By Dr. Shanmuga priya.K MD DVL.
Moisturizers are an essential part of skin care routine. Our skin is like a shield for our body, protecting us from daily exposure to numerous allergens, infections and pollution. Moisturizers help very much in reinforcing this shield as it weakens with age, environmental changes and certain skin conditions.
What is skin barrier and how is it damaged?
Skin is made up of cells with a lipid/fat seal in between. This makes our skin impermeable to many substances we are exposed to. Cells in our skin are renewed daily, so old cells are shed and new ones take its place. Thus the barrier is reformed constantly even as it gets damaged. Environmental changes like low humidity, cold weather, constant exposure to water or other wet substances, harsh detergents etc. strip away this barrier faster than it can be replenished.
Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and many others can lead to a defective barrier being produced. Some signs to indicate barrier damage are dry skin with whitish flakes on scratching, dull skin, wrinkled look or red irritated skin. The need for moisturizer arises in this setting to replenish or support a weak skin barrier. Moisturizers can also be used proactively to protect the skin barrier from damage.
What do moisturizers contain?
Moisturizers are basically a blend of fatty substances aimed to reinforce the key component in the skin barrier, which is the lipid seal. It is similar to the practice of applying oil to smooth out skin but in a more scientific and targeted way. Plain oils, mineral oil or petrolatum, nut and seed butters like shea butter or almond butter etc, lock in moisture present in skin. So they should be applied on damp skin. Ingredients like glycerin draw water to skin improving moisture.
Moisturizers with AHAs like glycolic acid, lactic acid and urea help in shedding of old skin and are useful for people with very dry flaky skin and thick skin or deep cracks in the heel. But they should be avoided over irritated or red skin. Some moisturizers have the exact lipids normally present in skin for better repair, especially for people with skin diseases with defective barrier.
Other common ingredients are vitamin E, cetyl alchohol , aloe vera etc. Newer and more expensive moisturizers contain antioxidants for skin health. Sunscreens in day creams and skin lightening agents for added benefits. Moisturizers are available in cream and lotion forms. Creams have more lipid content and are occlusive. Lotions are more water based and are lighter for easier spread.
Choosing a moisturiser?
It is best to go for moisturizers free of fragrances and parabens to limit the risk of allergies. Cream forms would be suitable for those with dry, cracked skin and a compromised barrier. Lotions are suitable for all for daily maintenance and are also easy to spread. Body moisturizers may not be suitable for the face. Thick creamy formulations on the face may provoke a flare of pimples and look oily. Lightweight water based moisturizers sometimes with added sun protective and skin lightening agents can be used for face.
Moisturize through all seasons but modify the type of moisturizers based on the skin’s needs. Prefer aqueous lotion and avoid thick creams during summers as the occlusion of sweat glands may provoke prickly heat rash. Moisturizers containing barrier reparative ingredients like ceramides are good for people with skin allergies and a compromised barrier. It is best to have a consultation with a dermatologist for choosing the right moisturizer suited for you. And it may be different for different areas of body, time of day, seasons and certain skin types. When and how to use?
Moisturisers are particularly useful and essential in winters but should be used all year round. The best time to apply would be immediately after a bath followed by towel drying (within 3 minutes), when the skin is still damp. Use liberally over all areas especially hands and legs. Massage till it is absorbed and wait for few minutes before applying other skin care products on top of it. While using face moisturizers , it should be used first followed by other medications, skin lightening creams and spot treatments and sunscreen at last.
If you use serum formulation of products they can be used before moisturizers. Repeat moisturizer application again at night after cleansing and drying. In case you use or handle cleaning agents, detergents and chemicals like homemakers, maids or those exposed in occupation should use moisturizers frequently. After finishing household chores involving washing and cleaning it is best to wash hands well with plain water, towel dry and moisturize to prevent damage to the fat seal in skin caused by detergents.
