Is Moisturization Important for Kids?

Many parents feel troubled when they see their child’s hands getting dry and flaky. The reason for this is simple: lack of moisturization. Since the skin is the body’s largest organ and performs several vital activities, such as providing defense against the environment, maintaining a balanced level of moisture in the skin is crucial towards its development and protection. 

In children, the skin is particularly vulnerable to problems like dry skin due to its thinner and more delicate nature. That’s why it’s crucial to keep their skin healthy and well-moisturized. Moreover, It can help prevent redness, flakiness, and itchiness. By practicing proper moisturization and sun protection, you can help ensure that your child’s skin remains healthy, happy, and protected.

The Key Function of Skin

The skin performs a variety of vital tasks for the body, including defending it from the harm caused by the environment, controlling body temperature, and enhancing sensory experience. Numerous bodily functions are performed by the three distinct layers of skin as follows.

The Outermost Layer

The epidermis, the outermost layer of our body’s largest organ, acts as an ever-vigilant guardian, shielding us from the harsh impacts of the outside world. It acts as a robust barrier, preventing harmful chemicals, disease-causing microorganisms, and damaging UV radiation from penetrating our delicate tissues.  The epidermis also contains melanocytes that help to produce melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color and helps protect it from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Middle Layer

The dermis, a pivotal intermediary layer of the skin, harbors an intricate network of blood vessels, nerves, and hair follicles. Its remarkable function encompasses bestowing vital nourishment to the epidermis while actively regulating the body’s internal temperature.  The dermis is also responsible for secreting sweat to cool us down, and controlling blood flow to our skin. 

Innermost Layer

The deepest layer of the skin is known as the subcutaneous tissue, consisting mainly of connective tissue and fat cells where a significant portion of the body’s fat is stored. This layer serves as an insulating barrier that safeguards the internal organs and muscles from temperature fluctuations and shocks.

Layers of skin

Primary Functions of Skin

In addition to being the body’s largest organ, the skin is also responsible for a number of other essential processes. Some of its primary features are listed below:

Protection The skin acts as a barrier against harmful external factors such as UV radiation, bacteria, and toxins.
Sensation The skin contains nerves that allow us to sense touch, pressure, temperature, and pain.
Regulation of body temperature The skin helps regulate body temperature through sweating and blood flow.
Vitamin D production The skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
Excretion Humans excrete waste products such as sweat and sebum from skin.
Appearance Skin plays a role in our appearance and can influence our self-esteem and social interactions.

How Moisture Impacts Skin Health and Functioning?

The delicate balance of hydration in the skin is critical for its optimal functioning, and any deviation from this equilibrium can have a profound impact on its health.

  • Excessive moisture: It can lead to a plethora of issues, including acne, fungal infections, and eczema in certain cases. The excess moisture creates a breeding ground for microorganisms that thrive in warm, damp environments, leading to inflammation, redness, and irritation.
  • Insufficient moisture: It can result in dryness, flakiness, and cracking. The skin’s natural barrier function is compromised, making it more susceptible to environmental pollutants and pathogens. This can lead to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and a dull complexion.

Maintaining the skin’s moisture balance is critical for its optimal functioning and overall health. Adequate hydration helps to support the skin’s natural processes, such as cell turnover and collagen production, which are essential for maintaining its elasticity and resilience.

The Role of the Skin’s Natural Oils in Maintaining Moisture

The skin’s natural oils, also known as sebum, play a crucial role in maintaining moisture levels in the skin. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands and is composed of a mixture of lipids, including triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene.

When the skin produces the right amount of sebum, it acts as a natural moisturizer, providing a protective barrier that helps prevent water loss from the skin. This keeps the skin hydrated, soft, and supple. A balanced level of sebum ensures that our skin remains protected against external threats like harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

Think of sebum as the Goldilocks of skincare – too much can be just as problematic as too little! For example, an overproduction of sebum can lead to oily skin, which can clog pores and contribute to acne. On the other hand, an underproduction of sebum can lead to dry skin, which can cause itching, flaking, and irritation.

To maintain healthy, well-hydrated skin, it’s important to keep the skin’s natural oils in balance. This can be achieved by using gentle, non-drying cleansers, avoiding harsh skincare products that can strip the skin of its natural oils, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Applying moisturizer on face

Factors that Affect Skin Moisture

Since our skin is the most exposed organ of the body, the level of moisture is often affected by numerous external elements including climate, environment, and lifestyle choices as well.


Climate has a significant impact on the skin’s moisture levels. In colder climates, there is a lack of moisture in the air, which is why people tend to have dry skin in winter.

In contrast, if you meet someone who lives in an area with a hot climate, you will notice that they have more oily skin, mainly due to the high levels of humidity and heat. Such people usually face a problem of excess moisture as well as sweat which results in clogged pores, and irritation.

In a nutshell, a moderate climate is best for our skin. In case there isn’t a moderate climate around you, several cosmetic products, like oil-free creams, moisturizers, and facial cleansers are there to balance out any effect caused by the climate. 

Environmental Factors

Environmental situations, such as the level of pollution, smoke, and UV radiation, can significantly impact the level of moisture in the skin. Primarily, pollution impacts the skin the most, mainly because pollution can penetrate the skin and cause clogging of pores as well as oxidative stress. People who generally stay in more polluted conditions have a harder skin. The issue can be even more concerning in kids, who can develop different skin problems.

