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Skin Talk

Don't Skip Lip Balm: Benifits of hydrated lips

Despite what your boyfriend might think, there are plenty of reasons to have healthy, hydrated lips — now the fact that they make him want to kiss you 24/7, well that, my friends, is just an added bonus! Take a peek at what top experts have to say on the subject, and learn why keeping your mouth moisturized is so important.

Your skin heals faster

According to Dr. David Bank, M.D., Founder and Director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, your skin heals better when it's kept moist. Thus, a good lip balm can help seal up any cracks on chapped lips and prevent infection, as well as further irritation. Ah, thank goodness, right!?

You appear younger

It sounds too good to be true, but having a hydrated mouth can actually knock years off your age (think fewer wrinkles around your pout!). Dr. Ruthie Harper, M.D., says there are now even lip balms available that contain ingredients, such as antioxidants, elastin stimulators and collagen, to prevent aging. "There are also many lip balms formulated with SPF to protect against sun damage, which can ultimately lead to unsightly pigmentation on the lips or worse, skin cancer."

You avoid that embarrassing chapped lips look

If you've ever experienced really painful, peeling, cracked lips, you know how embarrassing it can be to show your face, um, anywhere! Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, warns that your pout is particularly at risk to damage from the environment this time of year. "Your lips naturally produce an oil that keep them moist. During the wintertime though, this thin layer is easily licked off. In combination with the cold, windy weather, this often leads to dry, chapped lips." So do yourself a favor, people, and wear some lip balm!

Your lipstick looks way better

Expert tip: If you have chapped lips, don't lick them! According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, saliva increases the irritation and makes chapping worse. Believe it or not, your lipstick looks a million times better when applied to a moisturized mouth. Bright lipstick in particular can settle into cracks on chapped lips and accentuate the dryness. To avert this, Dr. Bank suggests investing in an exfoliating lip balm. Exfoliating, he notes, is equally as important as hydrating to keep your lips soft. Hey, whatever it takes, we'll do it!

 

Article By: Elizabeth Mitchell

 

Why Should Men Maintain a Moisturizing Regimen?

Dry, itchy skin: Nobody wants it. But will lathering up with moisturizer strike a blow to your masculinity? The very question seems a bit out of touch with the current reality. Men's care products have boomed in the past decade as they've become more culturally accepted (although during the recession, sales have tailed off a bit), proving that you don't have to sacrifice your manliness to protect your skin [source: Tschorn]. These days, while men are almost as committed to appearances as their female counterparts, most men still don't want to slather their skin with something that smells like roses. What exactly is "moisturizer"? The name implies something that adds wetness to the skin, but the role of moisturizer is actually to retain moisture. That's why moisturizers contain humectants -- or substances that help to retain moisture -- and occlusives, which help to keep water from evaporating from the skin.

Men should maintain a moisturizing regimen for the same reasons that women do. Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it's the first line of defense people have against disease and infection. Therefore, keeping your skin healthy is important not only to your personal comfort, but also to your health. Using skin moisturizer not only helps treat dry skin, but it can also offer protection if you have sensitive skin [source: Mayo Clinic]. Although everyone's skin is different, the daily routine of showering and scrubbing your body with soap can remove layers of dry, dead skin -- which is good -- but it can also strip your skin of protective oils [source: Ortiz]. In the winter, or in very arid climates, it can be even worse. To replenish these natural oils, and to protect your skin from potential damage and discomfort, most experts suggest using a combination of hand creams, balms and moisturizing sunscreens to preserve and protect your skin.

Benefits of Maintaining a Moisturizing Regimen

Take a scan through the long aisle of skin-care products in the grocery store, and you'll find various creams, lotions and potions that promise to make you look younger, healthier and wrinkle-free. Many of these claims are of course made by ad agencies, but it isn't all a gimmick. Moisturizers are proven to help treat dry, damaged skin and improve skin texture. Maintaining a good moisturizing regimen will make you more comfortable, and it will also make you look better because, let's face it, nobody looks their best with skin that is dry and flaky. It's good to maintain a healthy skepticism of products that promise to transform your skin and your looks, though. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies moisturizer as a cosmetic, which gives manufacturers more leniency in hyping their products and ensuring that they actually live up to marketing claims [source: Mayo Clinic].

