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    What is an ultra-hydrating and therapeutic moisturizer?

    Dr. DraelosThe terms ultra-hydrating and therapeutic, as they pertain to moisturizer formulation, are pure marketing gibberish, however they have tremendous consumer appeal. Ultra-hydrating literally means more water and moisturizers that possess this labeling may contain increased occlusive agents to trap more water in the skin. This may mean the formulation has a higher viscosity and leaves behind a more noticeable, longer-lasting film. Therapeutic usually confers the same concept, but there are no requirements.

    Moisturizers are considered cosmetics and therefore do not have monographed rules to follow. Thus, marketing words that have great consumer appeal and insight, but no scientific basis, are commonly used. Moisturizers cannot make drug claims, such as eliminates dry skin or cures eczema, but they can easily claim to be ultrahydrating or therapeutic.

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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