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Companies work hard to create moisturizers

By Al Varela

Dear Al: Recently on a radio show I heard a discussion about skin moisturizers. It was suggested that it was not necessary to use cosmetic moisturizers since petroleum jelly works just as well. What is your opinion?

Yes, it is true that petroleum jelly can be effective as a moisturizer.

A moisturizer is intended to keep your skin's natural moisture from evaporating by forming a barrier between the skin and the air. A moisturizer will help to temporarily trap your skin's own moisture which then plumps the skin and gives you a smoother appearance.

But, while technically petroleum jelly might work, there are significant reasons why using a more refined moisturizer is better. Cosmetic companies spend a great deal of money and effort to develop products that meet specific consumer demands. The goal of these companies is to make products that allow their customers to carry out their daily rituals while maximizing the health and beauty of their skin.

The fruits of their labor are products that offer more to consumers than just .a product that moisturizes. There are moisturizers that contain sun screens. They don't clog pores. They allow you to apply your foundation, powder or blush smoothly and easily. And, they've even gone as far as to extract oil from the moisturizer and make them water-based to help oily or acne-prone skin to maintain it's normal hydration.

Cosmetic companies have developed different moisturizers for use in the day .and the night. Moisturizers for daytime use are more lightweight, while the nighttime moisturizers can be more concentrated and are intended to help repair the skin from a day full of activity and exposure to the elements.

Petroleum jelly is going to have the same consistency no matter where you apply it on your face. Cosmetic companies have developed moisturizers of varying consistencies so that they will work best on different parts of your face. For instance, the eye area is more delicate so you might need something that is more emollient. Or, if you're trying to reduce puffiness around the eyes, gel formulas are available that help tighten the skin's appearance. They also thought of adding anti-oxidants and vitamins to their formulas to help skin cope with the everyday stress you put it through.

Next time you're applying cosmetics to your face, think about how the cosmetic companies have developed moisturizer products that can be used effortlessly and effectively. They are giving us what we're asking for -- ways to live a better life.

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