Daily moisturizing is vital for healthy skin, yet some think of it as an aesthetically-inclined habit. Our skin is the body’s largest organ and requires regular attention to stay young, blemish-free and healthy. To understand how moisturizing your skin is important, read further.
What Moisturizer to Use
Regularly using lotion and moisturizer should be a part of any good skin care regimen, but some are better than others. Choose a lotion with plenty of vitamins (see below) with an SPF of 15 to protect your skin during the day. Also use lotions that are oil free, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), allergy and dermatologist tested.
· Vitamin A and Vitamin B5 increase firmness and build moisture levels.
· Anti-Oxidant Vitamins C and E help protect new skin and fight skin damage.
· PABA-Free SPF 15 sunscreens help prevent premature lines and wrinkles.
When to Moisturize
The most important times to use moisturizer are after a bath, shave or exfoliation. For some, this might be twice a day. Moisturizing after a shower is very important because hot water strips all the moisture and oils out of your skin, leaving it parched and dry. While hot water may be relaxing, it also wreaks havoc on your skin. Never skip the moisturizer.
Moisturizing Helps Skin Stay Young
The skin on your face, ears, neck and chest are very sensitive to environmental changes and are the most frequent areas of the body known to develop skin cancer. These areas of skin also shed cells more rapidly than other parts of the body and therefore need moisture to repair itself, which allows for younger skin cells to rise to the surface. Also, the massaging affect that is used when applying lotion helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation.
Moisturizing Reduces Skin Problems - Moisturizing everyday can reduce the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Both extremes are harmful for skin and cause common skin conditions like acne.
Conceals Other Skin Blemishes - Using a daily moisturizer ensures that the skin’s blemishes are camouflaged. That is because moisturizing tends to make the skin have a slight sheen, and those with any tint or self-tanner even out different skin tones.
The Importance of Moisturizing
Now that we’ve covered why moisturizing is important for healthy skin, these quick tips will help retain your natural glow:
Watch the temperature of water - Hot showers and baths are not good for your skin. Shower for a shorter amount of time and with warm water. You’ll see the difference in your skin.
Pat dry, don’t rub dry - After a shower gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing your skin dry. By patting dry your skin will retain more moisture you are going to seal in when you moisturize.
Drink more water - the moisture your skin receives also comes from your body. Drink at least 8 cups of water every day!
Use mild soaps and detergents - soaps and shampoos that contain alcohol strip natural oils from your skin. Look for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser that has aloe minerals and vitamins.
Use a humidifier - If needed, a humidifier can add much needed moisture to the air.
Give extra attention to your hands - hands show the affects of a dry environment more than any other part of the body. Apply hand cream after each hand washing.
Wear sunscreen when outdoors - nothing will save your skin more than protecting it from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Wear a low, or high, SPF sunscreen depending on your outdoor activities.
Apply lip balm regularly - having lip balm ready and applying it frequently helps heal dry, cracked lips. Dermatologists recommend using a lip balm that has an SPF of at least 30. This can help reduce signs of aging and skin cancer on the lips.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
If you suffer from dry skin and these tips do not bring relief, make an appointment to see a doctor. If you need help finding a doctor, let us help you find one. Very dry, scaly skin may require the attention of a medical professional. A dermatologist can examine the skin and explain what will help alleviate the dryness or irritation.
If moisturizer doesn't solve the problem, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, so talk with your doctor about unresolved dry skin. If you do not have a doctor and would like help finding one, UT Medical Center’s Healthcare Coordination can help. They will talk to you about what insurance you have, what type of doctor you need and what days are most convenient for you. Call them today at 865-305-6970 to make an appointment.
The Health Information Center at The University of Tennessee Medical Center provided this Healthy Tip. The Health Information Center is a library staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists. If you let us know your health information needs, we will do research for you and mail or email the results to you for free. You can call us at 865-305-9525. We also have a large collection of health books covering a variety of topics.
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