Your skin can get dry for any number of reasons—dry climate, frequent bathing in hot water, harsh soaps, aging, and various medication conditions (including diabetes and limb loss). Dry skin quickly turns into uncomfortable, itchy skin that gets easily damaged. For individuals with limb loss, diabetes, and other medical conditions, dry skin that easily cracks can lead to problematic infections.
Moisturizers are a topical solution for strong, hydrated skin. When applied strategically, you can magnify the impact of your moisturizer to keep your skin comfortable, supple, and happy.
What are moisturizers? (And why do you need them?)
Moisturizers hydrate the skin’s top layer by creating a barrier that locks in moisture. They’re made from three ingredient categories—humectants, occlusives, and emollients. The ingredients used within each category determine how each moisturizer works and sets it apart from other products.
- Humectants: Humectants attract moisture. They include substances like hyaluronic acid, lecithin, and sorbitol.
- Occlusives: Occlusives seal the moisture into the skin. Various oils, silicone, and lanolin are occlusives commonly used in skin moisturizers.
- Emollients: Emollients have oil, water, and an emulsifier that prevents the separation of the two. They allow ingredients to mix and maintain the integrity of the formula.
Why do you need a moisturizer? A harsh environment is hard on the skin, evaporating and pulling moisture out of your outer layer. Dry skin cracks, creating open wounds through which microbes can enter your body and cause infection.
Where Should I Put Moisturizer?
Moisturizers can go anywhere on the body. However, you can target problem areas based on your lifestyle and medical needs. For example, athletes may need extra moisture in easily chafed areas or areas that undergo more friction like the hands, feet, knees, and elbows.
For individuals with limb loss, moisturizer is particularly important on the residual. Your residual skin undergoes high tension and stress that it wasn’t designed to withstand. Moisturizer maintains the skin’s natural strength and flexibility to prevent painful cracking that can inhibit prosthetic use.
Individuals with diabetes may experience dry skin as a side effect of their condition. Diabetes can also slow the healing process, which makes cracks in the skin more dangerous. Individuals with diabetes usually need to apply moisturizer all over the body, including the feet but be careful between the toes. Most of the time, individuals with diabetes should avoid moisturizer between the toes because it can lead to fungal infections. However, VitalFit’s Daily Moisturizer contains antifungal and antibacterial ingredients, making it safe for anywhere on the body.
How to Get More Out of Your Moisturizer
Moisturizers go a long way to help the condition of your skin. However, you can give your skin an extra boost by using smart application techniques.
Apply moisturizer after showering
After showering and bathing, the skin’s pores have opened and allowed a maximum amount of moisture to enter. Applying moisturizer right after showering locks in more water, amplifying the moisturizing effects.
Make moisturizing a regular part of your daily routine. Regular application of a moisturizer improves the overall condition of your skin. As your skin becomes healthier, you may find that you apply less moisturizer with each application.
Choose the right moisturizer for your activities and skin type
People with sensitive or oily skin need a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic. With facial moisturizers, that means it won’t clog pores. However, that also means the ingredients are gentler on the skin no matter where it’s applied.
Athletes and individuals with limb loss who put their skin under extra stress may benefit from moisturizing products that add friction protection like VitalFits Liquid-to-Powder Plus. It goes on like lotion but dries to a powdery finish that provides extra friction protection. This kind of product can prevent painful chafing while keeping the skin hydrated.
Use soap-free cleansers
Soap can dry the skin. However, soap-free cleansers like VitalFit’s Daily Cleanser protect the skin’s natural moisture while cleansing. A less harsh cleanser can also reduce the amount of moisturizer you need to hydrate the skin.
Use the right type of moisturizer
Moisturizers come in formulas for different skin types and applications. For example, a day moisturizer with antimicrobial ingredients can protect the skin from daily wear and tear. A night moisturizer with healing ingredients supports the body’s natural healing process, while a liquid-to-powder moisturizes while creating a protective friction barrier. Applying the right moisturizer at the right time can further improve your skin health.
Final Thoughts on Moisturizers
Moisturizers hydrate from the outside. However, make sure you’re hydrating from the inside, too. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you’re doing strenuous activities or the temperatures run high. Finally, make moisturizing a regular part of your day. After you shower in the morning, before going to bed at night, and anytime your skin starts to feel dry, apply moisturizer. Hydrated skin protects you so that you can participate in the activities you enjoy most.