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Dry Skin Care Tips in the Winter

  • Posted on: Jan 11 2022
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This Winter in New York City has turned cold leading the dermatology visits for dry skin.  Below we cover some tips. We start out by defining terms used to describe a moisturizer and give product recommendations. 


What are the differences between Moisturizer, lotion and cream?  Lotion and creams are both Moisturizers.  The meaning of Moisturizer is a preparation (such as lotion or cream. ointments are also considered  a moisturizer) applied to skin to prevent or relieve dryness.  The main difference between lotion and cream is the percentage of water and oil in the ingredients.  Lotions are thinner and generally have a water base and are used for the face.  Creams are thicker and have an oil base and are generally used for the body.  What types of moisturizers are best for dry skin?  Thick . Greasy creams and ointments work best for dry skin.  You want to look for an oil based moisturizer, for dry skin.

Moisturizers are usually contain emollients, humectants or occlusives.  What are the differences between each of these?  Which skin types benefit the most from each moisturizer?  Humectants draw moisture from the deeper layers of the skin.  Emollients help repair the skin barrier and soften the skin while occlusives are petroleum based (ointments) and seal moisture inside the skin.

One difference is thickness, A patient with acne prone skin would not want to use a oil base Emollient cream or Occlusive petrolatum based ointment on face or body as it could clog pores, where lotions can be non-comedogenic and will not clog pores.  The occlusive causes a barrier keeping water from the skin.  Occlusives often contain no water so ingredients require less preservatives

examples of products:

Humectants – Lotion CeraVe Facial Moisturizing lotion – ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, product Non-Comedogenic  (FACE)

Emollients – Cream Palmers Cocoa Butter Cream  – ingredients : Water, Theobroma Cocoa extract, glycerin,,coconut oil. mineral oil (BODY, Elbows, knees,feet)

Occlusive – Ointments – Vaseline, Aquaphor- form petroleum jelly ingredients mineral oil, silicone dimethicone, waxes and lanolin (LIPS, Buttocks – Diaper rash. Eczema)

What ingredients should people look for in their moisturizer if they have dry skin? What do each of these ingredients do?   Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that’s works by absorbing moisture like a sponge from the air and deeper layers  and draws it into the skin, Glycerin ingredient is also a humectant it secures moisture within its cells to keep skin moisturized, Shea Butter is an emollient which gets easily absorbed into skin and helps skin retain moisture,Vitamin E ingredient –  which is in substances like almond,sunflower seeds and avocados, it protects from drying effects of free radicals and boosts moisture levels from the skin, Ceramides ingredient  are fatty molecules located within skin itself, they form barrier to prevent trans-epidermal water loss, adding ceramides make skin supple and soft by keeping hydration securely within itself. Ceramides also reduce the effect of inflammation and irritation in conditions like eczema,,flaking and peeling. Colloidal Oatmeal – is an ingredient found in a number of skin care products it is used as treatment for inflammatory dry skin conditions, it helps strengthen your skin barrier and adds moisture to it. – some people are allergic to Oatmeal.

What else should people look for when shopping for a moisturizer for dry skin? (texture fragrance) –  thick, greasy, gooey emollient creams for body,- oil based, I prefer unscented fragrance moisturizers, (Cetaphil, CeraVe).

Are there any moisturizers you recommend for people with dry skin? why? For the face – Neutrogena Hydro Boost – Gel texture, ingredients hyaluronic acid and glycerin – address the dryness and the texture is smooth and the face feels hydrated.  Acne prone – La Roche Posay – Double Repair Face Moisturizer – water based glycerin,hyaluronic acid and ceramides – great for dry skin caused by acne Medications (redness) For body –  Cetaphil Moisturizing cream – oil based , Vanicream Moisturizing skin cream,  – petroleum based, Aquaphor – ointment for skin that tends to be flakey, cracked, scaly.  Aquaphor is great for dry lips


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