How to Maintain Clear Skin
Acne, age spots and other skin blemishes affect nearly everyone at some point. Maintaining clear skin involves treating acne and other skin conditions as soon as they develop, and protecting the skin against damage caused by UV radiation, poor nutrition and lack of blood flow. With proper skin care, you can obtain and maintain healthy, radiant and clear skin without spending a lot of time or money.
Wash your skin twice each day with warm water and a mild, hypoallergenic soap. Avoid taking long, hot baths and showers, as these may dry your skin or trigger eczema flare-ups. Exfoliate only as needed, typically once or twice each week, using a fine-grained product. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel after bathing, and then apply a water-based moisturizer.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts and olive oil. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic states that these and other foods high in antioxidants promote healthy skin. He recommends limiting your consumption of meat and dairy products, as these foods may contribute to blemishes and premature aging of the skin.
Treat acne as soon as it develops. This will reduce the frequency and severity of your breakouts and prevent acne scars. The Nemours Foundation warns against touching your face, popping pimples, leaving makeup on overnight and wearing tight clothing. These things can make acne worse. Wash your skin twice daily with warm water and a gentle soap, and treat breakouts with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, excessive sun exposure can cause freckles, wrinkles, age spots and dryness. To maintain clear, healthy skin, the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. whenever possible, wearing sunscreen every time you are outdoors and wearing protective clothing when in the sun for extended periods.
Exercise regularly to increase circulation to your skin and improve your overall health. Make certain to shower immediately after exercising to wash away sweat and dirt and prevent acne breakouts.
Stop smoking. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in your skin, which prevents adequate nutrients and oxygen from reaching the surface of your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. This causes your skin to become dull and discolored, and can make you look older than you really are. Smoking also damages elastin and collagen, the skin's building blocks.
Maintain the appearance and health of your skin by relaxing and dealing with stress in healthy ways. Uncontrolled stress can cause acne and other skin disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic. Spend some time engaging in a favorite hobby, take a long bath after work, practice yoga or treat yourself to a spa visit. If your stress is interfering with your work or home life, speak with your doctor about better ways to cope.
Visit a dermatologist for evaluation and treatment if you suffer from severe or cystic acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or another skin condition. Many skin disorders can lead to permanent scarring or pigmentation problems if left untreated. Professional treatment will ensure your skin remains clear and healthy.
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