People of all ages should practice good skin hygiene. Skin is the body’s largest organ. Because it is constantly exposed to the elements, as well as to artificial factors like pollution and cosmetics, it is important to protect it. An essential part of skin care is moisturizing. Everyone should moisturize, regardless of skin type. Lotions both attract and seal in moisture, drawing it into the skin. Resulting effects include filling out skin cells, softening tightly drawn skin and filling-in fine lines.
The cosmetics industry recognizes the huge market for skin lotions. As a result, moisturizer is available for every skin type. Products are available in a variety of price ranges. In any health and beauty section of local drug stores, there are facial moisturizers, hand and foot creams, body oils and lotions. Specialty chains targeting skin care can be found in most malls with differently scented product lines; they often endorse different lines for different parts of the body. However, a body lotion may work perfectly well for hands and feet, and vice versa. Similarly, body lotion may also be perfectly acceptable for facial use.
When selecting a lotion, try to follow these rules of thumb:
- Oily-skinned people should choose oil-free, non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) moisturizers. Men and women with dry skin should look for glycerin, dimethicone, and hyaluronic acid among the ingredients in their lotions. People with normal or combination skin should choose moisturizing gels over creams, oils and lotions.
- Hypoallergenic and dye or fragrance-free formulas are available for those with sensitive skin. If you have trouble finding such a lotion, consult your doctor.
- Try to choose a lotion that contains sunscreen and is vitamin-enhanced (usually includes antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E). This will help to battle the effects of free radicals such as the sun, pollution, drinking and smoking, which damage skin.
- It is recommended that you use different lotions for different seasons. Depending on where you live, you might need a heavier lotion during the skin-chapping winter months or the humid, sweat-inducing summer.
People with acne and other skin conditions may want to consult a dermatologist before selecting a moisturizing lotion, as an over-the-counter lotion may aggravate the condition. Also note that over-moisturizing can clog pores and create a skin condition where there previously was none.