Friday, January 14, 2011

Moisturizers: Understanding the Importance of Moisturizers

Moisturizer is the most used cosmetics for men and women alike. It is so essential that one can’t leave the house without having it on. But here’s a personal secret:
I don’t use moisturizer unless it is cold season. Don’t get me wrong, I do have facial moisturizer but I only use it on cold weather because my skin tends to be flaky at low temperatures. Moreover, I am well aware of the benefits a moisturizer can do to our skin. Read on and you’ll know why.

Dermatology 101
Epidermis, the top most layer of our skin, consists of stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosm and stratum corneum. Stratum corneum is mainly responsible for keeping our skin hydrated and moisturized. The lipids in stratum corneum naturally attract water from air and serve as a barrier to retain the water thus generating natural moisturizing factor. Failure to hold and retain water, our skin will be withered and can be visibly seen as dry or flaky. With that said, it is the basic purpose of moisturizers to keep our skin from drying out.

Understanding Your Skin
Don’t go rushing to the nearest department stores or cosmetics outlets once you hear new products are out. Come on, let go of impulsive buying habit before you regret it. Tell you what, understanding your skin makes a whole lot of difference and it also saves you from draining your pockets.

Skin types can range from normal, dry, oily or sensitive. You can easily assess your skin at normal temperatures. A normal skin which maintains moisture balance may or may not use moisturizers depending on your preference. If you feel like having one, use water-based or light moisturizers. For dry skin, it is best to use oil-based or heavy creams. Those with oily skin are most likely prone to acne so look for noncomedogenic moisturizers. This type of moisturizer prevents dirt from clogging inside the pores of your skin, lessening the acne breakouts. For those who have sensitive skin, it is best to consult your dermatologist first before trying out any product.

Your skin may be different at extreme weather conditions. It is also advised to assess your skin at these times. Don’t limit yourself to a single type of moisturizer. If you notice a change in your skin as the weather changes, do apply the right cream or lotion.

If you’re always out in direct sunlight, look for moisturizers with sunscreen protection. UV rays from sun are a very good catalyst for skin aging, worst for skin cancer. Don’t let Mr. Sun get in your way. Dermatologists strongly recommend the use of sunscreen. Use moisturizers with sun protection factor of at least  15.

Whatever you skin type is, always remember to use products that are gentle to your skin. You don’t want skin irritation, do you? And please (I am saying this because I know a few who do this) never use body moisturizers onto your face!

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