Today's Living – Magazine

How to select a Moisturizer

by Lia Schorr

Misconceptions abound about what a moisturizer can do. They're not the miracle workers many people think they are. They cannot undo damage from neglect or overexposure to the sun, nor erase existing lines and wrinkles. Above all, they can't make you younger-looking.

Formerly associated with Christine Valmy and Georgette Klinger, Lia Schorr now operates her own fashionable skin care center in New York City.
Forty percent of her clients are male, including Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman and Peter Allen.

A moisturizer doesn't put moisture into the skin. However, it will help seal in hydration, which is responsbile for keeping the skin soft and supple. That's why they work best when applied to a clean, still damp face.

A cream or lotion lubricates the upper layers of the epidermis by softening and plumping up the dry, dead surface cells. By producing a protective layer of oil, a moisturizer helps guard against excessive moisture loss.

The best results will be achieved by applying moisturizer carefully and regularly-in the morning and before bedtime. Be sure to include the neck and eyes. People with very dry or mature skins should select an oil-based emulsion, while those with oily, combination and younger skins require a lighter, water-based one.

Deciding which moisturizer is right for you is confusing when confronted with well-stocked store shelves. Reading labels may not clarify matters, unless you have a basic understanding of what the ingredients are and what purpose they serve. Do natural ingredients actually enhance conditioning cosmetics or have any effect on the job they do?

Let's examine the most commonly used natural ingredients found in emollients today to answer these questions. Most health-food emporiums carry these types of products. Afterward, it's up to you to experiment until you're satisfied with the quality of a moisturizer and the appearance of your skin.

Healthy, attractive skin doesn't just happen. You have to take care of it conscientiously. But skin care needn't be complicated. Find a moisturizing product that works well and stick with it. Your health food store has many such products.

Aloe vera is the most widely used natural substance in skin creams and lotions. The gel from the spiny gray-green leaves of the aloe vera plant has been used to treat sunburn, skin irritations, psoriasis and insect bites since the time of the Pharaohs. Today, the variety used in cosmetics is largely cultivated in Florida and southwest Texas.

Skin-care experts are divided over the reputed benefits of aloe vera, but concur that it does bear substantial healing properties. For this reason, an aloe vera cream or lotion works well in soothing and healing dry, chapped skin as well