The benefits of moisturizers:
Apart from its role in protecting skin barrier it also improves the appearance of the skin. Hydrated skin looks more radiant and smooth. It also has a role in anti aging treatment as it delays aging of skin and wrinkles. The benefit is more when used regularly from an early age. Newer moisturizers with antioxidants add to this anti aging benefit. Hydrated and moisturized skin is also less prone to develop stretch marks. Some children and adults with skin allergies and eczema can avoid flares of the skin disease and reduce the need for frequent consultations and treatment by regular use of appropriate moisturizers. It prevents cracking of feet and hands from doing daily chores, wet work and detergent exposures. Moisturizers reduce friction and darkening of skin in areas like thighs and waist. So be sure to include moisturizers as a part of daily skin care and your skin will thank you in the long run.
- Choose moisturizers free of fragrance.
- Body moisturizers may not be suitable for face.
- Creams are best for very dry skin while lotions are easy to spread and suitable for all.
- Cream forms would be suitable for those with dry, cracked skin and a compromised skin barrier.
- The best time to apply would be immediately after a bath, followed by towel drying (within 3 minutes), when the skin is still damp.
- Use liberally over all areas especially hands and legs.
- Moisturize through all seasons but modify type of moisturizers based on the skin’s needs. Avoid thick creams during the summers.
- Moisturizers containing barrier reparative ingredients like ceramides are good for people with skin allergies.
- While using on the face, moisturizers should be used first, then followed by other medications. Skin lightening creams, spot treatments and sunscreen are to be saved for last.
- Children and adults with skin allergies and eczema can avoid flare-ups of the skin disease. Moisturising can also reduce the need for frequent consultations and treatment by regular use of appropriate moisturizers.
- Choose the appropriate lotion for your scalp depending on the reason for the hair loss.
- The lotion starts acting on the hair follicles almost immediately, the expected results takes at least 3-6 months as hair growth is a slow process.
- Hair growth serums should be used regularly. Recommended to apply twice per day.
- If you apply the serum/ lotion all over the scalp, then use upto 1ml or 8-10 sprays each time. The scalp should feel somewhat moist all over then the quantity is enough.
- Apply the lotion first on the area where the hair is thinning and then rub the lotion gently with the finger tips.
- The lotion gets absorbed into the scalp within a few minutes. As usually all the preparations have alcohol.
- Propylene glycol and alcohol are the ingredients which most of the time irritate the scalp. For those with a sensitive scalp, you can use these lotions as many hair lotions have minimal quantities of these ingredients.
- To ensure that the lotion does its work efficiently, the hair should not be washed for at least 3 hours after the application.
- In the case of a hair transplant you can start using the lotions after 2 weeks or once the scalp has healed. It minimises shockloss (after hair transplant hair loss occurs due to shock of the transplant) and stimulates hair growth.
- In case of hereditary hair loss you will need to continue using the lotion for as long you wish to retain the hair (as once you stop state will revert). In cases with specific reasons for hair loss once the cause is corrected you can stop usage after few months.
Did you know the word Serum is a Latin word which means whey!? Well it has several contexts, and today we refer this to the ones used for growing and strengthening hair.There are several causes for hair loss, to mention a few: Male pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia/AGA), Female pattern hair loss, hair loss due to aging and the list goes on.
Let’s focus on few types here and how hair growth serums would help. This can be explained by discussing a few ingredients and their actions in improving hair growth:
- Petroleum ether extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract and P. niruri are effective in Male pattern baldness. This acts by inhibiting 5alpha-reductase activity, reversing androgen-induced alopecia by inhibiting conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which is the main culprit in Male pattern baldness.
- Procapil contains plant-derived substances like oleanolic acid, which inhibits 5α1 and 5α2 reductase enzymes. So effective in Male pattern baldness.
- Capixyl is a biomimetic peptide complex, that is mixed with red clover extract. It acts by increasing hair width and density.
- Redensyl is a mixture of four active ingredients: Dihydroquercetin-glucoside (DHQG), Epigallocatechin gallate- glucoside (EGCG2), glycine and zinc.
- Redensyl, Procapil, and Capixyl (RCP) in an appropriate stoichiometric combination. Which is proven to be as effective as 5% Minoxidil for hair loss as seen in AGA.
