As winter sets in, the one thing our skin needs most is a good moisturizer: The Tribune India

Dr Vikas Sharma

Currently, the incidence of dry skin conditions is on the rise due to urbanization, tampering, pollution, and the abandonment of traditional massage and oil baths. Dryness is not a single entity but is characterized by differences in skin chemistry and morphology depending on internal and external stressors.

Dry skin is noted when the moisture content is less than 10% and there is a loss of continuity of the top layer of skin.

Moisturizers prevent and treat dry skin, but that’s not all. Moisturizers protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and hide blemishes. During this season, the one thing our skin needs the most is a good moisturizer.

save your skin

Many moisturizers are available in the market. Just like finding a good cleanser, finding the perfect moisturizer for skin can be tricky. Even if a particular moisturizer doesn’t give you acne, some moisturizers are too oily and heavy or just aren’t “moisturizing” enough.

Which moisturizer is best for you depends on many factors, including skin type, age, and whether you have specific skin conditions, such as acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, etc. or systemic disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, sarcoidosis, etc.

normal skin: Normal skin is neither too dry nor too oily. To maintain this natural moisture balance, use a water-based moisturizer that has a light, non-greasy feel. These moisturizers often contain light oils, such as cetyl alcohol, or silicone-derived ingredients, such as cyclomethicone.

Dry skin: To restore moisture to dry skin, you need a heavier oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients such as antioxidants, grapeseed oil or dimethicone, which helps keep the skin hydrated for 24 hours. For very dry, cracked skin, petrolatum-based products are best. They have longer hold than creams and are more effective in preventing water from evaporating from our skin.

oily skin: Oily skin is prone to acne and breakouts. Although oily, such skin still needs hydration, especially after using skincare products that remove oils and dry out the skin. A light moisturizer can also help protect the skin after washing. Choose a water-based product labeled “non-comedogenic,” which means it won’t clog pores.

Sensitive skin: Sensitive skin is susceptible to skin irritation, redness, itching or rashes. Look for a moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients such as chamomile or aloe and is free of potential allergens, such as fragrances or dyes. Also avoid products containing acids such as lactic or glycolic acids, which can irritate sensitive skin.

mature skin: As we age, the skin tends to become drier as the sebaceous glands become less active. To keep skin soft and well hydrated, choose an oil-based moisturizer that contains petroleum jelly as a base, as well as antioxidants or alpha hydroxy acids to fight wrinkles. These ingredients help absorb moisture and prevent flaky, scaly skin. These moisturizers keep the skin hydrated and supple. They lock in the skin’s natural moisture and help draw moisture to the surface of the skin to prevent it from drying out. They also improve skin barrier function.

(Dr Sharma is a Dermatologist based in Chandigarh)

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