Skin Care Tips vol. 6/issue1

Moisturizing: Undervalued and Misunderstood.

Moisturizing is a common topic of many skin care publications.  Often times you read one theory on the need to moisturizer and the next time you see conflicting information.  So what is the best method to maintain healthy, glowing skin?

In search of good basic information, I have gathered some facts that make good sense to me that I would like to share with you.

First, why does it matter how much moisture the skin has?   Well, first of all, lack of water in or around cells disrupts normal metabolism and tissue repair.  Therefore, dehydrated skin has a decreased capacity for repair and regeneration.  By itself, dry skin is not the major cause of wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.  However, since dry skin has a decreased capacity to heal, it is far more susceptible to various forms of skin damage such as sun exposure.  Dry skin is also more prone to skin infections and irritants because it has many tiny cracks allowing the offenders to sneak in.

In other words, it makes good sense to have a well-moisturized skin.  Even though moisturizing will not lift your eyelids or reverse wrinkles (except maybe recent fine lines), it will help slow down any further damage and allow other treatments to work better.  In fact, if your skin is excessively dry, most skin care treatments have a far less chance to produce desired results.

We know well-moisturized skin is somewhat less prone to developing wrinkles so what else can we do to hydrate our skin?  Many experts tell us drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day ensures proper hydration of the body and helps reduce skin dryness.  They recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day.  Coffee and sodas are not a good substitute for water because they contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and promotes excretion of water via urine. 

Moisturizing from the inside means keeping the body well hydrated. When dehydrated, the body preserves the water supply to critical organs, such as the brain and the heart, but "cuts off water" to peripheral organs such as skin. Therefore, keeping the body well hydrated is an important part of keeping your skin well moisturized.

What things to avoid excessive dryness...

Be careful what you use to wash your face and how often.   Too many cleansers or soaps contain harsh ingredients that strip your skin of the so-called "acid mantle", an oil-rich protective film that locks moisture inside the skin and prevents bacterial and other infections.  Skin without the acid mantle dries up very quickly.  Even plain water can make your skin excessively dry if you wash it too often.  Generally, cleansing should be limited to once or twice a day.  (Actually, I prefer once a day if you have rosacea or sensitive skin.  A little dirt is better than over cleansing in my opinion).  It is best to use a very gentle moisturizing cleanser or facial soap that does not contain any alcohol, which removes the skin's acid mantle.   The last step is to then moisturize right after washing. 

As most of you know, I am a strong advocate of getting out in the sun and having some fun.  The sun is a valuable and vital component to a healthy body.  Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D which has been linked to preventing many diseases.  At the same time, the sun and wind can take its toll on drying your skin.  That is why I stress the importance of using high quality emu oil based moisturizers.  Emu oil not only gives you great protection from the sun, but a moisturizer containing emu oil lasts much longer and keeps your skin hydrated throughout the day.

The true value of your moisturizer should be measured by how often you need to apply it, what are the ingredients and how does it benefit your skin. 

“Serious Skin Care Made Simple!”

Nettie Bunton, Owner
Purple Emu, Ltd.


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