be sure your moisturizer is doing its job

The Only Way Your Moisturizer Will Really Be Beneficial

The skin is the largest organ in the body responsible for a variety of functions the most important of which is to act as a barrier protecting the body from attack by environmental toxins, bacteria, pollutants as well as the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays responsible for premature skin aging.  This is easily demonstrated by this simple experiment. If you were to fill your bathtub full of wine and sat in it for a half an hour you would not get drunk. Why? Your skin is doing what it is supposed to do, acting as a barrier to a toxin, in this case alcohol by blocking it from entering your bloodstream.

In order to maintain the integrity of your skin it is vital to keep your skin healthy and intact and moisturizing is an essential step in doing that. The majority of skin moisturizers promoted by the cosmetic industry focus on facial moisturizers and their anti-aging and rejuvenating properties.  However, in order to benefit from these properties a few considerations need to be kept in mind when choosing your moisturizer. Does the moisturizer contain ingredients that have been shown to be beneficial for skin health, is it safe and effective for all skin types, and does it clog pores. In addition for a moisturizer to do its job it needs to be used in the proper way.

This last and seldom discussed point may in fact be the most important. To gain an appreciation for this fact a simple understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the skin is needed.  Your skin is constantly repairing itself by regenerating new skin cells to replace old and damaged ones.  As skin cells age they die and are pushed to the skin surface where they accumulate, eventually shedding away as what we see as dry flaky skin. This single most important first step for proper skin hydration is to first remove this layer of dead skin cells.  If these cells are not removed your anti-aging moisturizing cream just sits on the skin surface and cannot penetrate deep into the skin layers where they can exert their beneficial effect.  The best way to do this is to use a gentle and effective exfoliator to remove these dead skin cells prior to applying your cream or lotion. A good exfoliating agent only needs to be used two or three times a week and should contain gentle fruit acids to exfoliate rather than harsh granules which can scratch and disrupt the integrity of the skin allowing bacteria to enter causing breakouts, pimples, and blemishes.

So, the next time you plan on moisturizing just remember; that unless you remove those dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin surface you need to use a safe and effective exfoliator otherwise you will never get the maximum hydrating and anti-aging benefit from your moisturizer.