The top reason that people adopt a moisturizing regimen is to help restore moisture to dry skin. While some people naturally have dry skin, for most, it's brought on by showering too much, using the wrong type of soap, or from living in an especially dry climate. People with oily skin use moisturizer, too, although for different reasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with oily skin are more likely to suffer from acne, and as a result they often use soaps and other products that strip oils out of skin, leaving it very dry. Even people with normal skin can use moisturizer regularly to maintain balance in their skin [source: Mayo Clinic]. And if you have combination skin, you might have a dry, tight forehead for instance, even if your skin is overall normal or oily. Another reason to use moisturizer is that it can be good for your health. The most serious skin-related health problem that people face today is skin cancer; although moisturizer won't prevent the disease, it can help treat sun damage. Also, there are several different types of moisturizers that contain sunscreen -- an easy way to kill two birds with one stone [source: Ortiz].

Should Men Use Different Moisturizer than Women?

Why should men purchase their own moisturizer when they can just swipe some from their wives or girlfriends? They shouldn't, necessarily. In many cases, men's and women's moisturizers are the same products, repackaged. But men's bodies -- including the skin -- are much different than women's, and a lotion that works for your wife or girlfriend might not be the best fit for you. Also, many women's lotions contain fragrances that smell, well, ladylike. If someone says you have thick skin, they're probably referring to your ability to accept criticism and not take things too personally. But physiologically, men actually have thicker skin than women. In early 2011, Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer told the Washington Post, "Usually male skin has a thicker epidermis and a thicker dermis." (The epidermis is the outer layer and the dermis is the inner layer of the skin. [source: Tschorn].

On average, men's skin is about 20 to 30 percent thicker than women's, but that isn't the only way that men's skin is different. It also contains more collagen and elastin, which gives the skin more elasticity and helps hold it tighter. In addition, hormones like testosterone affect the skin. Men are also much hairier than women (especially on their faces), and hair glands produce oil, which affects skin composition [source: WebMD]. Because men have thicker skin and bigger, oil-producing pores, their skin requires moisturizer that is formulated specifically for them. (And no, it isn't just the fragrance and the color of the bottle that is different.) In most cases, moisturizers for men have higher concentrations of active ingredients. Education is another difference between men and women when it comes to skin care. Although it has become more accepted in recent years, many men are still less likely to devote much time or energy into skin care treatment. Read on to learn about specific moisturizing regimens for men.

Examples of Men's Moisturizing Regimens

If you want to keep your skin moist, you'll have to create a regimen and stick to it. And while some men might cringe at the sound of "moisturizing regimen," it's really not as bad as it sounds -- and it can be as easy or demanding as you choose. For a cheap, effective moisturizer, many men simply use petroleum jelly or Vaseline for Men Extra Strength Body & Face Lotion, which is a very effective way to keep your lips and body from getting too dry. That's not exactly a regimen, but it is a good starting point [source: Esquire]. Any good moisturizing regimen should begin in the shower. To keep your skin from drying out too much, experts recommend taking short, warm (not hot) showers. While you're in there, make sure to exfoliate the skin, which means sloughing off the outermost layer of dead skin cells and opening up the pores. Proper exfoliation can help revitalize your skin, and if you wash with soap without exfoliating, the soap won't be able to reach the dirt and oil clogging your pores.

Next, you'll want to wash with moisturizing soap. When drying off, it's better to air dry or pat yourself dry with a soft towel than to rub yourself dry. After washing, but before you're completely dry, you'll want to repair damaged skin, restore oils that were lost in the shower and preserve moisture in your skin. For that, you'll need to find the type of moisturizer or cream that's right for you -- applying lotions and heavier creams to trap the moisture in before it has a chance to escape [source: Ortiz].

 

 

Article by HowStuffWorks

 

Controlling Eczema by Moisturizing

Keeping your skin’s moisture intact is one of the most important things you can do to help control your eczema.

Moisturizers helps protect the outermost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum or skin barrier. People living with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders. A damaged skin barrier also make it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause eczema to flare or get worse.


All moisturizers are not created equal

There are a lot of moisturizers on the market — learn which ones are safe for you or your child with eczema

  • Get the list of moisturizers, cleansers and hair care products that earned our Seal of Acceptance
  • Learn why it’s essential to moisturize within three minutes after bathing or showering
  • Understand the difference between “fragrance free” and “unscented” moisturizers and which can irritate your eczema
  • Don’t like greasy ointments like petroleum jelly? Discover the latest alternative products like hydrating gels and lubricants

Wind, low humidity, cold temperatures, harsh soaps and too much washing without the use of a moisturizer, all lead to dry skin. So, it’s important to understand how and when to properly moisturize and which products are best to use when you have eczema.

