Q: Marion, 60, has been using moisturizer from reputable lines, twice a day, for almost her whole life, but lately, nothing seems to be able to keep her skin from becoming parched and flaky by midday. Is it possible she’s over-moisturizing? What can she do to counteract those effects?
A: It is likely that Marion’s skin requires more moisture these days and the moisturizers that have been effective in the past simply aren’t doing the job anymore. When Marion was younger, her natural protective barrier might have been enough to retain healthy hydration but as we age our skin’s barrier begins to decline and we need some extra help from products.
Marion should add a serum rich in hyaluronic acid to her routine and then finish with a more occlusive moisturizer. The smaller molecules of the serum will penetrate deeper and deliver hydration and the cream will act as a protective barrier locking in much needed moisture. Incorporating a serum and moisturizer that contain peptides will ramp up her treatment by helping expression lines to appear more relaxed and boosting collagen in the skin which also supports moisture retention.
Marion should also consider adding a weekly at-home exfoliation routine. That flakiness is not only uncomfortable, it might be blocking hydration from penetrating. The best systems include both gentle physical exfoliation to clear away flakiness and chemical exfoliation using an ingredient like lactic acid to gently increase cell turnover without exacerbating dryness and inducing inflammation.