Yolanda Holmes: I am Yolanda Holmes, a Board Certified Dermatologist in Washington, D.C. We are talking about how to moisturize the skin. Moisturizers are important because they improve the water content of the skin, providing a protective barrier on the skin. Well moisturized skin looks healthy, it has a wonderful glow and is supple.
There are three different types of moisturizers, humectants, emollients and occlusives. Humectants draw water from the dermis and from the environment to hydrate the skin. Humectants are found in products containing alpha-hydroxy acids and ureas. These are very important in treating dry skin. Emollients are oils and creams and lipids applied to the skin. They give the skin a smooth, supple appearance. Occlusives are things like Vaseline, lanolin, mineral oil and silicone. These prevent water loss from the skin. An ideal moisturizer is cosmetically elegant, is affordable, long-lasting and easily applied to the skin. Moisturizers should be applied to the skin at least once daily. A small amount of moisturizer preferably, a dime sized should be applied to the palm of your hands. A dot could be applied to your forehead, your cheeks and your chin. The moisturizer should be very gently massaged on your entire face and also your neck. It is important not to neglect the areas under your eyes. Now, let's talk about sunscreens for protecting your skin.