Our bodies need moisture to function. Every organ and system within the body requires hydration to operate the way it’s supposed to. Perhaps that’s why it’s generally accepted that as little as three days without water can threaten one’s survival. Simply put, the importance of hydration can not be overstated.
Your skin is your body’s biggest organ
Your skin is incredible important. After all, it’s the largest organ in your body, and the one primarily responsible for protecting everything else within your body. It’s a barrier against bacteria, viruses, infection, etc., so it’s important to keep your skin healthy and hydrated at all times.
Doesn’t my body produce its own moisture?
Actually, your body is incredibly efficient, and keeping your body healthy goes a long way toward keeping your skin healthy. However, there are several factors that can “pull” moisture from the skin. Internal issues such as illness, poor diet, smoking, and stress can cause skin to become dry. Externally, pollution, extreme cold or heat, and exposure to the sun can all dry out your skin. Keeping your skin properly moisturized can combat many of these internal and external factors.
Protecting skin’s barrier
Your skin’s “barrier” is the outer layers of the skin – the part you can see. Keeping these outer layers healthy and soft goes a long way toward keeping skin healthy overall If your barrier is dry and damaged, its more likely that skin will develop wrinkles, blemishes and scarring. And one of the most important ways to protect skin’s barrier is by limiting sun exposure. UVA & UVB rays can cause long-term damage to the skin, and are the number one cause of skin damage. Using sun protection every day is crucial for keeping skin safe and healthy.
Emollients vs. humectants vs. occlusive agents
function by attracting water from the inner layers of the skin to the outer layers of the skin. It can also attract and retain moisture from the air. Some examples of humectants are: propylene glycol, hexylene gloycol, butylene glycol, alpha hydroxy acids (such as lactic acid), urea, and aloe vera gel.
are designed to make the surface of the skin softer and more supple by reducing evaporation and providing a protective barrier. Emollients commonly used in skin care include: olive oil, acetyl alcohol, shea butter, mineral oil, lanolin, coconut oil, almond oil, sesame oils, jojoba, and other plant oils.
, like emollients, increase skin moisture by creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss. Emollients provide some of the same benefits as occlusive agents, though occlusives tend to be heavier and are usually balanced out with other emollients and humectants. Some examples of common occlusive agents found in skin care are: petrolatum, lanolin, zinc oxide, silicones, oils, and waxes.
All skin types need to be moisturized
Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, it is important to moisturize. In fact, moisturizing is particularly important when using harsh acne medications. In some cases, blemishes are formed not because the skin has too much moisture, but because it’s lacking in moisture. Often, skin that is lacking moisture produces extra oil to combat the dryness, which can lead to blemishes.
It is important to choose a moisturizer that fits your skin’s needs. Skin that tends toward dryness may require a heavier cream moisturizer to maintain proper hydration, where oily skin will likely require an oil-free lotion that can keep skin hydrated without extra oils. And aging skin may require a heavier moisturizer, as skin tends to lose moisture as we age.
In addition to choosing a moisturizer based on your skin type, your daytime moisturizer should also contain sun protection. Even in the winter months, your skin is being exposed to the sun’s rays, and it’s important to protect your skin from sun damage.
When and how should I moisturize?
The general rule of thumb is to moisturize in the morning, and then again before going to bed. During the day, you will need to incorporate sun protection – either in your selected moisturizer or as a separate element. If you are using a sunscreen that is not contained within your moisturizer, you should apply your sunscreen and let it soak in prior to applying your moisturizer.
In the evening, you may select a heavier moisturizer if it’s appropriate for your skin type. After using a light exfoliant
and/or a toner, you will apply your night time moisturizer. Always use light strokes, massaging the lotion or cream into your skin.
Always patch test
There are hundreds of skin care ingredients used in moisturizers, and commercial skin care brands are generally tested and safe. However, no two people have exactly the same skin type, and what may be safe and soothing for most people may cause irritation in others. Before you slather any type of cosmetic product on your face or body, we recommend a patch test. Most people prefer to test a new product on the wrist or inside of the elbow – and some test on the small patch of skin behind the ear. Apply the product, and don’t wash the area for 24-48 hours. If no irritation occurs, it should be safe to use on your face and/or body.
How do I find out which moisturizer I should use?
Deciding on a moisturizer – or any skin care for that matter – can be daunting. There are so many products that contain so many different ingredients. You can consult your dermatologist to determine exactly what your skin type is, and what skin care concerns you need to address.
Reviva Labs makes its skin care professionals available to answer your questions and guide you to the appropriate skin care regimen and products. Call us at 800-257-7774 to discuss your skin care needs.