Skin is a person’s most visible feature, the first thing people notice about you. Your skin not only helps you feel good when it looks good, but its purpose is that of protection. Skin helps our bodies stay warm or cool, protect the rest of the body from coming into contact with infectious particles and helps provide our bodies with vitamin D. Not only that, skin provides us with the experience of touch.
What are some ways to keep skin healthy, nourished and protected?
1 – Sun protection. It’s a common method to avoid sunburn and prolonged skin damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. A few recommendations fall into this area of keeping healthy skin all-year round. Using a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 that is broad spectrum is advised. Generously apply the lotion or spray and repeat every two hours. The higher the SPF the better. It’s wise to use sunscreen throughout the entire year since damaging UV rays lurk even on the cloudiest of days.
Avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The sun’s rays are the most intense during this time of the day.
Full-coverage clothing might seem burdensome on a hot day, but light fabrics like these that cover your neck, chest, arms, and legs will go the distance in protecting your fragile skin from the sun’s rays. Think sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and long pants with light material. There are also laundry additives that provide another level of protection from ultraviolet rays. The additives are designed to last for a certain number of times in the washing machine.
Moreover, consider sun-protective clothing that is meant to block UV rays.
2 – Don’t smoke. Not only is smoking horrible for a person’s health internally, but it wrecks havoc on skin, too. It causes premature aging and wrinkles of the skin due to very small blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin not getting enough blood flow. It’s that blood flow that enables oxygen and nutrients to flow to the skin, a key factor in maintaining healthy skin. The nicotine habit does serious damage to collagen and elastin, which are fibers that contribute to the skin’s endurance and elasticity.
3 – Clean skin gently. Limit hot water on skin from baths or showers. Extremely high temperatures of water can strip skin of oil and dry it out. The same is true for harsh soaps that are high in toxins not recommended for sensitive skincare. These types of chemicals may include triclosan, dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), diethanolamine (DEA), formaldehyde, and various artifical fragrance. A good way to avoid these types of ingredients in soaps is sticking with high-quality bar soaps, liquid castille soap (instead of antibacterial and scented soaps), and opting for organically-made soaps (made free of toxins).
4 – Retinoids. Available only by prescription, retinoids consists of the medications Retin-A, Renova, and the generic brand Tretinoin. The topical solutions come in the form of cream or gel. Retinoids are said to unplug pores, help eliminate acne, lessen the effect of fine lines, increase the body’s production of collagen, minimize the appearance of brown spots and freckles, and give skin an overall even texture. It’s an anti-aging regimen that doctors favor in helping patients maintain healthy skin.
Retinoids are a strong and must be used in gradual amounts because they can easily cause dry, flaky, and reddish skin when first used. A tiny pea-sized amount of gel or cream is recommended every few nights until skin adapts to this strong chemical.
If an over-the-counter version of retinoids is preferred, a reduced level of the ingredient can be found in creams, gels, or serums. These will be found in the cosmetics department in the skincare area that consist of wrinkle repair, overnight creams, and corrective serums. A variety of major brands will carry these with some degree of retinol in them.
5 – Sleep. Getting plenty of rest renews the human body and one of its benefits is healthy skin. Sleep reduces stress hormones, which otherwise increase inflammation of the skin. Stress hormones innately result in wrinkles and more acne. Sleep is highly beneficial as one of the ways to keep skin healthy year-round because it helps the body to stay hydrated and rejuvenated. The skin is further able to protect itself from damaging chemicals and other environmental impurities.