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Like it or not, your skin will be with you for the rest of your life. Your skin serves you and your body in a number of ways. It aids in sensory perception, protects you from injuries, provides a barrier against dehydration, assists in temperature maintenance, removes toxic wastes, aids in the manufacture of vitamin D, and provides structure to the organs and tissues within your body. To put it lightly, your skin is an integral part of your life. It’s essential that you care for it and maintain it in a healthy state so that it will continue to function well for you as you age.
Knowing Your Skin
We glance quickly at the skin on the rest of our bodies when we shave, and we know to cover our skin when it’s cold. But do we really know our skin? Is it dry or oily? Sensitive or thick? How often do new moles or wrinkles develop? Does your skin react differently when you change your lotions, cleansers, and creams? Do you have a skin care routine?
Your skin is very important to your overall health and well being. Take time to really look at your skin, and get to know its various features and subtleties. If you are not satisfied with your current skin care products, look for higher quality natural organic products that will improve the condition of your skin.
Skin types are unique and react in different ways to weather, environment, and creams and/or lotions. In order to keep skin healthy and youthful in appearance it is essential to know your skin type and how to care for it.
Most skin care specialists will advise to apply moisturizers all over the body to nourish the skin. Top of the list in skin care is sun protection to prevent serious damage to the delicate skin structure. A few other simple steps will help you care for your particular skin type.
Normal Skin: Use a rich cream or lotion to moisturize the skin. Be sure to apply the moisturizer to the neck and décolleté. Don’t forget to moisturize the elbows and knees. It’s best to apply moisturizers after bathing while the skin is still moist for better absorption.
Oily Skin: There are already plenty of natural oils in this skin type, so use a light moisturizer. A body mist spray is also good for oily skin, as it will sit gently on the skin, without stimulating the glands that produce body oils. To avoid breakouts it is important to keep pores from becoming clogged.
Combination Skin: This type of skin usually refers to just the face. The neck however, should not be forgotten. The neck area tends to be dry if you have this type of skin. A light moisturizer that contains sunscreen should be used in order to combat dryness. At night a richer cream will nourish the skin as you sleep, keeping it smooth, supple and youthful.
Dry Skin: A deep penetrating cream will nourish this type of skin. Try an oil-based lotion as an alternative; it will leave the skin silky and smooth. Dry skin is often aggravated by air conditioning, wind and sun. Always use extra moisturizers to keep hydrated when exposed to these elements.
Sensitive Skin: This type of skin often needs special attention. Formulated and medicated creams can be obtained to address specific individual needs.
A visit to a professional will help evaluate this type of skin and assist in designing a skin care regime that addresses each particular case.
Protecting Your Skin
The ultraviolet rays of the sun are damaging to your skin and to your health. Sun exposure can lead to premature aging, sagging, wrinkles, skin discoloration, and the development of cancer. And while a suntan will eventually fade at the end of the summer, the damage to the skin from sunlight will continue to accumulate over time. Take measures to protect your skin from the sun and its damaging rays.
Sun Screen: Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 helps block the damaging rays of the sun, and it should be used every day for adequate protection. Even if you don’t plan on sunbathing, you are exposed to the sun when you drive in the car or walk into the grocery store. If you tend to sweat heavily, or if you are exercising vigorously, reapply the sunscreen every two to three hours throughout the day. It is good idea to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to insure its protective effects.
Reduce Sun Exposure: In addition to wearing sunscreen, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation your skin is exposed to everyday. Limit your time outdoors between 10:00am and 3:00pm when the sun is directly overhead and strongest. Wear protective clothing such as wide brimmed hats and sunglasses to block the sun’s rays. And when you do have to expose yourself to the sun, try to build up your tolerance in modest increments each day.
Cleansing Your Skin
Next to sun protection, proper skin cleansing is the next best thing you can do for the care and protection of your skin. Washing your skin helps to remove the dirt, pollutants, dead skin cells, bacteria, cosmetics, perspiration, and debris that accumulate on your skin. Choose a gentle skin cleanser based on your skin type and special skin care needs (i.e. anti acne, or sensitive skin.) And wash your skin as necessary to keep it clean, fresh, and functioning properly.
Skin Care Tip: do not rub skin care cleansers into your skin. Instead, lather the soap or gel into a foam in your hands, apply to the skin and rinse off well. This will keep the cleansers from overly drying, blocking, or irritating the skin’s pores.
Maintaining Healthy Skin
Moisturizers: Skin care moisturizers smooth and soften skin and help to lock in its natural moisture. They can be particularly soothing to dry or sensitive skin. And they provide great protection for the skin during wet, cold, or chapping (windy) weather.
Lifestyle: Your skin needs a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to function and remain healthy. Adequate exercise helps improve circulation and move waste and nutrients through the system. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise to keep your skin, and the rest of your body in tip-top condition. Avoid smoking cigarettes, cigars and even vaping to protect your skin from harmful chemicals ans potential carcinogens. Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake to keep healthy inside; prevent damaging liver, heart and high blood pressure conditions.
Skin Care Tip: Drink at least six to eight glasses of purified water throughout the day to hydrate the skin and circulate essential nutrients. Also avoid chlorinated pools and hot tubs. Chlorine is very damaging to the skin. Get a shower filter to filter out the harmful chemicals from your city water supply.
Keep your skin protected from the sun at all times.
Drink plenty of water.
Get lots of sleep.
Do not rub the skin – always pat skin dry with a soft towel.
Consult your aesthetician or dermatologist they can advise you on solutions to most problem skin conditions.
Skin Care Tip: Enlist the help of a natural skincare expert to examine your skin, point out trouble spots, and monitor the condition of your skin. A dermatologist can also help you understand your particular skin type, and recommend skin care products that would work best for you.