6 Tips for Choosing the Right Facial Moisturizer

Here are 6 steps for choosing the right facial moisturizer.

Beauty potion?

Last week I explained why you need a separate facial lotion in addition to body lotion. That was easy. Now comes the hard part: Buying one. If your drugstore is like mine, there are scores to choose from. I’m here to make the process a little easier for you.

Here are 6 steps for choosing a facial moisturizer:

1. If you have sensitive skin, then look for fragrance-free and oil-free moisturizers, such as Eucerin’s Daily Protection with SPF 30 (about $8) or Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Facial Lotion with SPF 15 (about $16).

2. If you’re prone to acne, then look for moisturizers labeled “non-comedogenic,” which means they won’t clog pores. Consider Neutrogena’s Rapid Defense Acne Clear Facial Lotion (about $7) or Eucerin’s Daily Protection with SPF 30 (about $8), the latter which is both fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

3. For normal to oily skin, choose a non-greasy, water-based moisturizer with silicone-derived ingredients, such as dimethicone. Consider Neutrogena’s Rapid Defense Acne Clear Facial Lotion (about $7) or Cetaphil DermaControl Moisturizer SPF 30 (about $15) which has a matte finish to combat shininess.

4. For dry to very dry skin, try heavier oil-based products made with mineral oil, glycerin.  or hyaluronic acid. For dry skin, consider Oil of Olay Active Hydrating Cream (about $15) and for very dry skin, try old-fashioned facials creams such as Pond’s Dry Skin Cream (about $7), or moisturizing creams made with shea butter or olive oil.

5. Be flexible. Realize that many factors affect your skin, including weather, hormones, medications, and age, so if your moisturizer doesn’t seem to be working, consider trying a different one. In fact, you may like a heavier one for the cold weather months, and a lighter gel or silicone-based one for warmer weather.

6. Save your money. You don’t have to buy expensive designer facial moisturizers. Whether it’s $50 or $15, they’ll likely have the same active ingredients. Most over-the-counter facial moisturizers are under $20 and do the job. In fact, one of my most frequently recommended products is Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (about $15). It’s in my bathroom drawer at home.

And, remember, always apply facial moisturizer to still-damp skin after cleansing and allow to set for several minutes before applying make-up.

Got any facial moisturizers you like? Please share them with us in the comment section below.

Photo credit: FCC, daniela vladimirova

Food Friday: Don’t Worry, Fruit Happy

A new study from Britain shows that eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables is linked to greater happiness.

Farmers' Market

We know an apple a day keeps the doctor away. It can also put a smile on your face. A new study out of Britain shows that eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is linked to happiness.

Researchers analyzed the diets of 80,000 British men and women and found that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were the happiest. Seven servings was indicated as the ideal number.

Researchers aren’t claiming a cause-effect relationship. Think about it: Do people who eat more fruits and vegetables actually become happier, or are happy people more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables? There’s no definitive answer.

Either way, we know that eating more fruits and vegetables is linked with decreased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. So even if that extra side of kale doesn’t make you feel like laughing on the outside, you’ll be laughing on the inside.

Photo credit: FCC, NatalieMaynor

Can I Use My Body Moisturizer On My Face?

You should have two moisturizers: A lighter facial moisturizer and a heavier moisturizer for your body.

Lotion

I’m always encouraging patients to save money on skincare products and to keep products to a minimum. When it comes to moisturizer, however, more is better. You should have one for your body and one for your face. Here’s why:

Body moisturizers are generally heavier and greasier because they’re designed to cover large areas of skin that are less sensitive than your face. Applying body moisturizers to your face can lead to irritation, clogged pores, and acne.

Facial moisturizers, in contrast, are designed to be lighter, less greasy, and non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging). They’re best for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin and good for just about anyone else.

You don’t have to spend lots of money for a designer facial moisturizer. Most over-the-counter ones work just fine.

Next time, I’ll share 6 tips for choosing a facial moisturizer.