- Biotinyl-GHK a vitamin-carrying peptide is formed from biotin. Biotin deficiency is the very cause for hair loss and hair thinning. So when introduced in lotions and serums containing it, can prove helpful.
- Biochanin A is a isoflavone and effective inhibitor of 5α- reductase proving beneficial in Male pattern baldness.
- Thermal Spring Water contains anti-free radical Selenium which inhibits local micro-irritation and its spread to the capillary bulb. This irritation once improved will reduce hair loss.
- Kopexil is a chemical compound similar to minoxidil. It contains arginine, aminexil, and SP94 peptide. Arginine stimulates microcirculation, bringing in essential nutrients for hair bulb growth.
Hair fragility leads to breakage of hair, this has many reasons of which genetic predisposition; weathering from various hair care practices top the list.
- Glycine is essential for the hair shaft structure. It enters directly in the composition of Keratin (protein in hair shaft) associated protein. Zinc once added reinforces hair shaft structure.
- Diluted tea tree oil down the shaft of the hair will help prevent buildup of chemicals and dead skin. This keeps your hair healthy and moisturized, which can help it grow at its normal rate and prevent it from falling out.
These lotions increase the length of the growth phase, acts on the pathology which causes hair loss and thus enhances hair growth. They have to be used for at least 3-6 months or longer periods to see effective results.
Immunity is the main mechanism of host defense against infectious agents.
The body defends itself from infectious agents by battling against it with one’s own immune system. The immune system protects the body from infectious agents that exist in the environment (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites) and from other noxious insults.
The immune system has two functional divisions: Passive and Acquired. Both components involve various blood-borne factors (complement, antibodies, cytokines) and cells.
The acquired immune response has the ability to specifically recognise a pathogen (bacteria or virus) and ‘remember’ it if exposed to it again. T-cells (immunity cells) are critical in the recognition of the enemy and the co-ordination of this immune response. In this type, live vaccines are used i.e., the microorganisms are introduced into one’s system. The immune response produces resistance to make sure that in the future we don’t get affected by that particular bacteria or virus.
Active immunity plays an important role in immune responses in the event of re-exposure and our utilization of vaccines.
Passive immunization prevents disease via interaction between the administered antibodies (Vaccines) and invading microorganisms (viruses and bacteria). Passive immunization is able to provide immediate and effective protection.
Depending on the virulence of the pathogen and multiple other factors vaccines are made to be effective with lesser side effects. Immunity acquired or passive works towards resistance to the infection and reduce the consequences of infection.
Triphala constitutes of tannins, gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid.
These are potent antioxidants that accounts for the immunomodulatory activity.
· Terminalia chebula (black myrobalan)
· Terminalia bellerica (bastard myrobalan)
· Phyllantus emblica (emblic myrobalan or Indian gooseberry)
This is considered as the tridoshic rasayana which indicates that the energetics are appropriate for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha or all types of patients.
Polyphenols in Triphala modulates the human gut microbiome and thereby promotes the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes.
The top few benefits to your system are:
1) Promotes proper digestion and absorption of food.
2) Has hypolipidemic effects- reduces serum cholesterol levels.
3) Lowers blood glucose levels- fasting and postprandial blood glucose are reduced.
4) Polyphenols prevents oxidative damage.
5) Protects diabetics and those predisposed to diabetes through inhibition of glycation enzymes.
6) Maintains homeostasis of the endocrine system.
7) Boosts your immune system.
8) Prevents immunosenescence (gradual deterioration of the immune system due to increase in age).
9) Increases production of red blood cells and haemoglobin.
10) Relaxes bile duct.
11) People suffering from asthma, dysentery, uterine debility to mention a few also benefit from this formulation.
Ayurvedic physicians (Vaidyas) have been using Triphala for many centuries to cure and help benefit mankind in several ways.
The immune system which defends you from any infection has to work to its optimum to protect you from infections. To boost your immunity you need to eat a “Healthy Diet” rich in fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat.
