Dermatology practices look different today. Temperature checks among staff and patients, screening questions regarding travel and health status, consistent hand washing and sanitizing, but most importantly, masks. With the heightened requirements or mandates to wear face masks, moisturizing has become even more of a crucial step in a skin care regimen.
Many patients may be surprised to find their skin is more sensitive or acne-prone as a result of constant contact with fabric. We consulted with Dr. Joel Schlessinger, board-certified dermatologist and CSF course director, about the effects of masks on skin:
“I’ve been seeing more and more patients with concerns about acne caused by wearing a mask. There are many contributing factors, but the most obvious is sweat and humidity buildup as well as dirty masks. Using an appropriate moisturizer helps reduce friction and chafing between the material of the mask and the skin, creating an additional layer of protection that helps reduce dryness and clogged pores.”
For patients, the challenge then becomes finding the right moisturizer. Moisturizers are no longer modeled after the “one size fits all” approach but are rather seen as unique, individualized additions to a skin care regimen. Many moisturizers contain additional additives like SPF, peptides and hyaluronic acid to enhance, boost and protect skin.
But, as a physician, you know it’s not uncommon for patients to use the wrong moisturizer. For example, an acne-prone patient may use a thick cream that could clog pores. Or, a patient with dry skin may want to use a mattifying moisturizer, though it likely won’t provide the hydration that patient needs. Whether patients are looking for a moisturizer to curb mask irritation or combat fine lines and wrinkles, there’s a wide variety of options available for potential recommendation.
We turned to CSF experts, Drs. Jill Fichtel, Manjula S. Jegasothy, Paul Nassif, Joel Schlessinger, Amy Taub and Mark B. Taylor to share their top moisturizer picks.
Jill Fichtel, MD:
- NIA 24 Intense Recovery Complex: “This rich, elegant Moisturizer for mature skin contains Pro-Niacin, a potent antioxidant blend offering anti-inflammatory and skin brightening properties, , hyaluronic acid, and a peptide blend that work together to lock-in moisture as well as improve skin tone, texture, fine lines and wrinkles and skin luminosity.”
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: “CereVe is my “go to” for dry and damaged skin and is especiallyideal for those who have eczema or rosacea, or to use after retinoids. Its ceramide blend repairs and strengthens the skin barrier function which is affected in these conditions enhancing the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture and to be restored,” says Dr. Fichtel.
- Emepelle Night Cream: Dr. Fichtel recommends this cream because “this is the first and only moisturizing cream formulated for women with estrogen deficient skin (leading up to and menopausal skin). It specifically addresses the effects of the loss of estrogen on skin which include dryness, wrinkling, dullness and thinning, to promote more hydrated, radiant youthful skin by stimulating natural estrogen receptors in the skin via a non hormonal MEP technology.”
Manjula S. Jegasothy, MD:
- MiamiMD Age Defying Lift & Firm Cream: Jegasothy says that this cream is the flagship product in her new skin care brand. “It features progerin, as well as a host of other antioxidants that create both short and long term smoothing and tightening effects on the skin. It’s available exclusively online at MiamiMD.co,” she says.
- Neocutis Lumiere Riche Extra Moisturizing Illuminating Eye Cream: Dr. Jegasothy appreciates this cream for its ability to improve even very sensitive skin. She also enjoys it because “It contains the wonderful growth factors all Neocutis products have.” Neocutis’ proprietary growth factors are backed by in vitro studies and work to firm skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines.
- Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream + Hyaluronic Acid: “Neutrogena has a long track record of doing decent clinical studies compared to other drug store brands,” she says. Containing hyaluronic acid and the highest concentration of Accelerated Retinol SA, this rich moisturizing cream absorbs into the skin’s surface quickly and effectively. “The Rapid Wrinkle Repair is gentle, but still creates a good smoothing effect when used daily.”
