The first line of defense for healthy skin in the winter is moisture. In "Winter Skin 911," the first in our
Winter Skin 101 series, Jane Paavola, laser nurse to the stars, helps keep us from having to forge through the moisturizer jungle by recommending products that really work and how to get the most out of them. Get ready to get glowing for the holidays!
People spend millions, if not billions, on anti-aging skin care products each year. Some work, and some don’t. With all the choices out there, it’s difficult to figure out which would be best for you. The more expensive the cream or product does not mean it’s any better than the ones sold in your drug store.
At this time of year, moisturizing is vital with the dry winter air. You might notice facial crepiness or fine lines developing around the eyes, mouth, and upper cheek area, and the body skin feeling dry or “alligator” skin-like. Moisturizing is the first line of defense against wrinkles; but it’s sometimes hard to find a product that works well with your skin to hydrate it, yet doesn’t feel greasy (which can clog pores). Not all creams are created equal despite what's written on their bottles or in commercials. Your skin type also plays a large role in picking the right moisturizer. If you have dryer skin, a heavier moisturizer is better. Some good affordable examples are Neutrogena Healthy Defense or the Oil of Olay Definity or Regenerist line. These are over-the-counter creams and some have the added benefit of sunscreen in the mix. If it feels greasy after a while, then the cream is too heavy and you should try something lighter. Don’t throw away the first choice though; just use it on the dry areas of your body!
Oilier skin needs a lighter touch. A non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) lotion or a light cream, such as Neutrogena Healthy Skin face lotion, or Aveeno facial lotion are good choices. If these still feel greasy after you have had them on for a while, you could forgo a moisturizer all together and just apply a sunscreen (which usually are very light moisturizers). You still may need a heavier moisturizer on your body.
Most of us fall into the combination skin category. This category makes it a little harder to figure out which moisturizer is best for you, and may require some trial and error testing to find the best one. Usually the lighter versions do well, and you may find you have to add an additional heavier moisturizer for any drier areas.
Another product which works well with all skin types, especially sensitive skin, is the Cetaphil line. They have a gentle cleanser, as well.
There are many different types of moisturizers sold in department stores. If you are interested in one of their products, I would suggest getting a sample and trying it on a small area before purchasing it (very important if you have sensitive skin or reactive skin). Some skin reactions occur after wearing a cream for 24 hours, and you may be allergic to an ingredient or fragrance in the formula. I understand that it may not always be possible to do this, but if you can, it could save you having a reaction all over your face! If you have a Sephora shop near you, they usually have testers that you can try right in the store.
If you want to go for a higher-end product that’s more pro-active in fighting the signs of aging, Epionce makes an entire line of fabulous moisturizers from light Renewal Facial Lotion to Extreme Barrier Repair (which is also great for the body). They have the added benefit of helping you keep moisture in your skin and are great to apply after a shower. The one drawback to them is that they are only sold by dermatologists. To learn more about this line and find out where you can get it, check out their website at www.epionce.com.
Another option would be Kinerase. This brand is sold at some stores locally. They have a full line of lotions and creams. Some of the products have sunscreen in them as well, which is great for day-wear. An additional benefit is that they will even out your skin tone somewhat. If you are on the pink/reddish side, this would be a great choice. Most people who have sensitive skin also do well with this product. See their website www.kinerase.com for the full list of what is available. They have many products and it can be overwhelming to choose, so I suggest starting with a basic moisturizer and going from there.
With so many products to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the best one. If you find something that really works for you, stay with it. A product that absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy is the best regardless of your skin type. The best thing about moisturizers is that they can help make your skin look younger and less lined. We all don’t look like we are in our twenties anymore, but who says you can’t have great skin while aging - or trying not to age! (I am 44 myself and I am keenly interested in not looking my age!)
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