Take a scan through the long aisle of skin-care products in the grocery store, and you'll find various creams, lotions and potions that promise to make you look younger, healthier and wrinkle-free. Many of these claims are of course made by ad agencies, but it isn't all a gimmick. Moisturizers are proven to help treat dry, damaged skin and improve skin texture. Maintaining a good moisturizing regimen will make you more comfortable, and it will also make you look better because, let's face it, nobody looks their best with skin that is dry and flaky.
It's good to maintain a healthy skepticism of products that promise to transform your skin and your looks, though. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies moisturizer as a cosmetic, which gives manufacturers more leniency in hyping their products and ensuring that they actually live up to marketing claims [source: Mayo Clinic].
The top reason that people adopt a moisturizing regimen is to help restore moisture to dry skin. While some people naturally have dry skin, for most, it's brought on by showering too much, using the wrong type of soap, or from living in an especially dry climate. People with oily skin use moisturizer, too, although for different reasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with oily skin are more likely to suffer from acne, and as a result they often use soaps and other products that strip oils out of skin, leaving it very dry. Even people with normal skin can use moisturizer regularly to maintain balance in their skin [source: Mayo Clinic]. And if you have combination skin, you might have a dry, tight forehead for instance, even if your skin is overall normal or oily.
Another reason to use moisturizer is that it can be good for your health. The most serious skin-related health problem that people face today is skin cancer; although moisturizer won't prevent the disease, it can help treat sun damage. Also, there are several different types of moisturizers that contain sunscreen -- an easy way to kill two birds with one stone [source: Ortiz].