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What is the difference between moisturized skin and dry skin?

One of the differences between moisturized skin and rough, dry skin is the amount of ceramide or amino acids present in skin, which are both essential for moisturized skin. Strong cleansers or excessive rubbing during cleansing can wash off ceramide or amino acids, which help retain moisture in stratum corneum, causing skin dryness and sensitivity.

When skin is healthy, the moisture content found in the stratum corneum (skin’s outer layer) is around 15% to 20%, while the skin cells in the dermis or inner layer of skin contains about 60% to 70% moisture. When the moisture content of the stratum corneum is lower than 10%, skin becomes dry and rough and is unable to retain the remaining moisture.

External environments easily affect the stratum corneum. Therefore, when humidity level increases, skin’s moisture content increases as well. And when the air gets dry, skin’s moisture content decreases as well.