Protecting and Taking Care of Your Skin
Do you have healthy habits? For instance, do you properly cleanse your skin? If you’re a woman who wears make-up, be sure to remove all traces of make-up at the end of the day. No matter what your gender is, you should drink plenty of water, providing your skin with vital moisture from the inside. When you’re out in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen. Even though you won’t see immediate results, those little steps add up over time to make a big difference in the overall appearance of your skin.
It’s never too late to integrate a proper skin care routine. If you’re a teenager or you have a teenager at home, start now to develop healthy habits. If you’re an older adult, lead by example! You can’t replace the skin you’re in, but you can still nourish and pamper it to protect it for the future. With the proper care, your skin can stay fresh as you age.
Skin’s not going to be perfect. It can be dry or oily; it can develop rashes and acne, among a million other issues. But don’t back down: address the problem with a esthetician.
Protecting your skin from the sun is important because the sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Over time, exposure to UV radiation causes many changes in the skin, including wrinkles, discoloration, freckles or age spots, benign (non-cancerous) growths such as moles, and pre-cancerous or cancerous growths such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. In fact, most skin cancers are related to sun exposure.
There are two main types of UV radiation: UVB and UVA. UVB sun rays cause sunburns and UVA rays cause tanning. UVA rays are believed to be responsible for photoaging, the damage that occurs to the skin from many years of exposure to the sun. Both UVB and UVA light contribute to the risk of developing skin cancer.
Most sunscreen products available in the past were developed to prevent sunburns by blocking UVB rays. Newer sunscreen products have been developed to more effectively block UVA rays and contain ingredients such as avobenzene, ecamsule, and Helioplex™. Sun protection recommendations emphasize certain behaviors, as well as the use of sunscreens. The recommendations include:
Avoiding midday sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Wearing wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and pants
Using a generous amount of sunscreen and reapplying it frequently (every 2-3 hours.) One ounce (30 ml, or a shot glass) is required to cover the entire exposed skin surface.
Using sunscreens that have a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 15, and that have both UVA and UVB coverage
Avoid tanning beds
Using lip balms containing sunscreen
Facial skin care for acne prone skin
It may have started in your teen years, that time when age and hormones meet to cause those awful breakouts. Or, did you begin experiencing acne breakouts in your adult years? Even if you had clear skin in your teenage years, hormones, stress, or other factors may conspire in your adult years to cause acne breakouts. If you are prone to acne, choose a cleanser specially formulated for acne. These products often contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which help to clear acne sores.
Clean your face gently, as trauma to the acne breakouts may worsen the acne or cause scarring. When washing your face, use your hands, or a soft washcloth.
When you sleep at night, make sure you are sleeping on a clean pillowcase and that you are the only person using your pillowcase. That seemingly harmless item absorbs traces of oil during the night, making it a prime suspect for aggravating breakouts if not changed regularly.
If you have longer hair, you should make sure to pull it back when you sleep at night. The oil in your hair can aggravate your skin as well.
If you need to use a moisturizer, use only light, non-comedogenic moisturizers, which do not aggravate acne. There are oil-free moisturizers on the market that contain anti-bacterial agents for acne-prone skin. This type of product may be your best option. Also, women should use an oil-free foundation, as heavy makeup or other cosmetic products that block pores may cause a flare-up of acne.
Facial skin care for mature skin
You may have been noticing the signs for a while: you may have increased roughness, wrinkling, irregular pigmentation (coloration), or inelasticity. You may have enlarged sebaceous (oil) glands. Sometimes, precancerous and cancerous lesions can occur with aged and photoaged skin. Sunscreens and sun protection are important to prevent further progression of photoaging.
You should be aware that your skin requires different care as you age. Skin doesn’t produce new cells at the same pace, and environmental and biological factors greatly impact how we age. Products that allow for cell management (creams, for instance), would be your best bet. You want to seek out those products that contain ingredients like retinol, tretinoin (found in the prescriptions Retin-A® and Renova®), or glycolic acid.
What are your habits? If you smoke, that’s working directly against your skin. Smoking has been shown to accelerate aging of skin, so quitting now is important for good skin health. In addition, a well-balanced diet--with or without a multivitamin--helps the skin get the nutrition it needs to help repair ongoing damage from the sun and other environmental elements.
There are many topical non-prescription and prescription products currently available that help maintain and protect your skin’s health. Ask your dermatologist or skin care specialist which medications are best for you.
Dry skin is defined as flaking or scaling--which may or may not be itchy--when there is no evidence of dermatitis, or inflammation, of the skin. Flaking, however, may be a sign of underlying dermatitis (which is also called eczema). There are different types of dermatitis that may cause dry, itchy, and flaking skin. They include:
Seborrheic dermatitis -- This type involves a red, scaly, itchy rash on various areas of the body, particularly those areas that contain many oil glands. Seborrheic dermatitis can occur as scaling on the scalp (dandruff), eyebrows, outer ear canals, and sides of the nose.
Allergic contact dermatitis -- This type occurs when the skin comes into contact with a substance that causes an immune reaction, such as poison ivy. Allergic contact dermatitis of the hands often causes scaling on the fingers.
Atopic dermatitis -- This is a long-lasting type of dermatitis (eczema) that often runs in families. It also may cause excessively dry, itchy skin.
Athlete's foot -- In many cases, athlete's foot, a fungal infection, shows up as dry flaking on the soles of the feet.
Dry skin that is not caused by dermatitis most often occurs on the shins, hands, and sides of the abdomen. It is more common during the winter months, when humidity is low. Some people also have a genetic, or hereditary, tendency to develop dry skin. In addition, elderly people tend to have more trouble with dry skin due to the natural changes in skin that occur with age.
Treatment of dry skin is important because extensively dry skin can lead to eczema or other forms of dermatitis. Dry skin may be prevented or treated by:
Taking lukewarm baths or showers
Limiting baths/showers to five to 10 minutes
Applying a moisturizer right after drying off from a shower or washing your hands
Using a moisturizing body soap and hand soap
Using heavier creams or ointments during the winter months and lighter lotions in the summer
thanks a lot for this advice, works very well!