Moisturizer Basics

Although drinking a cocktail of water and oil isn’t appetizing, it drives home the point that during the colder months, your skin actually craves and needs moisturizing. The drop in temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on your skin, causing dryness, irritation, and an overall dullness. Although drinking oil and water isn’t the solution, moisturizers are. As the winter months approach, your face is always exposed to the elements and can take a real beating. Let’s talk moisturizer basics.

When the outermost layers of your skin, especially on your face, are left unprotected, they become more susceptible to dryness and irritation. This dryness leaves the surface of your skin depleted of its natural components such as lipids, cholesterols, and fatty acids. What’s funny about these fatty substances is that in the skin, we want them to be high, which is contrary to what we want in our bloodstream. Ultimately, the depletion of these natural fats in your skin leads to the accelerated appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and crepiness, and who wants that? Absolutely no one wants to look older than they are or need to be.

In order to maintain a youthful and glowing appearance, you must restore your skin to its natural hydration level and texture. Believe it or not, drinking a lot of water is a good thing for your body, but it has very little effect on keeping your skin hydrated. Also, eating a lot of fat doesn’t help your skin either. Plus it doesn’t help your waistline at all.

Dr. Honet and I have blogged about moisturizer before, but it seems apropos to give it another mention simply because it is such an essential part of any skincare regimen. When skin is thirsty and drained during the colder months, replenishing the hydration status quo is an easy fix to achieving younger-looking, refreshed skin. Contrary to popular belief, today’s moisturizers are more than just water and oil. In fact, they are wonderful multi-taskers. Moisturizers these days are packed with a plethora of ingredients, ranging from vitamins, antioxidants, peptides, and growth factors. But let’s get back to the basics and talk about the bare-bones fundamentals of what makes a moisturizer a moisturizer.

There are basically three categories of moisturizers. Moisturizers that contain occlusives, such as cholesterol, help to reduce the evaporation of water from the skin. They form a thin oily layer over the surface of the skin to trap in the moisture. Another key ingredient to look for is humectants, such as hyaluronic acids and glycerol. Humectants work by pulling water from the surrounding external environment and linking onto the water molecule. It literally retains and pulls the water into the skin. The third type contains emollients, which assist and infuse hydration into the skin, making it appear soft, supple, and smooth. As you can imagine, many moisturizers contain a mixture of different occlusives, humectants, and/or emollients, maximizing the moisturizing power and sustainability.

As many of our patients know, Restorsea® is one of our favorite product lines in the office. Restorsea is derived from non-toxic natural ingredients, namely the enzyme from salmon eggs. All of the Restorsea® products are dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. The products contain a special salmon enzyme called AquabeautineXL®. This proprietary enzyme has two components that allow for a natural, gentle exfoliation of the skin, lifting away dead skin cells to reveal the healthy, vibrant cells beneath. Two of our favorites are the Restorsea® Rejuvenating Day Cream and the Restorsea® Restoring Night Cream, which, in addition to the AquabeautineXL®, contain extracts such as Wild Oat and Olive-oil emulsion. This powerful trio of ingredients effectively hydrates all day, while it rejuvenates the skin, decreases inflammation, and restores its glow.

Another favorite moisturizer at the office is SkinCeuticals® Triple Lipid Restore. This brilliant moisturizer restores the essential skin lipids, such as ceramides, as well as the cholesterol and fatty acids that are lost as we age. All of these components work together allowing your skin to restore its barrier function, resulting in incredible, visible results of smoother, softer, luminous skin. It is a true favorite of Dr. Honet and Adelle, and both of them use it every day.

One of our newer favorites that rejuvenates and hydrates your skin is the SkinBetter® Daily Treatment Cream. The SkinBetter® products are backed by breakthrough technology that delivers healthy, youthful skin through hyaluronic acid technology. The Daily Treatment Cream can be used twice daily for hydration, while delivering a potent blend of peptides and antioxidants to your skin. Reinforcing the surface of your skin and penetrating the skin’s foundation, it helps the appearance of sagging, bagging, and lines. Partnered with SkinBetter® Lines, this duo combats the wrinkles and lines that result from dryness, photodamage, and the passage of time.

Don’t let the changing seasons, falling temperature, and drop in humidity get the best of you. Be kind to your skin and moisturize, and your skin will be the better for it. Combined with gentle, non-stripping cleansing and sunscreen every day, your skin will be that much closer to a more youthful appearance and a healthier state. Fundamentally speaking, cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen are the essential trifecta in any antiaging regimen. It’s a simple plan, but works every time, all the time, and is a great place to start.

–Senada and Dr. H

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