Style File: Moisturizing Miracles

Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone shares moisturizing miracles for your hair, lips cuticles and skin.

There are many factors which may be the cause of dry skin:

• Genetics

• Lifestyle

• Aging

• Bathing & Cleansing practices

• Medications

• General health

• Diet

Skin becomes dry when its outer layer is depleted of water. Some of this water evaporates naturally while oil and fatty substances produced within the skin act as natural moisturizers. When there is an imbalance in our skin’s functions, we turn to moisturizing products. Yet how can we tell if they are truly geared to moisturizing?

What are the buzz words to look for?

There are 2 ways products can restore moisture:

1) Form a protective barrier to seal in moisture, which prevents moisture loss with the use of occlusive ingredients. Some mainstream occlusive ingredients to look for: petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and paraffin; beeswax; oils, such as lanolin and mineral oil; silicone; vegetable and animal fats; and waxes.

2) Deliver moisture to the surface layers of the skin incorporating humectants. Some mainstream humectants ingredients to look for: glycerin, urea, lactic acid, aloe alpha hydroxy acid, carboxylic acid, propylene glycol, sorbitol, proteins, and some vitamins (E, A and B5).
Moisturizers generally come in 4 forms:

1) Ointments

These types of products contain mostly oil and are generally heavy and greasy. They leave a film or residue on your skin. Deemed often as the most effective moisturizers protecting moisture in the skin, they are preferred on areas of the body where the skin is driest such as feet, hands and elbows.

2) Creams

Most creams have somewhat balanced amounts of oil and water. They are generally have a smooth application and are absorbed at a slower pace. They deliver moisture to the skin without leaving a residue and are good for body and face.

3) Lotion

Because of their high water content, lotions are quickly absorbed and deliver soothing results. However, unless a protective barrier is in place, the water will evaporate quickly causing the need to frequent application.

4) Oils

Dense and heavy, these products deliver nutrients while maintaining a protective barrier preserving moisture levels. Rarely completely absorbed, they yield soft and supple skin.


HAIR : Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, Sydney Smooth Treatment, Wal-Mart, $4.29

With aloe, glycerin, jojoba oil, safflower oil, oat flour, sunflower seed oil, and hydrolyzed milk proteins, this hair mask is great for providing additional moisture and shine to hair. Use no more than 2x week.

LIPS: Neosporin Lip Health, Target, $5.00

Neosporing has two great products under this brand – the Daily Hydration Therapy and the Overnight Renewal Therapy. I love them both! The Daily Hydration Therapy is a humectant cream with emollients and glycerin. The Overnight Renewal Therapy is an occlusive ointment with peptides and lipids.

FEET: Heel Tastic, Bed Bath & Beyond, $10.00

A combination of Avocado oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, soybean wax , cocoa butter and Shea butter, this rich cream penetrates to soothe dry, cracked skin. My feet are smooth and soft thanks to this product!!

CUTICLES: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Still my choice for cuticle (and eyelash!) conditioning, olive oil is a nutrient rich source of vitamin E, squalene- a natural compound that acts as a barrier and lubricates skin and Omega 9-an essential fatty acid which keep hair and nails hydrated and supple.

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