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12-04-2008, 04:11 PM
The November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers facts to help size up the best skin moisturizers. Retail stores carry an overwhelming array of moisturizer choices. There is something for everything from eyelids to feet at prices from less than $10 to more than $100. The good news is that it's hard to choose all wrong. Most -- if not all -- nonprescription moisturizers help smooth skin and replenish moisture in the outermost layer of the skin.

But products with claims that go beyond the basics probably aren't worth the extra cost. In fact, higher cost doesn't correlate with a more effective product. Selecting a moisturizer often comes down to personal preference. Take these tips into consideration when it comes to selecting a moisturizer for:

-- The face or other acne prone areas -- Use products designed specifically for the face. Other moisturizers may clog pores.

-- Extra dry skin -- Look for a product with petrolatum as one of the top three ingredients. Products containing glycerin, lactic acid or urea can provide an extra boost. However, they may sting on application, especially for those with cracked skin.

-- Sensitive skin -- Almost any moisturizer ingredient can cause skin irritation or allergy, but fragrances, dyes, lanolin and the preservatives parabens and formaldehyde tend to be the most common offenders.

Moisturizers work best when used daily and immediately after a bath or shower. Well-hydrated skin feels better -- soft, smooth and pliable -- and it's healthy, too. In well-hydrated skin, dead cells of the skin's outer layer are more compact and orderly. This better shields the body from germs and allows dead skin cells to shed without becoming scaly or flaky.

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