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Why do we need moisturizer for face?

Why do we need moisturizer for face?

Facial skin is unique. It is more sensitive and thinner compared to rest of the body. Damage due to environmental conditions like humidity, sun exposure and pollution occurs earlier in face.

Moisturizers help in skin defense enriching the skin barrier and repairing minor skin damage. Using same moisturizers for body and face may not be suitable for all.

The major facial skin types are oily, combination skin with oiliness in T zone of face and normal or dry skin elsewhere, normal skin, dry skin and sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin can have either oily or dry skin but they react more to products applied on face and harsh environmental conditions.

Oily looking skin is felt as unappealing and creams and moisturizers add to the oiliness. But barrier damage is present even in oily skin and is now found to be a contributory factor for acne and redness. Lightweight, oil free, water based, non comedogenic moisturizers are suitable for face. Non greasy aqueous moisturizers with added sunscreens are available for added benefit. Thick creams and fragrant body moisturizers have to be avoided as they lead to occlusion, oiliness and acne flare.

Individuals with normal or dry skin can opt for more hydrating moisturizers especially in winters to counteract the barrier damage. Thicker lotions or gentle creams can be used. Thick creams are reserved for extremely dry skin with flaking for a short period of time and are not routinely preferred.

Moisturizers with less number of ingredients and fragrance free moisturizers are preferred for sensitive skin types.

The best time to apply would be immediately after cleansing face and drying. If certain medicated creams for acne or pigmentation are used, use moisturizers followed by creams after a few minutes. If using serum based formulations moisturizers should be applied after serums for better absorption.

Moisturizers should be a part of regular face care routine but a careful choice needs to be made to enhance its effects. It is best to consult a dermatologist for expert guidance.

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