Photo credit: FCC, Inglis

Food Friday: Eating Fish May Be Healthier Than Fish Oil Supplements

A new study shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may not be as beneficial for heart health as eating fish high in omega-3 such as salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna.

salmon

Eat fish or take supplements? Which is better?

For years, omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil supplements have been touted as beneficial for heart health. This was especially good news for people who didn’t like to eat fish.

However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that supplements may not be as beneficial for heart health as eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna.

Researchers measured the fatty-acid blood levels of more than 20,000 male doctors and found mixed results when it came to omega-3 supplements and the men’s likelihood of heart failure. However, eating fish regularly was linked to a lower risk.

Should you stop taking your supplements? Talk to your doctor. In the meantime, order the salmon next time you go out for dinner.

Photo credit: FCC, Andrea Pokrzywinski

 

7 Ways to Get Your Skin Ready for Fall and Winter

With winter’s arrival comes dry, damaged skin. Here are seven tips to help keep your skin healthy this winter.

walking in snow

I know I’m in New York not because of the pretzels and bright lights but because my skin is dry. Living in San Diego has made me soft.

Summertime means humidity, and few people like humidity. But your skin loves it because humidity prevents it from drying out.

With winter’s arrival comes humidity’s departure. The air becomes cooler and drier, and your skin doesn’t react well. It becomes dry, irritated, and damaged.

Here are 7 tips for keeping your skin healthy this fall and winter:

1. Wash wisely: Use a moisturizing body wash such as Dove Body Wash made with Nutrium Moisture, 100% natural moisturizers that actually puts moisture back into your skin.

2. Take a short shower: Keep showers under 5 minutes and use warm water, as hot water removes healthy oils from your skin.

3. Go omega: Eat more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, halibut, and flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is the highest in omega-3 fatty acids of all vegetable oils which helps keeps your skin soft and prevents it from drying out.

4. Rev up your vitamins: Vitamin E is critical for protecting and repairing skin. Good food sources of vitamin E include almonds, walnuts, avocados, and sunflower seeds. Vitamin C-packed berries such as blueberries and raspberries help keep collagen healthy and reduce free radicals that cause aging.

5. Cover up. Exposed skin is susceptible skin. When outdoors in the cold and wind, wear gloves, scarves, and hats to keep skin protected.

6. Stay protected: Unless it’s dark and stormy, keep using your broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30. Just because summer’s over, doesn’t mean the sun can’t still do damage. It’s always safer to stay protected.

7. Clean house: Toss any sunscreens, lotions, or make-up that’s been damaged from the summer heat—melted foundations, clumpy mascara, funky smelling creams. It’s not worth risking a skin infection. Plus, it’s an excuse to go shopping.

Photo credit: FCC, zoetnet

Disclosure: I have been a consultant to UniLever, the company that makes Dove, since 2011. I’ve been using Dove since I was 11.

Sun Safe Tee: Aiming to Keep Golfers Sun Safe

Sun Safe Tee is a non-profit charity devoted to educating golfers about the importance of sun protection and early detection of skin cancer.

Showing Backswing

Mark Wishner was first diagnosed with skin cancer in his mid-30‘s. “It very much caught me by surprise. It was a basal cell carcinoma that was treated successfully,” he says.

Then one day, the golf-loving San Diegan was watching a tournament on TV that took place on a scorching day. “It showed the players cooking out in the sun and I thought, Who teaches golfers to wear sunscreen?

Inspired, Wishner began researching the issue and realized no one was addressing the golf community about the importance of sun protection. He contacted a few friends and fellow golfers including Dr. Curt Littler (son of Gene Littler, who won the US Open in 1961), and soon, SunSafeTee.org was born.

Sun Safe Tee is a 501-C3 non-profit charity dedicated to educating the golf community about the importance of sun protection, the risks of skin cancer, and the benefits of early detection.

