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Healthier Skin: What Doctors Wish Patients Knew Part II (Moisturizers)

Keep in Mind the Types of Moisturizers

  “The important thing about a moisturizer is that it used to be considered that the stickier it is—like Vaseline ointment—the better,” said Dr. Cheung. “Now that is still true from a hypoallergenic perspective because there’s nothing more neutral than white petrolatum, which is Vaseline ointment, but nobody wants to put that on their skin because it’s so sticky and oily.”

  “What I have to consider as a dermatologist is I can recommend something until I am blue in the face, but if you’re not going to use it, you’re not going to use it and that is no help to you or me,” he explained. “So, I recommend things that are a little more elegant.” “In moisturizers, we talk about the first set of moisturizers. Then we have the second generation and the third generation,” Dr. Cheung said. “The first generation is the Vaseline ointment where it’s just a moisturizer. It’s a thick oil and it just locks in the water and that’s it.” “The second-generation moisturizers tend to have a delayed release, so it’s not as sticky. You put it on, and it releases the moisture over 24 hours,” he said. “And the third-generation moisturizer actually has chemicals, which are naturally occurring. That helps to repair the skin when it’s damaged.”

Apply Moisturizer After a Shower

“I like the third-generation moisturizer because I just put it on after my shower and that’s the best time to apply it,” said Dr. Cheung. “The best time to apply the moisturizer is after a shower when your skin is already soaked in with moisture and you’re just putting the moisturizer on just to lock it in.” “And that could be in the morning after a shower or at night after a shower,” he said, emphasizing that “after the shower is the best time to put it on because you’re already naked, so just slathering the whole body and you’re good for the rest of the day.”        


Link to the AMA website's copyrighted article, reproduced above:

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