Health Tip: What to Look for When Buying Lotion to Protect Your Skin from Harsh Winter Weather

Written by Jenna Pizzi
Published on December 8, 2016

Dry patches of red, itchy skin are unpleasant symptoms of the effects of harsh winter weather. Just like you need a jacket, hat, and scarf to protect yourself from the conditions, your skin needs to be shielded from the elements, too.Hand Cream

“Lotions and creams create a protective barrier that keeps skin from drying, weakening, and cracking,” said Jeff Moore, instructor of pharmaceutics in the pharmaceutical sciences department at University of the Sciences. “That barrier allows time for hydration and healing to occur from the inside.”

Moore is manager of the Industrial Pharmacy Laboratory where he provides his students with hands-on experience in compounding a variety of lotions and creams. The different ingredients in the lotions or creams that you buy at the drug store offer different kinds of protection, he said. Moore advises study the ingredients to determine which will work best for different uses or skin-types.

  • Oil-based products can rehydrate skin faster than other products. While the oily product may linger on the skin, it is creating a cover that allows healing like a Band-Aid. Look for products with petrolatum or petroleum jelly as the primary ingredient.
  • Water-based products are preferred by most people because they do not leave that oily residue. These products, which include vanishing creams, are still effective at soothing and hydrating, but need to be applied more often. These products will have water as the first ingredient.
  •  Applying after a shower can help seal in the most moisture. Also turn down the heat in the shower or bath, as hot water can draw moisture out the skin.
  • Look for a product with ingredients like shea butter, aloe or cocoa butter or other skin conditioners which can soothe the pain of dry or cracked skin.
  • Avoid lotions or creams with heavy fragrances or those with a lot of colors or dyes. They may have been added to cover up a deficiency in the product.
  • A high price doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting the best cream or lotion. Most basic creams and lotions are inexpensive to produce. Purchase from reputable companies with good track records of producing quality products.

If you are unsure of what might be the best cream or lotion for your skin, don’t run to the dermatologist. Check in with your pharmacist who can offer great advice on the ingredients in specific products.

To arrange an interview with Jeffrey Moore, contact Jenna Pizzi at 215- 596-8864 or j.pizzi@usciences.edu.


Categories: Health Tip, Faculty, Pharmaceutics

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