Comparison of skin hydration in combination and single use of common moisturizers (cream, toner, and spray water)

J Cosmet Sci. 2016 May-Jun;67(3):175-83.


This study aims to assess the moisturization in combination or single use (including seven general applications) of three common moisturizers: cream, toner, and spray water. Groups were set as C: cream only; T: toner only; C+T, T+C: cream or toner applied successively within a few minutes; C-T, C-S: cream applied with repeated toner or spray water every 2 h; T-T: toner applied with repeated toner every 2 h; and N: untreated group. Outcomes were the change in skin hydration from baseline at 2, 4, 6, and 8 h after applications. All treated zones displayed a significantly higher degree of hydration compared with the untreated zone ( p < 0.05). For normal skin (hydration value at baseline >35 a.u.), C-T led to greatest hydration change rate compared with others, followed by C+T, T+C, and C. Those three applications exhibited analogous hydration at each test point ( p > 0.05). The hydration rate of C-S differed slightly from T-T, followed by those four mentioned above, with T being the last. For dry skin (hydration value at baseline <35 a.u.), no statistical significance could be detected between C-T zone and C+T, T+C, and C zones ( p > 0.05), the other results were identical. When cream and toner were applied successively, the application order has little effect on skin hydration. The application of cream only was an effective and brief way to achieve favorable moisturization especially for dry skin. As a complement, repeated application of toner rather than spray water is efficacious for skin hydration.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Emollients / administration & dosage
  • Emollients / pharmacology
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Water Loss, Insensible
  • Young Adult


  • Emollients