Though no studies have actually looked at the incidence of skin cancer among golfers, anecdotal evidence is strong that they are a high-risk group. “Golfers spend a lot of time in the sun. A round of golf takes between 4 1/2 to 5 hours which is a long time to be in the sun, especially without proper protection,” says Wisher.

That’s where the Sun Safe Tee program comes into play. They provide educational materials, offer skin cancer screenings, and conduct both in-person and virtual events across the country. And since several dermatologists sit on the board, Wishner assures that “all information is vetted, screened, and accurate.”

The majority of the Sun Safe Tee program is geared towards junior golfers, ages 7 to 18. “We know that sun exposure before the age of 25 is critical,” says Wisher, “so we really want to teach them while their young so they can develop a lifetime of safe sun practices.”

To reach more youth, Sun Safe Tee partners with many groups including the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). They’re also part of The First Tee curriculum, a national program dedicated to teaching children ages 7 to 18 life skills and values through the game of golf.

To date, the Sun Safe Tee curriculum has been taught to over 400,000 children. And Wishner is seeing changes in their behaviors. While at a junior golf tournament recently Wishner was talking to a teenage boy who was disappointed with his poor round. To Wishner’s amazement, the boy added, “But I did remember to reapply at the turn!”

“Don’t burn, reapply at the turn,” is one of Sun Safe Tee’s slogans. It refers to the half-way point or “the turn” in a round of golf when kids are taught to reapply sunscreen.

He’s also seeing young golfers applying sunscreen more often, using UVB- protected umbrellas on their carts that block 98 to 100 % of UV rays. And most importantly, he’s seeing them cover up. “Wearing clothing as a non-chemical, physical barrier to the sun is just about the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the sun,” says Wishner. So he never tires of telling the kids, “Cover up before you tee it up!”

It’s those kind of behavioral changes that buoy Wishner’s resolve. “We’d love to see skin cancer get the kind of national public awareness that other diseases like Alzheimer’s have gotten, especially in the golf community,” says Wishner. To that end, he’s seeking a professional golfer who would like to champion the cause and continues to plan exciting events in conjunction with golf tournaments across the country.

If you’d like to sponsor a Sun Safe Tee event at your organization then email Mark Wishner at mwishner {AT} sunsafetee {DOT} org. For more information about Sun Safe Tee, visit their website at SunSafeTee.org.

Photo credit: FCC, Makelessnoise

Guest post written by Susan Russo.

Is Your Hand Sanitizer Causing Hand Dermatitis?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are effective reducing the spread of disease, but overuse can lead to severe hand dermatitis.

Hand Sanitiser Cloud

They’re everywhere: airports, schools, hospitals, movie theaters, and on many people’s key chains and backpacks: hand sanitizers.

A recent article in Cosmetic Dermatology titled “Rethinking Hand Sanitizers” looks at the benefits and drawbacks of hand sanitizers.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers when used properly do help prevent the spread of disease.  They’ve been endorsed by the World Health Organization and have played an important role in reducing the impact influenza and other infections.

Unfortunately, hand sanitizers are also a major cause of hand dermatitis which can lead to severe dryness, burning, redness, and cracked, bleeding skin.

So, should you stop using hand sanitizers? Not yet. They’re still less drying than soap-and-water hand washing. Instead, try this: Use hand sanitizers when necessary. And moisturize frequently.

If you develop a raging case of hand dermatitis, then follow these steps:

1. Stop using hand sanitizers, unless absolutely necessary.

2. Treat your hands to thick moisturizing creams, such as Neutrogena Hand Cream, and apply repeatedly throughout the day.

3. At night, apply a thick moisturizing cream or a healing ointment such as Aquaphor to your hands and wear cotton gloves to trap moisture in the skin.

4. It may take up to 2-3 weeks for your hands to heal at which point you can start to safely use your hand sanitizer again. But don’t stop the moisturizing, unless you want to keep repeating steps 1-3.

Here’s a video that shows you how to properly use hand sanitizer.

Photo credit: FCC, bratha