The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!


Winter causes many Midwesterners to experience changes. The ground goes from green to white, trees lose their leaves, days become shorter and then there are the mutations.

Yes, the mutations. Ordinary people become scaly, dry and cracked-up creatures.

Anyone could fall victim, a roommate, professor, coworker – even the hot guy or girl next door is vulnerable. Could there ever be a cure?

Luckily, there is a cure for the crocodile-like symptoms, and it’s moisturizer.

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Dr. Lawrence Scherrer, a dermatologist at Marshfield Clinic, 2116 Craig Rd., said moisturizing is important during the winter months because there is a lack of moisture in the air.

“Moisture (for the skin) comes from the outside,” Scherrer said. “The dry air results into dry skin. Moisturizers, for the most part, put moisture back into the skin.”

The skin, Scherrer said, is basically a barrier that’s constantly turning over as cells mature, die, shrink and flatten into scales with amino acids that the cells are hold in the skin. When the top protective layer breaks down, the living cells are exposed and the moisture in the skin leaks out, becoming dry.

The level of dryness and how the amount of moisturizing necessary depends upon the person, Scherrer said.

“Some have genetically dry skin,” he said, adding a dry skin condition called ichthyosis requires people to be more aggressive with their moisturizing. Another dry skin condition Scherrer mentioned is eczema, experienced in young children.

Whatever the condition may be, moisturizing is an individual decision.

“Only do it as much as you feel necessary,” Scherrer said.

Junior Kaci Kufalk said she moisturizes two times a day, once in the morning and once at night.

“Usually I moisturize in the mornings after I shower and also on the weekends later in the evenings after a shower,” junior Claire McGahan said.

Sophomore Amy Bachinski said she moisturizes every day in the mornings, as well.

“I lotion my legs every day because I have track practice every day,” she said. “I also moisturize my hands and face because they get cracked from it being so cold out.”

Scherrer said the best time of day to moisturize is after bathing.

“Moisturizers lock in moisture,” he said adding winter is the most important time of the year to moisturize.

“I know in the winter your skin cracks so much and can get rashes,” Bachinski said.

Winter, however, isn’t the only reason for dry skin.

Soaps strip oils out of the skin and using a less harsh soap can really help, Scherrer said.

“Using hand sanitizers are actually better than soap because the alcohol evaporates and doesn’t remove anything, unlike soaps,” he said.

When choosing facial cleansers, Scherrer said he recommends finding one with a more neutral pH level, such as Dove, Olay, Cetaphil and Aveeno.

“I look for anything that’s oil free,” Bachinski said. “You really have to experiment with them.”

Looking at the different qualities of moisturizers, such as thickness and fragrance, can make a difference, Scherrer said. He said he recommends the thicker cream or ointment moisturizers, like Vaseline.

“Lotions won’t do nearly as much good when it’s the winter and gets dry out,” he said.

Bachinski and McGahan both agreed the thicker moisturizers were more helpful.

“I look for a thicker kind and look for a waterproof type like Vaseline because it’ll stick to your skin longer,” Bachinski said.

“I guess (I like) creamy because I’ll get more out of it and it stays with you,” McGahan said.

Fragrances used in moisturizers generally aren’t harmful, Scherrer said, adding, “if you can tolerate it, they’re fine.”

“I usually don’t (buy fragrant moisturizers) because I don’t want different fragrances all over my body,” McGahan said.

Bachinski said she likes to keep with the natural scents if she buys fragrant moisturizers.

“I use the ones by Suave . the coca butter and the wheat ones,” she said. “I think the lotions by Bath and Body Works can give people problems.”

Fortunately, one problem moisturizers won’t cause is a large dent in one’s wallet.

“I like Curél,” McGahan said. “Originally I got it for my tattoo, but then I used it all over my body and thought it worked well … I think it costs around $5.”

Bachinski said she liked the Suave body lotion the most because it smelled good and was long-lasting.

“I’ve had the same one since school started and it’s not even half way gone, so I’d say it’ll last an entire school year,” she said, adding it costs between $5 and $6 for a large bottle.

Scherrer said, with spring break just around the corner, it’s necessary to avoid the harmful effects caused by the UVB and UVA rays. He said usually all moisturizers with SPF protection in them protect against UVB rays, however, only a few protect against UVA rays as well.

“Neutrogena products all have a good broad sunscreen protection especially for spring break coming up,” he said, adding tinted moisturizers are a great way to get the tan look, but keep in mind they don’t protect skin from sunburn.

McGahan gave her secret tip to help get that extra moisturizing push as the winter draws to a close.

“My roommate likes to use coca butter and then put on the spa-like gloves,” she said. “Also, my roommate likes to put on lotion before putting on her Northface gloves before class . apparently this helps keep her skin more moist and soft.”

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