15 December 2018
SATURDAY, Dec. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Winter can be hard on your skin, but you can take steps to keep it soft and supple, dermatologists say. “When the weather changes, your skin care products should, too. For most of us, dry skin makes an appearance in the winter due to changes in temperature and humidity, so you need to think about appropriate skin care formulations,” said Dr. Rajani Katta. She’s a clinical professor of dermatology with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Katta and her colleague, Dr. Megan Rogge, an assistant professor of dermatology at the university, offered these tips to protect your skin: Choose thick skin creams over watery lotions. “Lotions are the least moisturizing, because they have such a high quantity of water. Creams are a better choice for those with dry skin,” Katta said in a university news release. Use sunblock. Rogge explained that “even when the temperature drops, the sun’s rays can still emit powerful ultraviolet radiation. If you’re close to snow or water, those UV rays can be even more potent due to the reflective surfaces, which makes wearing protection paramount.” Don’t take long, hot showers. “Many of us love to linger longer in steaming hot showers, particularly when it’s cold outside. These feel great, especially when your skin is itchy,” Rogge added. “But this can actually damage your skin barrier, and also exacerbate dry, itchy skin. That’s why it’s recommended to limit showers to 10 minutes, and use lukewarm water instead of hot water.” Soak and smear to help lock moisture into your skin. Katta said, “After soaking your skin, you want to smear on your moisturizer. In other words, after you take a shower, you’ll step out of the shower, pat dry just a little bit, then apply a moisturizer while your skin is still damp.” Wear gloves. “An important part of looking after your skin is using the right protective gear,” Katta noted. “Gloves keep your fingers warm and protect them, too.” Use a humidifier in your home. According to Rogge, “Winter dry skin gets worse once you start turning on the heat in your home. That heat starts to dry the air in your home, which in turn starts to dry your skin. A humidifier in your bedroom when you sleep can really help.” More information The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on keeping your skin healthy.
20 August 2018
MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A maple leaf extract may help prevent wrinkles, scientists say. In a new study, researchers found that certain compounds in maple leaves block the release of an enzyme called elastase, which breaks down a protein called elastin as people age. Elastin helps maintain skin elasticity. Previous work by the same University of Rhode Island researchers found that these same compounds in maple leaves might help protect skin from inflammation and lighten dark spots, such as freckles or age spots. “You could imagine that these extracts might tighten up human skin like a plant-based Botox, though they would be a topical application, not an injected toxin,” principal investigator Navindra Seeram said in an American Chemical Society (ACS) news release. Such products would provide a new option for people who want natural, plant-based skincare products, and also might provide economic benefits in the United States and Canada, the researchers said. “Many botanical ingredients traditionally come from China, India and the Mediterranean, but the sugar maple and the red maple only grow in eastern North America,” Seeram said. Woodlot owners who currently only harvest sap from the maple trees could use the leaves as an additional source of income. The process would be sustainable because the leaves could be collected during normal pruning or when they fall from the trees in autumn, Seeram said. The team’s research is continuing, and it’s also formulating the findings into a patent-pending product. The study findings are scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the ACS, in Boston. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. More information The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about skin care.
09 April 2018
MONDAY, April 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Oily skin isn’t all bad. And there are a number of things you can do to control it, an expert says. “There are many reasons for oily skin, including stress, humidity, genetics and fluctuating hormones,” said Dr. Deirdre Hooper, a dermatologist in New Orleans. “These factors can make oily skin difficult to manage; however, there are several things you can do at home to reduce the oil,” Hooper said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Wash your face very morning and evening, and after exercise, she advised. Use a gentle, foaming face wash. Use skin care products that are labeled “oil-free” and “noncomedogenic,” which means it may not clog pores. Don’t use oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers, which can irritate your skin. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer daily, Hooper said. Choose one that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun-protection factor) of 30 or higher. Wear sunscreen when you’re outdoors. Use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and don’t use sunscreens that contain fragrance or oils. If you wear makeup, use oil-free, water-based products. Always remove makeup before you go to sleep, Hooper stressed. Use blotting papers throughout the day. Gently press the paper against your face and leave it on for a few seconds to absorb the oil. Don’t rub the paper on your face, as this will spread the oil to other areas, Hooper said. Try to avoid touching your face, she suggested. Doing so can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face. Be sure your hands are clean before cleansing, moisturizing or applying sunscreen or makeup to your face. Remember, too, there are benefits to having oily skin: People with oily skin tend to have thicker skin and fewer wrinkles, Hooper explained. More information The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers skin health tips.