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Skin Care Basics for Women

Skin Care Basics for Women

Protecting your skin can help you slow the aging process; it can also prevent health problems such as dermatitis, or dry, itchy and inflamed skin. You don't have to spend a fortune to have beautiful skin; merely follow a few basic skin care guidelines.

Remove Makeup

You should remove makeup before bed to help prevent clogged pores that can lead to acne. If you are acne prone, look for makeup labeled "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic."

Wash Skin Gently

Long showers in hot water can strip your skin of natural protective oils; limit shower or bath time and use warm rather than hot water. Use cleansers targeted at your skin type -- dry, medium or oily -- and clean your face using a washcloth and a gentle massaging motion. Scrubbing too hard can irritate skin and increase the likelihood of acne scarring. If you are acne prone, choose cleansers with benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol or salicylic acid.

Use Protection

To prevent sun-related skin damage that can accelerate the appearance of aging and increase the risk of skin cancer, apply a moisturizing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 immediately after your shower or bath. Look for a sunscreen that provides both UVB and UVA protection. also recommends limiting sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wearing long sleeves, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat.

Don't Smoke

Smoking causes narrowing of the small blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. This narrowing reduces blood flow to the skin, decreasing the amount of oxygen and vital nutrients the skin receives. Smoking can also reduce skin strength and elasticity, which can lead to premature aging.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help your skin get the nutrients it needs. Vitamins A and C are particularly important for skin health, and reports that there is some evidence that a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet rich in vitamin C may promote skin health.

Limit Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause capillaries close to the skin to dilate, causing redness. While this effect is initially temporary, it can become permanent with long-term excessive alcohol use. Immoderate alcohol use also can cause dehydration, which can contribute to aging of the skin.

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