Paul Nassif, MD:
- NassifMD® Hydro-Screen Face & Body Souffle: A versatile cream that can be used on the face and body, “it is lightweight yet intensely hydrating thanks to hyaluronic acid and ceramides!” says Dr. Nassif. Developed by Dr. Nassif, this moisturizer helps optimize the skin’s moisture balance and improve the look of lines and wrinkles, appearance of skin firmness and evenness of skin tone.
- Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer: Dr. Nassif recommends the Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer because it’s “fragrance free and developed with oat kernel extract, adding skin calming properties!” In addition, this moisturizer comes with TriHex Technology® to help hydrate and soothe skin in order to provide support against environmental damage.
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Products: A collection that combines natural ingredients like cocoa butter and vitamin E to replenish moisture and nourish for healthier skin and a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. Dr. Nassif says, “Palmer’s Cocoa Butter products are a staple from my childhood that my Mom loved!”
Joel Schlessinger, MD:
- LovelySkin LUXE Mattifying Antioxidant Moisturizer: Dr. Schlessinger formulated this non-comedogenic moisturizer to strengthen the moisture barrier while balancing oil production and reducing shine. Suitable for most skin types, this mattifying formula features afaLUXE™, a patented blend of amino-based filaggrin antioxidants, Dead Sea minerals and vitamin C, that boosts collagen production, gently exfoliates and softens skin.
- Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer: Featuring shea butter, avocado oil, mango butter and glycerin, this intensely hydrating moisturizer provides hydration for up to eight hours. Dr. Schlessinger says, “I enjoy this moisturizer from Obagi because it’s fragrance-free and won’t clog pores, making it a suitable option for most skin types.”
- SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Anti-Aging Cream: For those with skin prone to dryness, Dr. Schlessinger recommends SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore2:4:2 Anti-Aging Cream. “It’s formulated with ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids to restore the moisture barrier and minimize visible signs of aging,” he says.
Mark B. Taylor, MD:
- Elta MD So Silky Hand Cream: This hand cream not only hydrates with ceramides and emollients, it also reduces discoloration and offers antioxidant protection. Dr. Taylor and his patients appreciate that it can do all of this with a non-sticky texture.
- Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream: Taylor recommends this skin-strengthening moisturizer for its use of I-modulia, an ingredient born out of 12 years of research that reduces itchy sensations in dry, red and irritated skin. Additionally, the formula also strengthens the hydrolipidic film on skin without the use of preservatives.
- Vanicream Moisturizing Cream: A highly versatile moisturizer, Dr. Taylor finds that this cream is “Excellent for second-week post-laser resurfacing” as it carries a low risk of sensitization and comes in long-lasting, one-pound jars.
Amy Taub, MD:
- Epionce Medical Barrier Cream: According to Dr. Taub, the best moisturizer for dry skin, whether it be facial or body and lips, is the Epionce Medical Barrier Cream. This rich, creamy formula repairs the skin barrier to prevent cells from losing moisture and becoming dry, irritated or itchy. She describes it as “healthy food for atopic dermatitis or anyone with dry skin.”
- Epionce Renewal Facial Lotion or Cream: For patients who are concerned with aging, Dr. Taub recommends the Epionce Renewal Lotion or Renewal Cream. “It’s the best moisturizer for anti-aging,” she says. The lotion or cream protects the skin’s moisture barrier while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, creating an even tone and texture.
- SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer: For those with acne-prone skin, Dr. Taub recommends SkinMedica’s Ultra Sheer Moisturizer. This lightweight moisturizer absorbs quickly and keeps the complexion hydrated and soft throughout the day. Its oil-free formula does not clog pores, making it perfect for patients with acne or acne-prone skin.
Encouraging patients to find the right moisturizer is essential to helping them build a healthy skin care regimen. Today, being ready for the questions about a suitable moisturizer or best remedies for mask irritation will improve patients’ satisfaction and offer much needed relief and support for their skin.
What moisturizers do you recommend to your patients? Let us know in the comments below!