I simply love the four seasons here in Michigan, but this time of year is not kind to my skin. That’s where moisturizers come in, especially my top five.
Although I am a Midwesterner by birth (St. Louis), I am not a native Michigander. I am an East-Coast girl, moving here from my hometown of Philadelphia 22 years ago, but Michigan has won my heart. I got my first dermatology job here. I raised my children here. And I have made lifelong friendships here. I have truly made Michigan my home. But for all my adoration for this beautiful state and its changing seasons, this time of year is rough on my skin. It takes a beating from the cold temperatures of fall and winter and the lack of humidity inside and outdoors. The cold, dry air drains my skin of its natural oils and hydration, and the heated indoor air doesn’t help. And as I get older, my skin doesn’t make the natural oils it used to. So, of course what we can’t get naturally, we have to acquire from the outside. Thank goodness for moisturizers.
Moisturizers in and of themselves are basic and straightforward. All moisturizers contain water to some degree, but what is added, like oils, butters, waxes, silicones, or petrolatum, is what makes all the difference. The three basic categories of active ingredients are the stuff that make a moisturizer moisturizing, namely humectants, emollients, and occlusives, either alone or in combination. Humectants hydrate and moisturize by attracting water molecules from the ambient environment. Emollients impart moisture into the skin, while smoothing, softening, and preventing any excessive evaporation. Occlusives literally create a protective barrier, so that the skin’s natural oils stay contained and the low ambient humidity cannot pull moisture away from the skin. Most recently, for added benefit, the trend in skincare has been to include key antiaging ingredients or sunscreens to these moisturizers, so that they become effective multitaskers all in one.
Unless you live under the “I-hate-looking-young” rock, everyone’s faces deserve a fabulous moisturizer. Moisturizer is an easy, basic skincare fundamental from which all young and older skin can benefit. Even the male species doesn’t mind applying a moisturizer every day. And for those of us with sensitive or eczematous skin, restoring the optimal hydration to the skin is essential to preventing eczema or other dermatitis flares.
Moisturizers are vital to maintaining homeostasis, hydration, health, and a rejuvenative appearance for your skin, no matter the season. They are essential adjuncts in every basic skincare and anti-aging regimen. Not only do they restore the natural barrier function of the skin, they prep the skin’s so-called canvas to optimally receive the healthful benefits of other more therapeutic serums, lotions, and creams. Even oily skin needs hydration and moisturization, because, contrary to popular belief, stripping the skin of its natural oils leads to rebound oil overproduction even in oily skin types.
As you know, at Honet Dermatology/Cosmetic, we sell a variety of skincare products. I am proud to say that each and every one of our cosmeceutical product lines are backed with fantastic, state-of-the-art science and technology. I personally chose them because of their potent clinical efficacy and for their elegant cosmetic properties. There is not one product line we sell in the office that I have not tried and enjoyed over the years (an intentional double negative) because I am a skincare junkie by nature and profession, but not surprisingly, I do have my tried-and-true favorites. Plus, skin types vary and have different needs. One size does not fit all. Moisturizers are no exception.
So, now you may ask, “Which one is best?” Sure, there are drugstore brands that are adequate. I am not going to delve into them here because there are so many. The multitudes of moisturizers on the market is dizzying. What I do want to do is to let you know about some very special ones and tell you why they are so unique and beneficial. Let’s dive into my top five extraordinary moisturizer favorites.
This is an amazing product that was just launched this year. It “provides immediate smoothing in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and supports the skin’s natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid (HA) for overall skin health.” HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator contains a proprietary mix of five hyaluronic acid forms that impart immediate smoothing of the skin while providing hydration throughout the day. Remember that hyaluronic acids are what make up some of the most amazing dermal fillers, like Juvederm®, Voluma®, Volbella®, and Belotero®. I love layering this under my other creams and moisturizers for a boost of hydration all day. This one’s perfect for any skin type needing a smoothing layer of extra moisturization.
As skin ages, it is susceptible to progressive lipid depletion over time, resulting in lack-luster, tired, lax skin. Let Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 come to the rescue! It is “an anti-aging cream formulated with a maximized concentration of lipids: 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids” to help restore the skin’s natural barrier function so that it can repair and rejuvenate itself. I have been using this as part of my nighttime regimen lately, either as my first layer if my skin feels tight and dry after cleansing, or as my last layer to balance my other anti-aging products. Trust me. This is a really good one if your skin is dry or irritated. Adelle loves it too.
As some of you may know, I am the only physician in the state of Michigan that carries the proprietary, remarkable Restorsea® line. Restorsea®’s revolutionary, proprietary Vibransea™ complex is anchored by Aquabeautine XL®, a natural enzyme that baby salmon release into the water at birth, enabling them to safely emerge from their eggshells. This enzyme’s remarkable properties work on rejuvenating the skin to selectively exfoliate only dead skin cells, allowing the healthy, living ones to thrive. It gently reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, and is well-tolerated by even the most sensitive skin types. The Restorsea® PRO All Day Every Day Lotion 3X is one of the most popular among my patients and staff because not only is it effectively rejuvenating, but it glides onto the skin beautifully, while hydrating efficiently. It also works well with other skincare lines and is well-tolerated by all skin types, which are fabulous added bonuses. We all love Restorsea®. It is a definite keeper.
Skinbetter® Science is a brand new cosmeceutical line and takes a cutting edge approach to boosting collagen production. This unique face cream is not only a nourishing moisturizer, touting a unique and patented potent formula which targets five types of collagen, but it also boasts super-potent polyphenols derived from Mediterranean olive trees, which helps to mitigate against oxidative damage to the skin from the environment. The cutting-edge technology is fortified by its messenger peptides and a neuropeptide to improve skin density and surface smoothness. Skinbetter® Science Daily Treatment Cream FACE‘s blend of Shea butter and glycerin provides the moisturization component, giving back the skin’s hydrated radiance and glow. This one is certainly a homerun as a multitasking moisturizer.
Now for those who have oilier skin or simply like the “light” version of things, Elite® Facial Cream Ultra Lite delivers “sheer, oil-free hydration with soothing aloe vera and nourishing antioxidants to deliver smoother, softer skin.” This effective cream is enriched with Vitamin A, C, E, CoQ10, and Green Tea to help soothe and calm the skin. Squalane (emollient), glycerin (humectant), and Aloe leaf juice (humectant, emollient, occlusive, and water) impart the moisturizing components of this elegant cream, allowing it to be perfect for oily skin types and skin that is prone to acne. My acne patients really love this light cream and find it especially efficacious when their skin feels occasionally dry from their anti-acne medications. My son and daughter are true fans as well and cannot live without it.
–Dr. HMichigan and My Top 5 Moisturizers