Ways to Care for Skin
The largest organ of your body, the skin has three layers: the outer layer, called the epidermis; the middle layer, called the dermis; and the bottom layer, known as the subcutaneous tissue. Basic skin care such as cleansing, moisturizing and using sunscreen can slow the aging process, alleviate acne and even prevent skin cancer.
Too much sun can have serious consequences, ranging from premature aging to skin cancer. More than a million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the American Melanoma Foundation. Although the sun has some benefits, such as helping the body create vitamin D, you need to apply sunscreen each time you go outside. The sunscreen should be at least SPF 15 and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The label should specify the type or types of rays it blocks. If you swim or sweat a lot, reapply the sunscreen every two to three hours.
Acne plagues both teens and young adults, especially on the forehead, nose and chin--the T-zone--where the majority of oil-producing glands are located. If you are fighting acne, avoid washing your face too often, because that can irritate the skin. After washing, rub in a lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide, which decreases oil and bacteria.
You can also lessen acne flare-ups by keeping your hands away from your face. Touching your face spreads bacteria. Also wash your hands before applying creams or makeup.
Acne appears in places other than the face. Wear loose-fitting clothing that allow your skin to breathe. Wash scarves, headbands and caps, as they can collect dirt and oil that can transfer to your skin.
Keep your skin looking young by avoiding cigarettes. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in your epidermis, decreasing blood flow and robbing skin of oxygen and nutrients. It can also damages collagen and elastin, contributing to wrinkles.
Wash Skin Gently
Basic skin care includes gently washing your skin. Washing too frequently or with water that is too hot or cleansers that are too harsh can damage your skin. Wash your face twice a day with warm water and a gentle cleanser. The rest of your skin will be cleansed in a daily shower. If you have dry skin, use a cleansing cream or a cleanser with added oils and fats. Pat your skin dry so that some moisture stays on your skin, and then moisturize.
If you have extremely dry skin, consider using a humidifier, as well as a moisturizer.
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