When temperatures drop outdoors and our heating systems start coming on indoors, our skin can suffer and become dry. Here are some tips to keep your skin hydrated.
Our skin’s hydration needs vary based on skin type, area of the body (face, hands, legs, etc.), and various external factors (e.g. contact with irritants). For example, someone with acne whose job requires frequent hand washing will have to moisturize their hands and face very differently.
Water-based products are recommended for normal skin, i.e. skin that is neither too dry nor too oily. These moisturizers often contain lightweight oils or silicone-derived ingredients, such as cyclomethicone.
Dry skin requires heavier, oil-based moisturizers that prevent water from evaporating from your skin, keeping your skin hydrated longer. Petrolatum-based products are an ideal option for very dry and cracked skin, but they can be sticky, which some people don’t like.
People who have oily skin and tend to get acne must still moisturize their skin, especially if they use an acne product that dries out the skin. For this type of skin, choose a water-based product that’s labeled as noncomedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores.
Some people have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by various products. In these cases, look for a moisturizer that contains no fragrances or dyes, which can irritate the skin. Also, avoid products containing acids (sometimes found in anti-wrinkle creams).
When choosing a product, remember that a good product is not necessarily expensive. Moisturizers costing less than $10 can be just as effective as other products with a much higher price tag.
To get the most out of your moisturizer, apply it immediately after your bath or shower, when your skin is still damp.
Lastly, choose the product texture based on the area of the body to hydrate. Heavy creams are perfect for elbows, knees, hands and feet, but are not appropriate for your face. Lotions are useful when you want to cover a large area, but may not be thick enough when your skin is very dry.
If you need help choosing the right product, your pharmacist will be happy to guide you!