers needs be applied on damp skin unless the product specifically says you could.

    This abstract (I couldn't find the full article) suggests that using a moisturizer designed for application to damp skin is easier to apply on wet xerotic skin than traditional moisturizers on dry xerotic skin.

    The results showed no significant improvement on skin dryness, quality of life, and skin barrier function between the two moisturizers, interestingly the traditional moisturizer performed slightly better in barrier function.

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