This Is What Happens When You Don't Use Moisturizer

Moisturizer is designed to help keep your skin soft and hydrated, so what happens when you stop using it? While it's not the end of the world if you accidentally skip a day or two, it's important to moisturize your face on a regular basis. Moisturizer acts as a barrier on the outermost layer of your skin, trapping and keeping moisture in the cells underneath it (per Well+Good). Although going a day without moisturizing your face can make your skin irritated and uncomfortable, it won't cause any damage to your skin.

When you skip the moisturizer, "you're not really harming your skin, but it can begin to look unsightly," Dr. Paul Dean, a San Diego-based dermatologist, told Well+Good. "It takes about 29 days for the skin cells to move from the bottom to the top. In one day, the dryness you can experience is very, very minimal." Though further complications could arise if you stop moisturizing your face for an extended period of time.

Not moisturizing can cause unpleasant side effects

Leaving moisturizer out of your daily skin care routine can lead to a variety of unpleasant side effects, according to Good Housekeeping. For example, fine lines and wrinkles are prone to develop on an unmoisturized face. "When the skin barrier is compromised, which is what we see when it becomes dry, there's actually a low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs in the skin," dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe told Good Housekeeping. This can lead to the breakdown of collagen in the skin, which is what causes wrinkles to form.

Additionally, not moisturizing your face can aggravate and worsen your acne. Just as excessive oiliness can cause your skin to break out, excessive dryness can result in an acne flare-up. If you use acne-fighting skin-care products, chances are they contain retinoids, salicylic acid, and/or benzoyl peroxide — skin care ingredients that are effective for combatting acne, but also drying to the skin. That's why it's important to hydrate your face with an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer, especially if you have acne-prone skin. Failing to do so can cause your skin to turn red and peel.