Skin Care

6 July 2022

Interestingly, the human skin is the body’s largest and most visible organ and is made up of water, protein, lipids, minerals, and chemicals. Its main job is the first line of defense against infections and environmental attacks. It renews itself about once per month. It contains nerves that detect cold, heat, pain, pressure and touch. In short, it is very remarkable.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

There are thousands of products available all claiming to be the “perfect” addition to your routine. Too many products, especially at once, can actually do more harm than benefit.

Keeping it simple, you need Cleanser, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen. Use all three in the morning and the first two at night.

Cleanser

Wash your face thoroughly using lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser. You want the skin clean but not peeled off. Finding the right cleanser is probably going to be trial and error until you find the best product for your skin type. It becomes complicated because over time, the skin will change with age and based on lifestyle and activities.

If you are sure of your skin type, start there but if not, begin with something designed for sensitive skin. Oily complexions are better treated with a foaming cleanser but if you have normal or dry skin, something else will be preferable.

Moisturizer

Skin is the layer that should prevent dirt and bacteria from invading our innards including bones. However because it tackles the wind and weather, it can lose water. A good moisturizer will act as a barrier against those assailants.

Sunscreen

If you are out for extended periods of time you will need to re-apply sunscreen every two hours. Choose something that blocks both UVA and UVB rays with SPF of at least 30.

Extras

The previous three items should be the primary products for good skin health. There are some other products that may give you some extra oomph although they are not mandatory. Ingredients that provide antioxidants (vitamins C, E, B3; carotenoids, etc.) like turmeric, green tea, coffee and rosemary. Some of these may be included in your moisturizers, so you should not double up on them. Hydrating serum is beneficial if you have particularly dry skin. Look for glycerin among its ingredients. Retinols, available over the counter, and retinoids through a prescription, can significantly reduce wrinkles but it will take a few months.

If you do not moisturize regularly, skin oil treatments will actually clog your pores and cause breakouts. Brushes can be harsh, so it is best to just use your clean hands. Lastly, the cost of facial masks can really mount up over time. Instead you may want to consider a hydrating serum which can be used multiple times.

If you are prone to skin conditions, start with a dermatologist appointment. Discuss ingredients that will be better than others. Knowing the ingredients is better than a product name, which can be quite expensive. If you are prone to eczema or sensitive skin, avoid scented products. If you have concerns, first do a patch test. Use a small amount of the product once a day in an area that will not cause a lot of attention, like behind the ear. Check for a reaction. If you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary, continue the test area for a couple or several more days. No reaction; proceed. Any redness or itching, stop immediately and make note of its name/ingredients.

Try to keep your skin care regimen simple. This offers the greater chance at maintaining it even when your life gets hectic or you are traveling. Test products before using on your face or buying the giant, economy size. Speak with a dermatologist if you have concerns.

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