An “activated” immune system increases the demand for energy during periods of infection. Adequate nutrition is crucial to ensure a good supply of the energy sources, macronutrients and micronutrients required for the development, maintenance and expression of the immune response.
Nutrients required for the immune system to function efficiently include- essential amino acids, the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zn, Cu, Fe and Se. Probiotic bacteria modify the gut microbiota which also enhances the immune function.
Vitamin C protect against respiratory and systemic infections
Vitamin D reduces the risk of acute respiratory illness . Deficiency can increase risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes to mention a few.
Vitamin E can also improve acquired immunity (T-cell-mediated immunity)and increases the antibodies in response to the hepatitis B and tetanus vaccines.
Vitamin B6 regulates immune cell differentiation.
Zinc is an important micronutrient. Zinc causes widespread defects in both the adaptive and innate immune response when even on mildly deficient.
Selenium is a trace element. In the case of a deficiency, risk of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease increases.
Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid that provides an important energy source for many cell types including those involved in immune responses.
The gut-associated lymphoid tissue is important in health and well-being because of the large and diverse number of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract and its exposure to food constituents.
Probiotics are live microorganisms. When consumed in adequate amounts, confers health benefit of the individual.
It has to be borne in mind that over-nutrition and obesity also reduce immunity.
Resistance to infection can be enhanced by adding the deficient nutrients back into the diet. The nutritional status of oneself can also predict the clinical course and outcome of certain infections.
Diet alone may not be adequate, a tailored micronutrient supplementation based on specific age-related needs would be the ideal option.
As a parent, you will always want the best for your baby. Though the baby needs very little stuff you will need a lot of time and planning to put everything in place. There is a lot of baby gear on the market these days that can significantly enhance your ability to care for your child or just make it that much easier. Are you finding it difficult to narrow down the list? go through the blog to find out about the 5 baby care products you need.
It is always fun shopping the cute-little cloths, super-tiny socks, and pom-pom hats for your little one, but don’t stop there. Being prepared for baby means you’ll need to stock up on a few baby care products, too.
Baby Milky Soap
Baby milky soap nourishes and protects the baby’s tender skin while cleansing it gently. It is enriched with Shea Butter, Vitamin A & E which prevents dry skin & irritation. Milk Protein with Vitamin A which keeps skin soft & supple
Baby cream is specially formulated to protect your little one’s chapped cheeks, ‘crawler’s knee’, tender nose and rubbed elbows. The cream protects against irritating wetness and windburn. The ingredients work together to moisturize your baby’s skin and preserve its natural softness.
Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo)
Baby gentle wash & shampoo provides all in one head-to-toe gentle cleansing, respecting the skin while also providing the hydration and miniaturization important for the healthy development of skin and scalp. Glycerin and Panthenol soothes and moisturizes skin and hair, Polyquartenium provides ultra-gentle conditioning.
Bottom Butter Nappy Cream
The cocoa butter formula bottom butter nappy cream contains cocoa butter, Vitamin A, and Pro-Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) that soothes and cares for little one’s tender skin. It prevents nappy rash, wetness, keeps allergies away and relieves irritated skin.
Baby Protective Facial Cream
The moisturizing complex prevents dryness, enhancing the barrier function against noxious substances and soothing the baby’s facial tender skin.
Let go of your worries about visiting medical stores! Buy baby care items at Cureka, the healthcare enthusiast’s one-stop destination. Now avail flat 10% off on all the healthcare products you buy, use code OFFER10.
You’ve finally put 40 (or so) weeks of pregnancy and long hours of childbirth behind you, and you’re officially a mother. Congratulations! Now comes the transition from pregnancy to postpartum. The postpartum period begins after the delivery of your baby and ends when your body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state. This period often lasts 6 to 8 weeks. The postpartum period involves your moving through many changes, both emotionally and physically.
Postnatal Care Tips That Every New Mom Should Live By
- Take the Right Amount of Nutrition Needed
Your body has undergone many changes during pregnancy and birth. You need time to recover. You need to eat a healthy diet to help you do that. Yes, after delivery, you need to eat a healthy and balanced diet so you can be active and able to care for you and your baby. Also, you can buy protein supplements online, and intake as recommended.
