The skin is a complex organ involved in thermoregulation, gas exchange, protection against pathogens, and barrier function to maintain proper hydration. When dry, the ability for skin to execute these tasks becomes impaired. Dry skin affects almost everyone as we age, but it is also dependent on external factors, such as dry climate, colder temperatures, and repeated washing. In addition, increasing evidence has shown racial variability in the physiological properties of skin, which directly impacts water content of the stratum corneum and sensitivity to exogenously applied agents. A multitude of products have been developed to treat dry skin, and as a group, moisturizers have been designed to either impart or restore hydration in the stratum corneum. Given the large number of moisturizers presently available, depending on individual components, several different mechanisms may be employed to promote skin hydration. As there exists dramatic racial variability in skin properties, certain moisturizers may thus be more effective in some and less effective in others to treat the common condition of dry skin.
View details for PubMedID 25013536