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 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.
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.
Reduce Sun Exposure: In addition to wearing sunscreen, its 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.
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.