Consumers are pitting oil moisturizers and cream moisturizers against each other in a battle of which type works better for your skin.
According to Ellen Marmur, M.D., Chief of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, it really boils down to personal preference.
Marmur says the different types of moisturizers are just different vehicles that carry the main ingredients.
Moisturizers are a mixture of occlusives, humectants, hydrocolloids, and emollients. These ingredients prevent water from evaporating out of the skin, suck water out up into the top layer of the stratum corneum, seal the skin, and fill in the cracks. Face oils and regular cream moisturizers are a combination of these basic ingredients to provide the best skin barrier.
Every one knows that a well-moisturized skin is more beautiful and healthier than dry skin.
New face oils are better at moisturizing than old baby oils because the blend of water-retaining ingredients they contain is definitely more advanced. However, the occlusive factors of ace oils are only 50 percent efficient in preventing water loss from the skin, compared to 99 percent efficacy of petrolatum ointments.
For those who do not have tight, dry skin, oil moisturizers may be perfect. However, check out the clarity and shine of you oil moisturizer on your skin first before purchasing. Also see if it contains mineral, coconut, or vegetable oil of some kind as the occlusive agent.
Check for glycerin too. Glycerin lowers transepidermal water loss by as much as 30 percent. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts water molecules from the surrounding environment [Wikipedia]. Other examples of humectants include sorbitol, propylene glycol, urea, sodium lactate, and vitamins. Soy and oatmeal proteins may help, especially for dermatitis.
If you want to take advantage of recent breakthroughs then note that new "water channels" have recently been discovered in the skin. These water channels are called aquaporins, and they transport water in and out of cells.
Aquaporins also exists in the rest of the body, but in the skin, they transport urea and glycerol as well. So, the next time you go shopping for face oils, check the back for "glycerol" and "urea" in the ingredients list, as well as some of the ingredients mentioned above.