Moisturizing seems to be the most recommended tip for healthy skin — and for good reasons. Not only does moisture keep your skin soft and supple, but it can actually help to minimize skin issues like oiliness or dryness. Of course, reduced signs of aging are a nice perk, and the better moisturized your skin is, the less likely you are to experience the telltale fine lines and wrinkles that are exaggerated with dryness.
Beyond being one of the most effective ways to care for your skin, moisturizing is also simple. Here are a few easy steps you can take to keep your face (and body) hydrated.
Switch to mild soaps.
From hand soap to laundry detergent, any harsh ingredients in the products you use to suds up could strip moisture from your skin. “For instance,” explains Dr. Kelli Baender, “even fragrances are flagged as a foreign molecule by your body’s immune system, and activate a response that can result in dryness and irritation.” Sulfates, parabens, and metals are other potential irritants to avoid. Stick to mild, fragrance-free formulas whenever possible.
Keep it cool.
Hot water can soothe skin after a long day, or help to loosen up your muscles in the morning. But cranking the heat up too high in the shower can backfire. Hot water can leave skin dry, so aim for a warm shower instead. As a rule of thumb, water that turns your skin red is probably too hot.
Speaking of showering, be sure to pat your skin dry gently after washing up. “Harsh rubbing can eliminate moisture,” explains Dr. Baender, “whereas patting helps to lock it in.” This is especially important for the fragile skin around your eyes, and other areas of your face.
Apply moisturizer to your face after each wash: once in the morning, and then again in the evening. The right formula for you will depend on factors like your skin type and the time of year. People with oily skin may need a lightweight formula, for instance, while folks with drier skin can benefit from thicker creams. You may also need to switch to a lighter moisturizer when the humidity is higher in the warmer months, and use a thicker product during the winter to make up for the lack of moisture in the air.
As for your body, most people choose to moisturize daily after their shower. If you have any skin concerns like eczema or psoriasis, it’s especially important to apply a moisturizing cream suited for sensitive skin.
Consider a humidifier.
Your home may not need extra moisture when the humidity is highest, but dry skin is a concern that can lead to itchy, flaky skin in any season. A cool-mist vaporizer can help replenish moisture in your home, which will also help to keep your skin hydrated. For the greatest benefits, run it in your bedroom at night when the air is drier.
You already know about the dangers of UV exposure, and dryness is just another one to add to the list of negative effects. Wear sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 year-round, every day — no exceptions. Not only can it help to reduce your risk of skin cancer, but it will also prevent the drying effect that comes with painful sunburns.
Moisturizing is a great foundation for any healthy skin routine. For more personalized treatment recommendations and a comprehensive approach to skincare, turn to Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics. Our team specializes in both general dermatology and aesthetic services such as hydrating facials and hydro dermalinfusion. Schedule an appointment at one of our locations online or by calling (404) 355-5484.