Moisturisers are an essential step in everyone’s skincare routine, but are they really necessary? With so much misinformation out there, it’s important to listen to the experts, but even then, each industry professional has a different opinion.

Some dermatologists say you should never skip it, while others say you can go without it. So, which one is it? Speaking to Beauty Crew, Olay’s head scientist Dr David Khoo says that moisturiser will help make your skin look and feel healthier.

Why should we moisturise? 

“Imagine a raisin,” says Dr Khoo. “The skin cells shrivel up like a raisin from lack of moisture, but when they’re full of moisture, they become plumper – and that improves the elasticity of your skin, the bounce of your skin and the overall radiance,” he told Beauty Crew

“We know that there are certain enzymes in your skin that are critical for renewal. You have all the skin cells on the surface of your skin, and those particular enzymes will help clear away dead skin cells. If those enzymes do not have water, they don’t work, and your skin accumulates dead cells. So, we know that water is absolutely critical for the healthy appearance and functioning of the skin.”

According to Dr Khoo, any skin type can benefit from hydration including oily skin. So just because you aren’t dry, doesn’t mean you should skip out on the moisturiser.

What happens when you don’t moisturise?

Dr Khoo says skipping out on moisturiser can cause some serious long-term damage to the skin.  

Speaking to Beauty Crew he said, “If you don’t use a moisturiser, your skin can very quickly go into what we call the ‘dry skin cycle’.”

And if your skin hydration levels reach dangerously low levels then, “your skin takes on this vicious cycle where it rapidly builds up dead skin cells on the surface. And because there are more layers of dead skin cells, it’s even more difficult to hydrate your skin. Any skin care products that you’re using will then just stay on the surface of your skin.”

He adds, “The other thing that can happen is that if your skin doesn’t feel like it has the energy and nourishment it needs; skin renewal slows down. Therefore, your skin becomes less radiant and sometimes dark spots become more noticeable and a bit more prominent.

“The converse is – it’s kind of like asking yourself, ‘Can I get by with just a piece of bread on a daily basis? Or a cup of water?’ when there’s all of these other great foods and nutrients available. Consequently, why wouldn’t you do things for your skin that would enhance your skin’s health? Moisturising your skin will make it look more radiant and give it a finer texture.” 

What moisturisers should we be reaching for?

According to Dr Khoo, the best kind of moisturisers are ones that are packed full of vitamins. “You have the well-known ones, like vitamin A (delivered through retinol), vitamin C (both an antioxidant and a collagen stimulant), and vitamin E (also an antioxidant that helps to seal in moisture).

“One of my favourite ingredients is niacinamide. Olay have actually been leaders in discovering the use of niacinamide – in fact, we’re one of the first to use niacinamide in a skin care product. It took decades for people to recognise its value.” 

“However, we’re not the only ones talking about it these days. You’ve got a lot of other universities – including the University of Sydney and their professors there – that have devoted their careers to understanding the impact of niacinamide in terms of protecting the skin from UV damage,” says Dr Khoo. “I highly recommend niacinamide in your skin care.”

Do you ever ditch the moisturiser?

This article was made in conjuction with Over60.