I have a friend whose skin is so sensitive, almost everything makes it it bumpy, red and itchy, but one brand she loves, is Cetaphil. It’s easy to be a Cetaphil fan, because while their skin care products are housed in simple plastic bottles, without fancy fragrances of skincare gimmicks, they are effective and affordable. Some detractors complain that there are chemicals in the formulas, but Cetaphil is gentle and therefore is often the choice of dermatologists, even for babies. I’m sure these doctors feel confident that whatever is in Cetaphil products won’t harm their patients’ skin.
Dry or sensitive skin is one thing, but if if you have a skin condition such as eczema, you really need to use something that is guaranteed to work without causing more harm than good. One product recommended for anyone over three months old, and that is actually endorsed by the NEA (National Eczema Association), is Cetaphil® RESTORADERM® Skin Restoring Moisturizer. It’s good for all skin types, but especially for those who have symptoms commonly associated with eczema or atopic-dermatitis. This unscented moisturizer, free of parabens and nut oils, has patented Filaggrin technology™ and ceramide technology , that help to effectively and safely hydrate and soothe very dry, atopic skin. I had never heard of Filaggrin, but without too much “tech speak” Filaggrin is formed from the breakdown of profilaggrin, a protein contained in the granules found in the granular layer of the upper epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). Filaggrin is vital for skin cells to mature properly and lack of it can cause eczema and other skin conditions you don’t want.
But back to Cetaphil. This moisturizer is easily absorbed –a good choice as part of a daily skin care routine for the management of eczema. There is also a Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash that is also just $14.99. But you don’t have to have a specific skin condition to enjoy the hydrating benefits. This 10 fl. oz. pump bottle of goodness can help deal with the residual of Winter dryness. It’s not a sexy product that you’ll necessarily want to display as a work of art on your dressing table, but it works. It’s available at most major drug stores and mass market retailers.
Also not going to win any prizes for sexiest skincare product, but might, for being one of the most reliable and effective , is Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner 16 fl. oz $4.99, 8 fl. oz $3.99, and the new, Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling towelettes $5.49/20 towelettes.
Wondering what witch hazel is? Witch hazel is a flowering, fruiting shrub with varieties in North America, China and Japan. The bark and leaves are astringent and the extract (what we know as “witch hazel”), is used medicinally. Extracts from its bark and leaves are used in aftershave lotions and lotions for treating bruises and insect bites. Witch-hazel helps to shrink and contract blood vessels back to normal size, and therefore is the active ingredient in many hemorrhoid medications. Witch Hazel is even used to treat acne, and can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions psoriasis and eczema. In addition, Witch Hazel is sometimes found as an ingredient in eye drops. Witch Hazel is so useful, the seeds are even edible. It is anti-inflammatory (used on skin conditions such as diaper rash, razor burn and bug bites), it is anti-microbial ( to soothe poison ivy, treat chicken pox and heal bruises and cuts, all caused or irritated by viruses and bacteria), it is moisturizing (frequently used to lock moisture into skin) and astringent ( a high level of tannins in the leaves help to tighten skin
proteins which then form a protecting covering to help promote skin healing and stop bleeding). It is even used to help deal with sun damage (after sunburn to prevent peeling and flaking). That’s a lot of multi-tasking muscle! What a wonderful (and pretty) plant!
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel is a 100% natural witch hazel formula that has been around since 1866. It’s non-drying and good for all skin ypes—even sensitive skin. It’s a good thing to have on had for the entire amily. Dickinson’s calls it’s Pore Perfecting Toner a “Cleansing Astringent” but it’s not really a cleanser (you need to wash your face as well), it is more a post cleanser. What it does go back over your cleaned skin and remove the last traces of make-up, soap residue and excess oil – without the use of artificial ingredients that may over dry your skin. It will leave your skin feeling softer and smoother, and ready for moisturizer and foundation. It also helps to keep excess oil from becoming a bother but it won’t make your skin tight and dry. For those who don’t want to splash toner on directly from the bottle, or deal with a cotton ball soaked in toner, there’s the new,4” x 6” towelettes (they are also great for travel). They feel cool and refreshing on your skin, and are great for a pick me up (take some to the beach on your vacation) as well as the final step in cleansing, morning and night. You can get these products at drug stores and mass market retailers, and also more information at www.dickinsonusa.com
If you read my columns regularly, you know I’m a real fan of CeraVe skin care. The products are not fancy, but they work extremely well, and they’re a favorite of dermatologists, too. In fact, when I had my Fraxel treatments, the daily moisturizer with SPF 30 is what the dermatologist sent me home wearing. CeraVe has a number of products that deal with moisturization and cleansing, but their latest product is unique: CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion (Srp. $14.99 8 oz. pump bottle). The ingredients in this product work on something that is a common and tough to treat problem — rough, dry, bumpy skin often called “chicken skin.” It can be found just about anywhere on your body, or in multiple places. It is not life threatening but it looks ugly, and it’s basically incurable. This is particularly problematic when the weather heats up and you’re showing some skin. But you can get it under control with the new, CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion. Used regularly and over time, it can actually smooth down the bumps and handle the dry spots, with a patented “Multivescular Emulsion (MVE)” technology that provides a controlled, steady release of various ingredients (including salicylic acid — the “SA”) that loosen the dead skin cells and exfoliate them, while nourishing ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin D help smooth and soften even extremely dry, rough, bumpy skin. And this MVE technology doesn’t just sit on the skin, it helps deliver the ingredients deep into the skin layers. The idea is that over time, this amazing moisturizing product can really help renew skin as well as smooth out those rough patches. And even better, the product is lightweight on the skin, but will continue to deliver the “good stuff” while you go about your day. There’s no smell, no stickiness, no stinging, and even those with sensitive skin can handle it. It is just a pleasant product that you will actually want to use. It’s also non-comedogenic. Even if you don’t have “chicken skin,” this product is new, nifty and benefits dry skin.
While we’re on the subject of sensitive skin, women whose skin is very dry or sensitive have special challenges when dealing with something as irritating as shaving. One pampering but affordable shave cream I really like is Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave $3.99 8 fl. oz. I reviewed the “Revitalizing” formula back in 2010, but there are two others: Dry Skin with a formula including olive butter, soy, and antioxidant white tea; and Extra Gentle, a mild and dye free formula that has olive butter, soy, Vitamin E and aloe vera. Another thing I really like about Skintimate is that it’s shaped for a woman, with a little flower pull-top to dispense the non-foaming cream. The cream stays put on your skin and helps to hydrate it until you wash it off, and the cream doesn’t stick in your razor or cause any drag on it. The Extra Gentle scent smells light and powdery, the other two formulas have a very light, fruity floral scent. These are so girly, no guy is going to want to break into your stash (let him use his own). Visit your favorite food, drug or mass market retailer. For more info please visit the Skintimate Web Site
…and the razor you use matters too, especially when your skin is irritated. The Schick Quattro for Women $8.99 feels luxurious but it’s affordable. There are four, ultra-thin blades with nifty, conditioning strips featuring aloe on one, a duo-vitamin complex on the other. I like the curvy handles that are ergonomically designed with a rubberized grip. The design allows the razor head to lie flatter against your skin and the compact, pivoting head shapes to your curves and gives you a closer shave with less irritation. You can get these in a variety of sizes, types, and packaging, but the sensitive version will be the one for anyone with dry or sensitive skin, or a particular skin condition. You can get these in your favorite mass market retailer or drug store, or visit the Schick Quattro For Women Web Site
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