Moisturizers prevent and treat dry skin, protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections.
Preservation of normal skin: Moisturizers can be used to prevent the skin from becoming too dry or oily, such as with light, non-greasy water-based moisturizers. Such moisturizers often contain lightweight oils, such as cetyl alcohol, or silicone-derived ingredients, such as cyclomethicone.
Dry skin: The most appropriate moisturizers are heavier, oil-based moisturizers that contain ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil or dimethicone. For very dry, cracked skin, petrolatum-based products are preferable, as they are more lasting than creams and are more effective in preventing water evaporation.
Oily skin: For oily skin, water-based moisturizers that are specifically noncomedogenic are preferable, as there is less risk of comedo formation.
Aging skin: Appropriate moisturizers to keep aging skin soft and well hydrated are oil-based ones that contain petrolatum as the base, along with antioxidants or alpha hydroxy acids against wrinkles.
Sensitive skin: On sensitive skin (which otherwise is susceptible to skin irritations, redness, itching or rashes), it is preferable with moisturizers that contain soothing ingredients such as chamomile or aloe and that minimize potential allergens such as fragrances or dyes, as well as irritants such as acids.