Your skin can tell a lot about the story of your life…from teenage problem skin and the years of sun worship and tanning beds to the radiant glow of pregnancy to those less-than-welcome age spots and wrinkles.
Much has been written about how to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays, but there are other things you can do to keep your skin in great shape as you age. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and your primary defense against disease. Taking care of it should be a top priority!
1. Clean your skin properly. Water alone isn’t enough but stay away from soap. Most soaps are alkaline which changes the pH of your skin and can cause flaking, itching and dryness. Choose instead a liquid cleanser or cleansing cream with a natural ingredient like coconut oil to dissolve dirt and makeup. Facial cleansing wipes are another popular alternative to soap.
2. Wash gently, with warm not hot water. Avoid scrubbing with a rough cloth or using micro-bead exfoliators, which are polluting to our streams and oceans.
3. Protect your skin from dryness. The epidermis is about 30% water, much of it being bound in the lipids which prevent water from evaporating. Using a good moisturizer can increase your skin’s ability to bind water.
4. Protect your skin from the sun. That means using a sunscreen of SPF 30 on your face every day – even on days when the sun doesn’t shine. Today’s beauty products make that easy! Most facial moisturizers contain sunscreen. Don’t forget your hands, arms and other parts of your body that are exposed.
5. Check your skin carefully. If you are over 40, you should have a total body scan by your health care professional every year to check for possible signs of skin cancer. All women should check their own skin periodically. Call Dr. Quintana immediately if you find a suspicious mole or growth!
Just as exercise and healthy eating combine to make you feel great on the inside, caring for your skin makes you look great on the outside!