Some things to remember when moisturizing:

  • If you use a prescription topical medication (steroids or a topical calcineurin inhibitor), apply it as directed, before you moisturize.
  • Apply a thick layer of moisturizer all over your skin within three minutes of bathing or showering to “lock in” moisture and protect the skin barrier.
  • Moisturizers that are fragrance and dye-free are the safest and least irritating.
  • Prevent contamination by using a clean implement rather than your hands to remove moisturizer from the container.
  • Soften moisturizer by rubbing it between your hands and then apply it to your body using the palm, in downward strokes. Avoid rubbing in the moisturizer by stroking up and down, or in circles.
  • If the moisturizer feels “tacky” on your skin, don’t remove the excess. It will be absorbed within a few minutes.
  • Moisturize hands every time you wash them or when they come into contact with water.

Why is it so important to moisturize after a bath or shower?

Water is an effective way to put moisture back into the skin, but only if you use lukewarm (not hot) water, avoid scrubbing and apply a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing or showering. This last step very important — if you don’t moisturize immediately afterward, the moisture your skin needs will evaporate and may cause a rebound effect making the skin even more dry.

What kinds of moisturizers are most effective for my eczema?

Not all moisturizers are created equal. In fact, there are many types of common moisturizers that aren’t good at helping control your eczema and may even make it flare up. It’s important to understand the differences between the three basic types of moisturizers — ointments, creams, and lotions — so that you can properly hydrate your skin and help keep your rash under control.

Moisturizers are classified based on the amount of oil and water they contain. The more oil in a moisturizer, the better it usually is at treating eczema. The best moisturizers to use are the ones that feel “greasy” (ointments and creams), because they contain more oil. These are very effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out.

All moisturizers should also be applied to your hands immediately after washing and gently blotting them dry. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep moisturizer near every sink in your home and carry a small tube with you at all times, so that you can reapply it throughout the day.

OINTMENTS

Ointments are usually the first choice for eczema treatment. They have the highest oil content of all the products (followed by creams and then lotions), so they don’t generally burn when they’re applied to sensitive skin and are very good at sealing in moisture.

Products high in oil content, such as petroleum jelly and mineral oil, are particularly good for treating eczema. But if you don’t like the way petroleum jelly or mineral oil feels on your skin, the next best alternatives are lubricants, hydrating gels and creams.

CREAMS

Creams are second to ointments in the amount of oil they contain and are also very good at sealing in moisture. Because they contain less oil, they are also less greasy to the touch. Be sure to read labels carefully — creams sometimes contain stabilizers or preservatives that can irritate your skin.

LOTIONS

These contain the least amount of oil. Because they are primarily made of water, lotions evaporate quickly and may contain preservatives that burn when applied to skin that’s scratched or broken.

If your skin stings or burns after you apply a moisturizer, switching to an ointment may help.

SKIN BARRIER CREAMS

Skin barrier creams are infused with lipids and ceramides, which are naturally occurring substances found in healthy skin barriers.

Lipids make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Ceramides are naturally occurring lipids in our skin that consist of an oily wax that forms a barrier in our stratum corneum.

The lipids and ceramides found in skin barrier moisturizers form a protective layer on the skin to help lock in moisture while keeping out impurities. This allows eczema skin to heal and become more resistant to symptoms of AD, including burning, dryness and itch.

Apply skin barrier creams only to the skin affected by eczema and under the direction of a qualified health care provider.

Skin barrier creams are available by prescription and over-the-counter.

Tips on choosing a moisturizer

Finding a moisturizer that works can be a challenge. What works for one person may not work for another. As the condition of your skin changes so can the effectiveness of a product. A manufacturer may also change the formulation of a product from one year to the next. The best eczema lotion, cream or moisturizer is the one that works for you.

Take the following steps when introducing a new product to your skin:

  1. If you know you are allergic to a particular ingredient, check a product’s label before you buy it.
  2. Review the list of moisturizers that have received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™ to see if the product you are interested in is on it.
  3. The first time you use a new product apply a small amount (about the size of a pea) to the pulse of your wrist or the crook of your elbow. Do not wash the area for 24 to 48 hours and watch for any allergic reaction, such as redness, a rash, any form of breakouts on the skin, itchiness, pain, or flaking.

NEA’s Seal of Acceptance Product Directory will help you find eczema-specific moisturizers and commercial wet wraps that help with symptoms.

 

Article from National Eczema Association website
https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/moisturizing/

10 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy in the Winter

winter skin

Winter often brings frigid temperatures and bone-chilling winds—and these conditions can dry out your skin. For people with diabetes, dry skin can lead to cracks on the hands and feet. And that can open the door to bacterial and fungal infections, which are sometimes brought on by chronic high blood glucose. To avoid cracks and possible infection, it’s important to keep skin healthy with a proper skin care routine.