5 Food Group Categories That You Have To Add In Your Menu
Go lean on protein! Choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.
Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes, and starchy vegetables.
Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.
- Have Some ‘Me Time’
Every new parent soon learns that babies have different time clocks than adults. A typical new-born wakes up about every 3 hours and needs to be fed, changed, and comforted. You may not get a solid 8 hours of sleep for several months.
Tips to help you get more rest,
- Get outside for a few minutes each day. You can start walking and doing postpartum exercises, as advised by your healthcare provider.
- It’s nice to have visits from friends and family, but don’t feel that you need to entertain guests. Feel free to excuse yourself for a nap or to feed your baby.
- Save steps and time. Have your baby’s bed near yours for feedings at night.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. This may be only a few minutes of rest several times a day, but these minutes can add up.
- In the first few weeks, you need to let someone else take care of all responsibilities other than feeding your baby and taking care of yourself.
The postpartum period refers to the first six weeks after childbirth. This is a joyous time, but it’s also a period of adjustment and healing for mothers. During these weeks, you’ll bond with your baby and you’ll have a post-delivery check-up with your doctor. You can follow these tips to feel better after your delivery. You can also seek the help on cureka to buy pain relief products online and other healthy supplements online.
During pregnancy, moms focus so much on the arrival of their “bundle of joy” that they may neglect themselves. There are many permanent body changes and beauty surprises that happen during pregnancy—and mom may not be prepared. Among that stretch marks are a common annoyance during and after pregnancy. Stretch marks, also called striae distensae or striae gravidarum, look like indented streaks in your skin. They may be red, purple, or silver in appearance. They’re one of the dreaded side effects of pregnancy, but stretch marks can be avoided. You can take steps along the way to ease the transition and help get your body back to its pre-birth state. Try these tips from cureka team along this purchasing the best skin care products online and using.
- Massage Your Skin To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Stretch marks recovery serum only takes a few minutes to apply. But if you take some more time to massage these products into your skin, you can supercharge your body’s stretch mark prevention potential.
Gently massaging stretch mark-prone areas offers three benefits:
- It directs blood to the skin to keep everything healthy
- It pushes the cream deep into your skin where it can do the most good
- It keeps skin supple and elastic
- Exfoliate Stretch Mark-Prone Areas Once A Week
To get the most from your moisturizer and your stretch mark prevention cream or oil, be sure to mildly exfoliate your stomach, hips, thighs, and chest once per week. Exfoliating removes the dry and dead skin cells that may prevent your moisturizers and creams from penetrating to the lower layers of skin. Exfoliation also promotes the growth of new skin cells which can help keep your stomach, hips, thighs, and chest soft, supple, and stretch mark-free.
- Apply A Stretch Mark Prevention Cream or Oil
The best way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to use a specially-formulated stretch marks prevention cream or stretch marks prevention oil. These stretch marks care products feel great when applied and they go a long way toward keeping your skin soft, supple, and stretch mark-free during pregnancy.
- Hydrate Your Skin Twice Daily
A great way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to keep your skin hydrated. You’re likely used to doing that with your face and neck, but you may have to start hydrating other parts of your body as well. Make sure you choose a balm that is safe for pregnant women and has been proven safe for both mom and baby.
- Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is a great first step towards preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. Remember, stretch marks form because of rapid weight gain. That weight gain can’t be prevented—you are carrying a baby after all—but you can work to keep it within healthy limits.
The recommend balanced diet includes:
- A prenatal vitamin to fill nutritional gaps
- Dairy products for calcium (1000 mg a day)
- Lean protein like chicken, fish, and beans (3 servings a day)
- Whole grains like oatmeal and wheat bread (6-11 ounces a day)
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables (at least 4 servings a day)
Stretch marks develop in nine out of ten pregnancies, usually in the sixth or seventh month. Before it rises, you can avoid by using some skin care products, and following the tips given above.