Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Skin Care Dos and Don'ts

Skin Care Dos and Don'ts

Overview

Healthy skin is essential to your appearance, but keeping your skin in good shape requires attentive care. Daily exposure to sun, wind, pollution and cosmetics can damage your skin over time, and your skin needs proper daily care protect it from this damage. You'll need to experiment and adjust your skin care routine to find one that suits your skin type, but learning about the basic dos and don'ts can help you get started.

Cleansing

Wash with lukewarm water at least once daily. Apply a cleanser suited to your skin type to a washcloth and use this to massage your skin, removing dirt and dead skin cells. Bathe for no longer than 15 minutes and pat your skin dry.

Even if you have oily skin, don't wash more than three times daily to avoid over-drying your skin. Don't use hot water or harsh cleansers, including antibacterial and deodorant soaps. Don't rub your skin to dry it.

Skin Care Products

Choose skin care products based on natural ingredients. If you have normal or dry skin, apply moisturizer after bathing or washing your face. To improve your skin's texture and appearance, try a cream containing alpha hydroxy acids, advises Princeton University Health Services. Occasionally applying toner after you wash your face can help restore your skin's natural pH balance.

Avoid products that contain alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, which may dry skin. If your skin is generally oily, use moisturizer only on any dry patches you have. Don't use toner long term and, if you have sensitive skin, don't use toner at all.

Sun Protection

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to all exposed areas of skin 20 minutes before you go outdoors. Reapply it every two hours if you've been sweating or in water. To further protect your skin, wear a hat and other protective clothing.

Avoid the sun between 10 a..m and 2 p.m. Don't skip the sunscreen on cloudy days because even in less sunny weather 80 percent of the sun's rays reach your skin, warns Princeton University Health Services. Water, snow and reflective objects can also bounce sunlight onto your skin.

Misconceptions

Don't abandon a product because you don't see quick results, advises beauty website CareFair. Anti-aging skin products may take three months to smooth fine likes, and six months to reduce deeper wrinkles and correct discoloration. When using a cleaner with active ingredient like glycolic acid, massage your skin for one to two minutes to give the product time to sink in. No product should sting or cause redness. Products containing alpha hydroxy acids may tingle, but if a product causes pain or irritation, look for a milder alternative.

Considerations

Consider your skin type, which may be normal, dry, oily or a combination, when choosing products and a skin care regimen. While good skin care techniques help, a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and plenty of water are essential for keeping your skin nourished, hydrated and healthy. If you have an ongoing skin condition like eczema or you're prone to allergic reactions, your skin may require special care. Consult your health care provider about the skin care regimen that's right for you.

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