1. Protect Your Face

Slather on a moisturizer with sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to protect your skin from dryness and sunburn, even in the winter. Use the moisturizer after washing your face in the morning and use another moisturizer without sunscreen at night before you go to bed.

2. Use Lip Emollients

Your lips are often exposed to the elements. Using lip emollients will prevent them from chapping. Look for a few ingredients, such as petroleum jelly, mineral oil or shea butter, and avoid products with extra chemicals or herbal ingredients, which can irritate lips.

3. Cover Your Hands

Invest in a good pair of gloves to protect your hands from the cold. Moisturize regularly with creams, rather than lotions. Petroleum jelly, mineral oil, glycerin and shea butter ingredients are best, but olive, canola, and coconut oil are also good moisturizers in a pinch.

4. Moisturize Fingers

Dry skin cells can build up on the surface of your fingertips, making it difficult to get a blood sample from finger pricks to test blood glucose. This can lead to multiple pricks and irritation. Hand creams can help heal those tiny wounds and moisturize the skin.

5. Reduce Itch

People with diabetes are prone to itchy skin. High blood glucose can cause yeast infections, dryness and poor circulation, leading to the itchiness. Use moisturizing body washes in the shower, and an after-shower moisturizer, to keep skin supple. Consider taking an antihistamine to help ease the urge to scratch.

6. Mind the Folds

Skin fold areas, such as under the breasts and in the groin, tend to get moist and sweaty, which can promote yeast infections. Keep these areas a little drier, and use anti-fungal power to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.

7. Skip Hot Showers

Turn down the nozzle in your shower to a warm temperature instead of piping hot. Too much heat dries out and irritates skin, and can make it itch even more.

8. Sport Good Footwear

Always wear proper fitting socks and close-toed shoes. Diabetes can cause nerve damage and loss of sensation in the feet. You may not know if you’re developing a blister or other abrasion, which can then become infected.

9. Watch your Feet

Nerve damage can contribute to lack of sweating in the feet, which is another cause of dryness. Give your feet a little extra moisturizing if you have poor circulation. But keep the area between your toes a little drier than other parts of the foot to prevent fungal infections.

 

By Allison Tsai
For Diabetes Forcast magazine
http://www.diabetesforecast.org/collabs/10-tips-to-keep-your-skin.html

 

The First Thing You Should Do If You Have Very Dry Skin
Dry skin is a problem many of us will encounter over our lifetimes, especially if we live in dry climates or areas that see very dry, cold winters. Dry skin is not a life-threatening condition, but it is uncomfortable and can be treated. Solving dry skin issues is easy, read on!
First off, take a look at your bathing habits. Your bathing routine could be the source of dry skin. But how could that be, isn’t water moisturizing my skin while I bath? That is a common misconception, and one we want to dispel. Very hot showers can cause the natural moisture in your skin to evaporate leaving your skin very dry. Most people love long, hot, steamy showers especially when it is cold outside, but that doesn’t serve our skin well.

Next, check the products you are using.  Products are a common culprit for dry skin. Harsh soaps, lotions, detergents, and fabric softeners can all irritate your skin and strip it of moisture. Make sure to bath with soap that is fragrance free, and don't contain harsh ingredients. 

When drying off, think about the type of laundry detergent and softener being used. Ingredients found in detergents can often irritate skin. Look for products without fragrance or dye. When you dry off, pat yourself dry rather than rub. But don’t dry off completely! It is best to put moisturizer on at this time, right when your skin is a little damp.

Your bathing routine is a source for many of the common causes of dry skin. The good thing is that it’s easy to fix your routine in order to avoid dry skin! By following some of the steps we listed above, you can shower and help reduce your chances of leaving the bathroom with dry skin. 

There are plenty of other causes of dry skin besides showering. These include sun exposure, heat, climate, and health conditions like diabetes. If you find after a few weeks of changing your bathing routine that you are still suffering from dry skin, try to identify one of these other causes and see how you can treat it. If you suffer from eczema and have dry skin it must be taken care of or it can lead to infections. If dry skin is becoming unbearable, make an appointment to see your doctor or dermatologist. 

For more information or to order Dr. Hess skin products online, visit The Dr Hess website or stop by a local Walmart or many of our retailers that carry our product.   Sign up for our “Yes To Hess! Club” and receive promotions and specials.  You might even be asked to be part of our market research club.

Written by MARKIT Group, a proud member of the Dr. Hess herd.