Apart from that, UV radiation can also impact the level of moisture because of sun rays that can cause sunburn and loss of moisture. While these problems may not be that severe in children, it is better to take precautionary steps, such as using sunscreen and avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. 

Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices impact the moisture level in kids. Children tend to consume different types of food items, but it is important to realize that diet can cause an impact on the skin’s moisture levels. Consuming a diet high in processed foods and sugar can contribute to inflammation and skin problems like acne. 

Similarly, sleep can also impact moisturization in a negative manner. When we sleep, our body repairs and regenerates itself, including our skin. Getting enough sleep and reducing stress can help support overall skin health and moisture levels. A lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can disrupt this process, leading to dryness, dullness, and other skin problems. If your child is not getting enough sleep, there are chances that your child’s skin might lose moisture. 

children playing

Effects of Specific Skin Conditions on Skin Moisture Levels

You might be wondering if you are following the right lifestyle, living in a suitable environment and climate but still facing skin moisturization problems. This is because certain types of skin conditions can influence skin moisture levels.

Firstly, it’s eczema. This is a skin condition characterized by itchy, inflamed patches on the skin. Eczema can disrupt the skin’s barrier function, making it more susceptible to moisture loss and environmental damage. As a result, people with eczema often experience dry, cracked, and rough skin. While it is not a common problem in children, the risk is still there. Proper moisturization is critical for managing eczema and keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.

Secondly, Psoriasis can also impact moisture levels in the skin. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly, leading to the formation of thick, scaly patches on the skin. In most cases, dermatologists can help in the swift treatment of Psoriasis and also suggest moisturizers. 

Thirdly, Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and inflammation on the face. It can also lead to dryness and flakiness, especially around the nose and cheeks. 

In case your child is facing any of these specific skin conditions, you should try using a moisturizer, but if the issue does not resolve, consulting a dermatologist is the next best thing you can do. 

Benefits of Skin Moisturization for Kids

The problems mentioned above are some of the key reasons why skin moisturization is important and beneficial for kids. Apart from that, the following are also a few other benefits:

  • Moisturizers help in repairing the skin’s natural barrier which leads to reduced water loss. This helps in reducing inflammation and irritation for the kids. The extra layer on top of the skin also helps in shielding it from environmental factors such as pollution and dust. 
  • Focusing on skin moisturization can lead to softer skin that is less susceptible to any kind of skin problems in the future. 
  • Moisturization goes beyond that by supporting the skin’s natural regeneration process helping it to repair itself. For instance, vitamins A, C, and E are commonly found in moisturizers and are known to have skin-repairing and protection against environmental damage. Moisturizers also help in producing new skin cells and prevent the buildup of dead cells, which aids in improved skin health of your young ones. 
  • One recent study has been conducted on infants as well, which concludes that moisturizing skin is effective for improving skin barrier function and preventing newborns’ diaper dermatitis.

Different types of moisturizers

The Best Practices for Moisturizing Kids’ Skin

Now that you are aware of the importance of moisturizing a kids’ skin, consider these practices to make sure your child does not face any skin problems in the future. 

  • What Moisturizer is Right for My Kid?  – Selecting the right moisturizer for skin is the most important aspect. Creams, lotions, balms, ointments, and serums are a few moisturizers which are appropriate for kids. This is because they don’t generally have any harsh chemicals. Other types of moisturizers, such as anti-aging moisturizers, fragranced moisturizers, and moisturizers that contain parabens, phthalates, and sulfates are not recommended to be used on a child’s skin.  
  • Frequency and Timing of Moisturization – When it comes to moisturizing your child’s skin, there’s no hard and fast rule. Every child has a different routine and lifestyle, so it’s important to find a frequency and timing that works best for your little one. However, generally, we would recommend moisturizing your child’s skin every time he/she takes a bath.

This is because their skin is the cleanest at this time and can absorb the moisturizer easily. Apart from that, if your child has been playing outside or engaged in physical activities, you should apply a moisturizer to the skin once he/she comes home. It is better to use a light moisturizer on your child’s skin once a day. However, if your child is overly engaged in physical activities, or has a problem with dry skin, you can also moisturize twice a day.  

custom graphic of a guide to select the right moisturizer

Common Myths About Skin Moisturization for Kids

Many people believe in unusual and odd myths about the human body, including moisturization for skin. Let’s bust them all!

Myth: Moisturizing is only necessary for dry skin

Wrong. Moisturizing is equally important for children with regular skin as well. This is because it helps in creating a skin barrier as well as prevents future skin problems. 

Myth: Moisturizers can cause acne

Wrong. The reality is that the right moisturizer won’t cause acne at all. It will, instead, prevent it. 

Myth: Moisturizing skin will make your skin dependent on the moisturizer and stop the production of natural body oils.

Wrong. This cannot happen unless your body is facing a medical problem that is preventing the production of skin oils such as eczema, and psoriasis. The skin has the ability to produce natural oils even when it is being moisturized regularly. 


Skin health is an important topic for parents, especially those who see their children facing troubles from dry skin issues. It is important to understand that a suitable application of moisturizer can ensure your child’s skin is not dry or itchy. A child is more engaged in outdoor activities, so there can be several issues with the skin, particularly associated with external factors like climate and pollution. To ensure your child is protected at all times, regular use of moisturizer should be the go-to option.