When shopping for skin care products, people with dry skin benefit from certain ingredients. Rhee recommends looking for ingredients that help retain moisture (humectants), restore the skin’s barrier, and lock in moisture. Some examples of humectants are hyaluronic acid, glycerin / glycerin, sorbitol and propylene glycol. Aloe Vera also has moisturizing properties. Occlusions seal in moisture, including petrolatum or petroleum jelly.
Ceramides are another important component as they are an essential part of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. “These are naturally occurring fats, also called lipids, which form the essential lipid bilayer structure of our skin,” explains Rhee. “It is this special lipid structure that enables our skin to be supple and soft and effectively form a barrier against possible irritants. Skin that is always dry is often imbalanced or deficient in ceramides. Look for ingredients that are simply as Ceramide (ceramide 1, 2, 3, 6, II, AP, EOS, EOP, NG, NP or NS) or ceramide precursors (phytosphingosine and sphingosine). Other names to search for are N-stearoylsphinganine, N-stearoylphytosphingosine, α- Hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine, caproylsphingosine, cetyl-PG-hydroxyethyl palmitamide and hexadecanamide.