Manage skin stressors

Responsive skin care consists of two key actions:

1. Monitor daily skin stressors
2. Adjust skin-care accordingly


Goal 1. Hydrate Skin to Prevent/Lessen Dry Skin Formation

An important goal during the cooler, dryer months of the year is to make sure that your skin is properly hydrated so that the barrier function of the stratum corneum is not hindered. Skin hydration can be adjusted using a combination of skin moisturizers working together with a room humidifier.

A. Apply Over-the-counter (OTC) Moisturizers

The primary method for hydrating skin is the application of moisturizing creams and lotions.

The three types of ingredients in moisturizers are:
  • Occulsive compounds such as petrolatum that form a surface film or barrier layer that inhibits the transport of water from skin to ambient air.

  • Humectants are hydroscopic or water-loving substances that draw water from deeper in the skin or ambient air to the stratum corneum.

  • Emollients target the spaces between corneocytes so as to improve skin smoothness. Depending on their composition and the application amount, they may also serve as a moisturizing ingredient.

Most moisturizers consist of water/oil mixtures and thus they must also use emulsifying agents to prevent their separation.

The Dermidia Select web app can help you select a moisturizing lotion based on indoor drying stresses and dry-skin symptoms.


As ambient RH decreases below 60%, the need for a barrier lotion increases in order to maintain skin hydration. BUT, the combination of your skin properties and the barrier effectiveness of the lotion you use makes your skin-care situation unique—SO, over time you will have to personally evaluate how your skin-care practices relate to the Dry Skin Index.

B. Humidify Air

A room humidifier operating in your bedroom at night will hydrate your skin while you sleep! Room humidifiers should be operated to keep humidity levels between 40 to 60% as higher levels can promote mold formation.

A secondary benefit of the increased humidity provided by a room humidifier is a possible reduction in dry-eye symptoms.

Use a humidifier with a smart plug to turn it on at bedtime for night time skin hydration!

Goal 2. Manage Solar UV Exposure

Your daily UV exposure depends on your time outdoors and the time-varying UV intensity during the exposure period.

UV Protective Measures: the chief goal in managing UV sunlight exposures is to minimize your skin cancer risk as well as long-term photodamage to skin—not just to prevent sunburns.

Graded approach to UV protection

  • UV index 1-2: No protection needed

  • UV index 3-7: Protection required

  • UV index 8-11+: Extra protection needed

Sun Protection Options

  • Lotion dispenser (Sunscreen)

  • Hat and protective clothing

  • Sunglasses

  • Shade/umbrella tree

  • Clock time of day and exposure duration

The effectiveness of a sunscreen in preventing skin reddening is measured by its sun protection factor (SPF). The higher the SPF value, the greater its protection against sunburn, which is due mainly to UVB radiation.

Importantly, sunscreens that are labeled “Broad Spectrum” also afford protection against UVA radiation.

The combined UVA/UVB protection provided by broad spectrum sunscreens helps reduce skin cancer risk and photoaging when used in conjunction with other UV protection measures.

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