By Joanne Rosa
Wendy is always preaching about going home to get her moisturization on.
But, why is moisturizing our skin so important?
Dr. Whitney Bowe, NY based celebrity dermatologist, tells us why moisturizing our skin is crucial.
Our Skin’s Barrier
Our skin has a natural “barrier,” which is essential to our health and well being on a number of levels. By moisturizing our skin, we help to repair the barrier.
According to Dr. Bowe, a healthy skin barrier will keep the “bad things out,” meaning it “prevents irritants, allergens… and bacteria from getting into your skin… So, you’re more protected against infection, and allergies.” The skin’s barrier is essentially a shield, safeguarding your body from the outside world. Moisturizing our skin will make the barrier stronger, which benefits our health.
Dr. Bowe also emphasized how moisturizing our skin helps our skin barrier trap moisture. When the barrier is able to sustain a healthy amount of moisture, it will prevent premature again, and chronic inflammation. By the way, when we get the tight, itchy feeling with dry skin, it actually means your skin is inflamed. It needs moisture! “When we loose moisture in the skin, it can show up as fine lines, and wrinkles.”
By moisturizing our skin, we are helping our bodies from the inside, out.
How to apply moisturizer and how often
Like, are we supposed to just bathe in lotion and coconut oil, or what?!
Dr. Bowe says we should apply moisturizer twice a day (morning and night). “Every time that you’re washing your face is a good rule of thumb that you should pat dry, then apply a moisturizer back on.” So don’t skip out on moisturizing your skin after you wash up from a workout. At the same time, we need to pay attention to what our skin needs. If we wash up, moisturize, then feel tightness in our skin a few minutes later, it’s a sign that our skin has “a greater need to moisturize… If you feel throughout the day that your skin is tight or dry, moisturize more frequently.”
When it comes to how much moisturizer to apply, it varies. When we use a serum, Dr. Bowe recommends using a dime size amount of serum to our face, and then work in a quarter size amount of lotion onto our face, neck, and chest.
Our skin is delicate, and should be treated gently. Avoid tugging, or pulling at your skin, and applying too much pressure. Around the eye area, use your ring finger to spread moisturizer. “Your ring finger is a little bit weaker than the rest of the fingers, so it’s great for the fragile skin around your eyes.” For the rest of the body, Dr. Bowe recommends working in the lotion in a circular motion.”
You’re never too young to start moisturizing
As we age, our skin looses the ability to retain moisture.
Parents can start moisturizing their children as young as infancy with sunflower oil. Once puberty hits, the skin produces excess oil. This doesn’t mean we should stop moisturizing our skin! “People think, ‘wait; if I have oily skin, why would I moisturize?’ … When your skin feels like it’s not getting enough moisture, it paradoxically pumps out more oil. Give yourself a light moisturizer… it will helps to balance the amount of oil you have.” As we get older, the skin’s barrier looses its ability to retain moisture. “Put a couple of drops of an oil… like argon or coconut oil, with your regular night cream.”
More importantly, Dr. Bowe reminded us how crucial it is to apply moisturizer onto our neck, chest, and tops of hands. “People often forget their necks, their chests, and we don’t have a lot of oil glands there. Those areas do tend to age more rapidly… 10 years later, you’ll be grateful you started.”
Moisturizers for every part of the body
Not all pores are created equal. Some are more prone to dryness, some are oily, some just take a beating throughout the day, and we don’t give them enough lovin’. For every part of the body, there is a moisturizer that works best for what it needs. Dr. Bowe recommends the following products: