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Moisturizing: Behind the Mystique

Consult the Experts

I’m a skeptic by nature, and I seldom fall for an advertising pitch. When I shop, I’ve done my homework – compared products and prices, read reviews and tried samples. My money and I don’t part easily. So, when I was in the market for a new moisturizer, I thought I’d do a little research. I came across an old article from the Harvard Health Publication of Harvard University. In their March 4, 2008 issue of HEALTHBeat, they published an article called, Moisturizers- Do They Work? (www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_030408.htm)

Since that’s exactly what I wanted to know, I read this short, informative article and learned a few things, like how cosmetics can make all kinds of claims on their labels. I checked the FDA website, and it says, “FDA has consistently advised manufacturers to use whatever testing is necessary to ensure the safety of their products and ingredients.”

(www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm074162.htm#What_does_the_law)

So, even if I choose the cheapest store-brand face lotion, it’s supposed to be safe. It might promise things it can’t deliver, but it shouldn’t hurt me.

Get the Facts

The article summarized everything very concisely along these lines:

  • When our skin gets too dry, it’s apt to crack and could get infected.
  • Moisturizers add a little water to our skin and then hold it there.
  • Vaseline ™ is the grandmother of all moisturizers.
  • Almost any moisturizer will hold at least a little water on your skin, and will be less greasy than petroleum jelly.

So, in a nutshell, if dry skin is your problem, just choose a moisturizer that feels good and smells good, and it should help to moisturize and protect your skin. Other tips to increase moisture for your skin are:

  • Use warm water, not hot
  • Humidify your home
  • Avoid baring your face to wind and cold
  • Use a mild soap, like Dove ™
  • Use a lotion like Cetaphil™

Wow! Harvard recommended my face soap and my mom’s favorite lotion!

Shop Around

If you read my last post, you know that I have dry and oily areas, and need a light, oil-free moisturizer to accommodate both areas. I’d heard about Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, ™ and that sounded perfect. I just wasn’t sure about paying $17 for 1.7 ounces. I thought I might go with Harvard’s suggestion instead.

After talking with my mom, a woman in her 70s with smooth, beautiful skin, I started using Cetaphil.™ It isn’t glamorous, but it really works. It’s light enough that it doesn’t aggravate my oily areas, and rich enough that it repaired my dry areas. At around $10, I’m happy.

Choosing a moisturizer shouldn’t take a college degree! Make your face happy and get one today!

 

Nancy Schiller

The author Nancy Schiller

Nancy is based in suburban Philadelphia, PA. She writes articles on a variety of topics to inspire, educate and entertain her readers.

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