Moisturizers: So Many to Choose From
Posted on 11/16/2011 on behalf of Dr. Kenrick Spence, M.D., F.A.C.S.
With the holidays fast approaching, more and more patients are coming to Hillcrest Dermatology & Plastic Surgery to see our estheticians. Organic skin care products and natural oils are becoming increasingly popular choices for skin care in Orlando. Among the most popular are moisturizers, which have become a billion-dollar industry worldwide.
It's important to understand how these products work before you load up the holiday shopping cart. Moisturizers work in two different ways: as occlusives and as humectants. Occlusives keep water in the skin, and humectants pull water into the skin.
The most common occlusive is petrolatum. Many natural oils are occlusive, including jojoba oil, olive oil and sunflower oil. In addition to being moisturizers, many of these oils have antioxidant properties, which help to remove waste and toxins that result from sun damage. However, it's important to realize that some essential oils also contain allergens: substances that can cause allergic reactions. Because of this, it's always helpful to receive guidance from a licensed skin care specialist.
Humectant moisturizers are often touted as anti-wrinkle creams. They pull water into the skin, which temporarily plumps up the skin to create a smoother surface. However, there is no real long-term anti-wrinkle effect. Humectant moisturizers are great, but if used during the wrong time of the year, they can actually remove water from your skin. Therefore, it's important not to take your skin care recommendations from an over-the-counter sales representative. Instead, get advice from a licensed esthetician.