At their most basic level, moisturizers reduce evaporation of water from the outermost layers of sk...
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At their most basic level, moisturizers reduce evaporation of water from the outermost layers of skin, which helps it to stay soft and pliable. Some moisturizers contain substances known as humectants, which attract water from the air rather than simply holding onto water already present on the skin. Moisturizers also typically contain emollients, which soften and smooth the skin by filling in spaces between skin cells. In addition to humectants and emollients, many moisturizers contain sunscreen, vitamins, and other complex mixtures of agents designed to provide various benefits, such as increased turnover of skin cells and increased production of collagen and elastin.