Daily use of moisturizers is A MUST to avoid dry skin. It is evidently the most essential approach to maintaining good skin health. Studies show that it is also one part of treatment plans for managing various skin diseases relating to skin dryness such as atopic dermatitis. It might have come to your mind if moisturizers are better applied at a specific time of the day, and thus, makes you wonder, “Should I use moisturizers at night?”

Understanding the proper use, which ingredients to look out for, or when is the best time to apply moisturizers can aid in its efficiency in addressing current skin problems and the long-term benefits it does have for the skin. The use of moisturizers plays a role in maintaining skin elasticity and controlling the appearance of acne, whereas the misuse of moisturizers can result in adverse effects on the skin.

Moisturizers hydrate the skin in two ways: one type seals in moisture in the skin, while another type would draw in moisture, restoring the hydration that the skin lost. Essentially, moisturizers work differently, but the result is still the same, and the goal is still to avoid dry skin.

Causes of dry skin

The epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin retains water and natural oils (lipids) that keep the skin hydrated.  Numerous factors can contribute to stripping the skin of its moisture and natural oils, which cause the skin to dry out. This is also termed as xerosis.  It can look and feel rough and can make an individual uncomfortable, especially if not treated right away.

Age: Aging also has adverse effects on the skin as it loses its ability to retain moisture. This causes the skin to dry out at a faster rate.

Weather: External factors such as dry, cold air or high levels of humidity can also contribute to the drying of the skin.

Medical History: Excessive drying of the skin can be a sign of an underlying skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema.

Crash course on moisturizers

Facial moisturizers work differently from each other, and are also classified differently. Some of these types work best on a specific skin type. So knowing what your skin needs can also deter you from constantly asking yourself, “Should I use moisturizer at night, or should I use it whenever I need it?” Knowing the type of moisturizer to use is just as important as knowing when to use         them.

Emollients are typically used to treat dry and flaky skin and are also great at repairing skin damage. They work by covering the skin with a protective layer that locks in moisture to soothe and heal dry and dehydrated skin. Shea butter, plant and mineral oils, and animal oils are classified as emollients.

Humectants work differently from emollients. Unlike emollients, humectants attract water instead of trapping it. They also draw water from the deepest layers of the skin to support the outer layers. Humectants can also draw in water from the surroundings, but only if certain environmental conditions are met. Examples of humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

Occlusives help hydrate the skin by creating a protective layer that maintains moisture levels in the skin and prevents moisture loss, instead of replenishing it. Occlusives are best applied on damp skin. Examples of occlusives are beeswax and argan oil.

When to apply moisturizer

Moisturizers are always applied after washing and cleansing the face. This is because some beauty products can strip off the natural oils of the skin along with dirt and dead skin cells. Moisturizers can be topically applied on the face either in the morning, or evening, or whenever the skin needs it.

The benefit of using moisturizers at night is that it complements with the skin’s renewal process. When we sleep at night, the skin regenerates and repairs itself.  The skin produces more oil midday than at night. Thus, using moisturizers nightly can keep the moisture levels controlled, while the skin renews and replenishes.

Using moisturizer at night is as important as using it during the day, and knowing the value of this practice can answer the question, “Should I use moisturizer at night?”

One effective moisturizer that can be a great addition to your nighttime skin care routine is the Nourishing Night Oil (NNO). It is a nutrient-packed vitamin drop for night application that helps moisturize and soften the skin. The natural oils infused into it are almost identical to the natural oils (lipids) of the skin.  It is absorbed quickly leaving the skin soft and hydrated. Each capsule of Nourishing Night Oil contains natural vitamin E (in oil form) and jojoba oil. One capsule applied on the face nightly helps nourish and brighten the skin.

Aside from topical treatments, moisturizing can also be done by making tweaks or adding changes to your lifestyle.

Staying hydrated is a great way to start, as it fixes the problem from the inside out. External factors such as heat, sun exposure, and pollution can have negative effects on how our skin absorbs moisture and how much it loses. Replenishing water levels in your body can help maintain high moisture levels.

Humidifiers are also one of the best ways to add moisture and humidity in the air. The cold breeze of the night can leave your skin dry and dehydrated, so keeping a humidifier overnight can be a great help while the skin renews itself while resting.

Keeping bathing time short can prevent skin’s natural oils from being stripped away.  Limiting showers for 5 - 10 minutes daily, and using lukewarm water instead of hot water helps retain moisture.

Choose the right products to use on the skin while bathing.  Opt for soap-free cleansers and avoid perfumed and deodorizing soaps that can strip away natural oils on the skin.

Pat dry the skin and gently use soft towels to reduce risk of skin drying out.

A crucial part of using moisturizer is not only when it is used but also by how much is being used. The skin only needs so much moisture, and any excess might cause more problems.


Article Reviewed by: Dra. Carol Carpio