Like the title explains, why does dry skin only seem to retain moisture with lotion?
Water moisturizes temporarily but once it evaporates it actually strikes out your skin. Oils like those it lotion moisturize without the evaporation part so the moisture stays sealed in plus theres other stuff in lotion that helps your skin stay healthy / vibrant.
My understanding is that lotion doesn’t add moisture to the skin, but makes a barrier to lock in the moisture that your body already makes and tries to excrete (oils)
Looks like the question has already been answered, but if you have chronically dry skin, try putting more fats and oils into your diet or at least supplement with some fish oil / Borage oil and maybe some biotin.
“moist” skin is essentially healthy oily skin.
the Shower (in combination with a soap that binds dirt **and oil**) causes your skin to dry out. The water does not contribute to the moisture of your skin.
the water evaporates on the skin and even might cause more dryness, depending on your skintype and how fast it can replenish the surface with oils.
TL;DR: water doesnt contribute to skin moisture, shower in combination with soap removes oils. lotion replenishes them before the bodies own can kick in.
Your skin can soak up water, but it will evaporate rather quickly.
In contrast, oil doesn’t evaporate (much). So when you oil up your skin, it stays oiled.