Can skin become dependent on moisturizer?

DaveStoneDaveStone Member
I've noticed that if I go without it, my skin is always dry no matter what. It's like it can't retain enough water or oils on its own. I use a mild surfactant to wash my face once a day.
It seems 100 years ago everyone had great skin and used nothing (at least men that is). You never see a picture of someone in the 1930s with acne, eczema, dry skin or inflamed skin. There was no such thing as "sensitive skin" products because no one had allergic or inflammatory reactions to beauty products.

Comments

  • Maybe your emulsion has too much emulsifier and when you rinse it from your skin it removes lipids from your skin.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited March 16
    In 1931, Bruno Bloch was the first to point out, after examining some 4000 girls and boys in Zurich, Switzerland, that acne, particularly in the form of comedones, was so frequent in young persons that it could be regarded as a physiological manifestation of puberty. Acne has plagued mankind since antiquity.


    Acne is hardly a new affliction.
    I have several Pharmaceutical Compounding books from the 1930s and on I have accumulated. Sulfur for acne is listed in these compendiums.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • MaydayMayday Member
    A bit unconventional, but have you tried no surfactant cleansers at all? I use gentle exfoliation with the palms of my hands under running water in the shower, and that removes all excess oil from my face.

    If you are not stripping any oils away, and your skin is still dry, then it's some combination of age/genetics/environment (nutrition too)—you need extra moisturizer to compensate for inadequate NMF if you can't correct environmental factors.
    ⚠️ I have a lot of ideas, but not much experience! Please keep this in mind when reading my suggestions. ⚠️
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    "It seems 100 years ago everyone had great skin and used nothing"

    The reason beauty products were invented was because people had skin problems they wanted fixed. It's much more likely that everyone had terrible skin and the only ones they took pictures of were people with good skin.

    The phrase "sensitive skin" is a useful marketing invention that convinces otherwise normal people that they need a special, more expensive product than just the regular moisturizer that everyone else uses. Everyone wants to feel special and telling them they have skin that is different than other people's is a good way to do that. Whether skin is sensitive of not is more psychological than physically measurable. 

    No, I don't believe there is any evidence that skin becomes dependent on moisturizer. Skin doesn't really care whether it is moisturized or not. It simply comes to an equilibrium with the outside environment. It's a person's mind that decides that they don't like how skin feels and are compelled to put lotion on it. I would liken it to biting your nails rather than being addicted to cigarettes.  
  • DaveStoneDaveStone Member
    edited March 20
    Perry said:
    The phrase "sensitive skin" is a useful marketing invention that convinces otherwise normal people that they need a special, more expensive product than just the regular moisturizer that everyone else uses. Everyone wants to feel special and telling them they have skin that is different than other people's is a good way to do that. Whether skin is sensitive of not is more psychological than physically measurable. 

    I thought "sensitive skin" meant skin that is prone to redness, irritation, breakouts, etc. Isn't that why those type of products are formulated without fragrance, harsher surfactants, and so forth?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    "Sensitive skin" is a pseudo-medical term that is still looking for a definitive definition.  As the authors say here...(bolded text for emphasis)

    "However, as limitations, we would consider the fact, that sensitive skin is defined mostly on the patients’ complaints and cannot be precisely confirmed by any objective measurements. Furthermore, the definition is rather general and, in fact, may cover different conditions under the umbrella term of sensitive skin. Future studies are needed to establish the specificity and sensitivity of this definition.

    Basically, it is a term that many consumers use to describe all sorts of different conditions. These conditions don't all have one solution. The products are formulated without things because that is what people who claim to have sensitive skin believe.

    For example, people are told frequently that fragrance causes irritation. It isn't true that all fragrances are bad for some people. Because fragrances don't all contain the same chemicals.  But marketers know consumers think this so they'll call it out in marketing so people who believe they have "sensitive skin" will buy their product over one of their fragrance-containing competitors.

    Similarly, not everyone with sensitive skin will react the same to every surfactant. So-called "gentle" surfactants like Glucosides were voted the allergen of the year in 2017. Surfactants that are less harsh to some people are more harsh to other people.

    The bottom line is that selling products that are for "sensitive skin" is a marketing ploy. They aren't actually helping people in the way they are implying.
  • DaveStone said:
    I've noticed that if I go without it, my skin is always dry no matter what. It's like it can't retain enough water or oils on its own. I use a mild surfactant to wash my face once a day.
    It seems 100 years ago everyone had great skin and used nothing (at least men that is). You never see a picture of someone in the 1930s with acne, eczema, dry skin or inflamed skin. There was no such thing as "sensitive skin" products because no one had allergic or inflammatory reactions to beauty products.
    1930's cameras wouldn't show all the details that contemporary cameras would showcase. Also, retouching was a big thing even back then. Photographs below are from 1930's.


  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited March 22
    These are the types of conclusions one arrives at when the Foundation of their hypothesis is "it seems" and they cite anecdotal experience. That is not how the Scientific method really works.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
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