October 21, 2011 Your face is more sensitive than your body, and it has special needs that the rest of your body doesn’t have. Some people are acne prone, some are prone to fine lines and wrinkles. A body moisturizer doesn’t need to worry about doing anything other than hydrating your body. Many times there are added fragrances included in body moisturizers to give you a soft scent as well as hydration, and 99% of the time there is no SPF sun protection. When it comes to a facial moisturizer, you need to make sure you’re picking one that is meant for your skin type. Here are the four skin type characteristics for you to see where you fit. If you just use your body moisturizer, you could wind up with more frequent breakouts and most likely oily skin. The second reason to stick with a facial moisturizer is for sun protection. Many facial moisturizers add in SPF coverage these days. If your facial moisturizer doesn’t have it, make sure you apply before you head out. So while it might be an extra step in your morning routine, I think you’ll be happier with the condition of your skin after you start using a moisturizer meant specifically for your skin type, and your face. Even oily skin can benefit from added moisture. Even if you have oily skin, you can still benefit from the use of a daily moisturizer. And, no, moisturizers don’t have to leave your skin feeling greasy and looking shiny. The trick is in finding the right product. Moisturizers are used to improve skin’s hydration (think water-content of the skin, not oil-content). They work by slowing the evaporation of water from the skin, helping to keep skin hydrated. Moisturizing creams and lotions reduce moisture loss and increase water content of the epidermis. Moisturizing products aren’t just for, well, moisturizing. They also form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface and give the skin a soft, smooth feel. Moisturizers help keep acne treatments from drying you out. Moisturizers become especially important if you are using drying acne treatments such as Retin-A, isotretinoin (AKA Accutane), or benzoyl peroxide. Don’t underestimate how drying acne treatments can be! Even if your skin normally pumps out the oil, acne medications can quickly take your skin from shiny to uncomfortably dry, peeling, and flaking. Using a moisturizer daily is the best defense to help ease these side effects. Moisturizers don’t have to be heavy or greasy. There are many moisturizing products that are created especially for oily skin types. These products are light, fast absorbing, and don’t leave your skin feeling like an oil slick. So, don’t be afraid to moisturize your oily skin! Take the time to choose the right moisturizer by reading ingredient labels and asking your dermatologist or esthetician for recommendations. Experiment with different products until you find the one that is perfect for you. Dr. Lawrence Jaeger of New York is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions and is board certified in dermatology and dermatologic surgery.