By Dr. Edward F. Group
Your skin is your armor, your shield from the elements. Yet when was the last time you really thought about what you need to do to take care of it? Throughout your life, genetic and environmental factors will cause a lot of wear and tear to your skin. But you are never too young or too old to start taking care of your skin. In fact, skin care and protection should be an essential part of your health, fitness, and beauty regime. If you take care of your skin, your skin will take care of you! If your stuck in a skin care rut, or if you are just looking to learn a bit more about the basics of skin care, read on to learn more about this important step in your daily activities.
The Essentials of Skin Care
The first step to taking care of your skin is preventing damage. Sun, wind, pollutants, and simply aging can degrade the condition of your skin. Common complaints include dry and itchy skin, wrinkles, sagging, color changes, and age spots. There are steps that you can take to keep you skin looking and feeling its best.
Exercise, rest, and good nutrition lay the foundation for beautiful, healthy skin, inside and out. A proper diet is not only good for your overall health, it also helps to ensure that your skin will receive all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs to maintain and repair cells. Drinking purified water is another good way to keep your skin healthy. Water helps to hydrate the skin and move waste and nutrients through the system. It is very effective mixing a teaspoon or capful of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in with your water.
The most important way to care for your skin is to protect it from the damaging rays of the sun. Ultraviolet radiation damages the skin and can lead to wrinkles, premature aging, age spots, and cancer. Take extra precautions to make sure your skin is not exposed to the suns rays. Use a natural sunscreen, or a moisturizer that contains sunscreen (at least SPF 15) everyday. Your skin does need some sunlight -- 10-15 minutes of direct exposure daily.
Dry skin is very common, especially with age. Older skin has fewer sweat and oil glands than younger skin. Dry skin may be caused by frequent baths, certain cosmetics or medications. But whatever the cause, there are ways to alleviate the itchiness associated with it. Avoid using harsh soaps when bathing. A sponge bath with warm water may help to clean and revive skin without stripping the skin of its valuable moisturizers. When you do use soap, try using a natural mild soap that does not contain any dyes, parabens or perfumes.
Follow up the bath with a moisturizing lotion, concentrating on problem dry areas. A good moisturizer is one of the foundations for a healthy skin care regimen. Continue moisturizing throughout the day to keep skin healthy. Your hands and face are particularly susceptible to daily damage, and may need to be moisturized several times.
A Skin Care Routine
A skin care routine does not have to be elaborate in order to be effective. But you should develop some kind of skin care routine based on your skin type, daily activities, and nutritional needs so that you can be sure you are taking the very best care of your skin. Following a daily skin care regime will also allow you to more closely evaluate your skin for abnormalities. Here's a simple routine that you can adapt to fit your needs:
Cleanse: Wash your skin thoroughly on a daily basis to remove the dirt, debris, pollutants, and perspiration that accumulates on a daily basis. If you have dry or sensitive skin, use only warm water to wash your skin and use a mild natural cleanser every few days. If you have normal or oily skin, be sure to wash with a gentle cleanser on a daily basis. Be sure to brush your teeth before washing your face, as toothpaste residue can irritate sensitive facial skin.
Moisturize: Unless your skin is very oily, you will want to use a moisturizer everyday to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Your skin needs moisturizer all year long as both the indoor winter heat, and summer sun can be equally damaging to your skin.
Protect: Use a sunscreen when possible, regardless of whether or not you plan on spending much time in the sun. The sun's rays are very damaging and if you get in the habit of applying sunscreen everyday, you will never be left without protection. The suns most beneficial rays occur at sunrise and sunset.
Skin Care Products
There are several types of skin care products that may make a useful additional to your daily skin care. These include cleansers, sunscreens, moisturizers, exfoliants, facial cleansers, toners, retinoids, herbal and nutrient supplements, and cosmetics.
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The above information does not refer to Palmolive products.