Beauty - It's Wise To Moisturize

Beauty - It's Wise To Moisturize

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Moisturizers creams, lotions, oils work by attracting and trapping moisture and oil in the skin, leaving it soft and supple. They remove the dull, ashen appearance of dry skin that many women of color are prone to. A good moisturizer will also serve as a barrier between your skin and the elements, such as harsh wind and pollution.

Choosing the right moisturizer is key to keeping skin smooth while not clogging pores. Moisturizers come in a variety of types, including ones that are oil-based, water-based, oil-free, and vitamin-enriched. To choose the best moisturizer for you, you'll need to consider your skin type and seasonal change.

For Oily Skin. Women with oily skin can typically forgo a moisturizer. Yes, despite what your mother may have taught you, moisturizers will not prevent wrinkles and you will normally not need moisturizer unless your skin gets dry in the winter. In that case, opt for an oil-free formula that hydrates the skin. Consider products containing glycerin or other humectants that draw moisture to skin without clogging pores or imparting a greasy feel to the skin (Fashion Fair Oil Free Moisturizer).

For Combination Skin. Apply a light lotion once or twice a day to the dry areas of the skin only. You will probably not need to apply the moisturizer to the fore-head and nose, which are typically oily. During the summer, switch to an oil-free product, such as Black Opal Oil Free Moisturizing Lotion, or eliminate it altogether.

For Normal Skin. You do not need to moisturize unless your skin becomes dry in winter or in certain climates. In that case, use an oil-free moisturizer like Black Opal Oil Free Moisturizing Lotion.

For Dry Skin. Moisturize two or three times a day, depending on your needs and your skin on a given day. During the fall and winter, use a rich cream or lotion designed for dry skin (Lancome Absolute Replenishing Creme SPF 15, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Lubriderm Daily UV Lotion SPF 15, MD Forte Replenish Hydrating Cream Hydra Sorbet Aquatique, Moisturel Therapeutic Cream). Switch to a lighter lotion in the spring and summer. Avoid products containing vitamin A or retinol, which can further dry the skin. Also, steer clear of greasy products (Vaseline) that can clog pores, especially if your skin is acne prone.

For Sensitive Skin. Follow the guide for oily, dry, or combination skin, but choose your moisturizer carefully. A water based formula may be best. Avoid ingredients that can irritate your skin, such as alcohol, lanolin, retinol, vitamin A, PABA sunscreen, or fragrance. Products to try include Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Keri Sensitive Skin, Lubriderm Seriously Sensitive Lotion, and Neutrogena Moisture for Sensitive Skin.

For Hyperpigmenting Skin. In general, moisturizing hyperpigmentation prone skin whether it's dry, combination, or sensitive is important because excessive dryness of this type of skin can lead to itching, scratching, and discolorations. However, when selecting moisturizers it's best to avoid products with added ingredients such as vitamins, exfoliating acids (AHAs, BHAs) , and benzoyl peroxide unless you patch test your skin with these products. Those extra ingredients have the potential for inflaming the skin and then producing further hyperpigmentation. In other words, less is more. However, a moisturizer containing sunscreen, such as Olay Complete UV Protective Moisture Lotion or Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, may be beneficial in preventing suninduced pigmentation. When selecting moisturizers for this type of skin, follow the guidelines for sensitive skin.

Extras

Many moisturizers on the market contain a host of additional ingredients you may or may not need. These include the following.

Vitamins. Vitamin enriched products typically contain either vitamin CorE. These ingredients are considered antioxidants and may be beneficial for reducing sun damage and improving the appearance or the skin. Although preliminary studies may indicate improvement in the appearance of the skin with these products, many of the claimed benefits have not yet been proved definitively.

Vitamin A and retinol are often included in products for their anti aging and anti wrinkling properties. These products are beneficial in many cases, but excessive dryness and irritation of the skin can occur. Consult your dermatologist before selecting these products.

Additional supplements often included in skin-care products include coenzyme Ql0, Kinerase, niacin, copper peptides, and alpha lipoic acid. These ingredients are touted for their possible anti aging properties and may improve the skin's appearance in some women.

Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs). These acids exfoliate the top layer of skin. AHAs can reduce sun damage and acne and leave the skin with a wonderful glow, but overuse could irritate skin. I particularly like the MD Forte line of AHA products.

Sunscreen. Choosing a moisturizer containing sunscreen cuts out one step in your daily routine. The sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 15 in order to be effective.

Moisturizer Moves

To moisturize your facial skin effectively

• Apply the product directly onto damp skin after washing your face or showering. This way, the water is literally sealed into the top layers of your skin.

• Using your fingers, dot the moisturizer on forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin to ensure even distribution, then blend in.

DRY-SKIN TIP

Take shorter showers at lukewarm temperature. Then apply moisturizer directly onto damp skin.

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