How healthy is your skin?

3c8aa155-985a-4fd2-b85f-c72f2b07929eAs you spend a fortune on high-end facial products, you strive to improve the quality and look of your skin; may be to treat acne, wrinkling and general ageing, etc.

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD affirms this by saying that medications or treatments should be applied immediately after washing your face. This will ensure that it is absorbed properly. If you do not apply the product straight after washing, it may not do what its manufacturer claims.

Dr. Taylor recommends the following four steps to maximize your skin care:

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. When drying, pat the skin, don’t rub it dry.
  • Apply sunscreen or moisturizer (or both).
  • If desired, apply makeup.
  • Apply medication. Use your ring finger when applying cream around the eyes; it is the weakest finger and will not tug at this very delicate skin.

Multiple products may cancel each other out

Many products lose their effectiveness, if utilized in combination with others – one might negate the efficacy of the other. In some cases, a “cocktail” of different medications may irritate the skin.

Tips for healthy skin

  • Sun exposure – protecting your skin from exposure to too much sunlight is one of the best ways of maintaining good skin health, say experts.
  • Between 10am and 4pm try to stay in the shade.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Do not smoke – smoking ages the skin and alters its healthy look and color.  Researchers from the University of Nottingham reported from a study that smoking may be linked to a higher risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer. (Link to article)
  • Be gentle with your skin – cleansing and/or shaving skin every day can eventually damage it. Do not have long, hot baths or showers, as this may remove essential oils from skin. Bathe in warm (rather than hot) water. Use gentle soaps, preferably neutral ones or mild cleansers – strong soaps and detergents can rid the skin of essential oils. When shaving, apply shaving cream, gel or lotion beforehand – make sure the razor is clean and sharp. When shaving, follow the direction of your hair, don’t go against it. Pat your skin when drying it, rather than rubbing.
  • If you have dry skin, apply a moisturizer .
  • Diet – a healthy diet contributes significantly to healthy skin. Go for lean proteins, and increase your intake of whole grains, rather than refined flour products.   Also, increase your fruit and vegetable intake for better skin tone.
  • Stress – some studies have suggested that uncontrolled stress can make the skin more sensitive and the sufferer more susceptible to certain conditions, such as acne.

The American Academy of Dermatology has informed that sunscreens are safe and effective and protect you from skin damage. They also reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, including deadly melanoma.

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