If you have dry skin or maybe winter has left your skin itchy, dry and flaky, a moisturizer can help. As you probably know, the top layer of skin is dead, and the layers below supply it with the moisture — water, oils and salt — that it needs. Moisture is constantly lost through evaporation even under the best conditions. When you bring in winter winds, low humidity, and dry indoor heat the skin’s water loss is greatly increased. That is why moisturizers applied to the skin play such an important role.
There are two types of moisturizers:
Emollients – These work very much like your skin’s natural oils by forming an oily barrier on the skin’s surface that seals in some of the moisture and blocks evaporation.
Humectants – These attract and hold water on your skin’s surface.
Which moisturizer is best for you depends on your skin type, and the ingredients in the moisturizer. And, most times, it has very little to do with expense. It’s a choice that you make after evaluating all factors. In fact, there have been studies which concluded the most effective moisturizers were the least expensive ones.
One thing to consider is this: the simpler, the better. The more ingredients in a moisturizer you use on your skin, such as, perfumes, emulsifiers, coloring, thickeners, etc., the greater the chance you will have some kind of allergic reaction if your skin is sensitive.
Preserve Your Skin’s Moisture – Tips and Suggestions
-Use warm water as opposed to hot for bathing or showering, and limit the time spent to 10 to 15 minutes a day. Use mild soaps which you dilute with water before applying to your skin. Excessive bathing, especially in hot water, and the use of strong soaps wash away the natural oils that are there to help keep water in the skin.
-If you bathe rather than shower, use a little bath oil in the water.
-Apply a moisturizer to the skin all over your body immediately after bathing or showering. In this way, the skin’s moisture is sealed in. Apply light films of moisturizer rather than one heavy coating.
-Dry hand thoroughly after washing. Apply a good hand cream.
-Give elbows and knees special attention during winter months. Exfoliate gently with a natural luffa sponge, and apply a moisturing cream.
-Always wear gloves in cold weather to limit the evaporation of moisture from your hands.
-In cold weather, cover your face with a scarf or possibly a ski mask.
-Protect lips with a lip balm when out in the winter months. Avoid licking them which causes chapping and cracking.
-Eat a nourishing, well-balanced diet for your inner as well as outer health.
-Drink 8-10 glasses a water a day. Drinking adequate water on a daily basis is also important for glowing, healthy, moisturized skin.
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to watch your skin improve.