Definition of Skin Care
Good skin care encompasses a variety of factors depending on the individual's type of skin. A skin care regime is also likely to change with age. For example, adolescents may practice good skin care to treat or prevent acne while adults are often trying to protect against dry skin or age lines. Regardless of the condition, good skin care requires patience and diligence.
The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against a variety of environmental harms--which is why it's so important to take good care of it. Eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated are two of the best ways to promote overall skin health. According to the Mayo Clinic, foods that are good for the skin include fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, nuts and olive oil. Also, drinking eight glasses of water per day will keep skin hydrated and flush toxins from the body.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing the skin twice daily with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water. The type of cleanser depends on the condition of the skin. Acne sufferers may want to use a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Anyone with dry skin should use a non-medicated cleanser to avoid over-drying the skin. People who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema can purchase an over-the-counter moisturizing cleanser for sensitive skin, such as Cetaphil.
If a balanced diet and gentle cleansing isn't enough, further treatment may be required. The treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition. Over-the-counter products are typically the first line of defense in skin care since they are cheaper and less invasive than other treatments. Most drug stores have an influx of skin care products. A pharmacist can provide help as to which products work best for which condition.
Deciding whether or not to see a dermatologist can be a difficult decision, especially if visits aren't covered by insurance. Since many skin conditions can be emotional as well as physical, the American Academy of Dermatology lists guidelines for deciding when to seek professional help. The guidelines include whether or not the condition causes anxiety, depression or embarrassment, whether the condition is physically painful and whether or not the condition causes the person to act more shy or introverted than usual.
The sun can have hazardous effects on the skin ranging from dark spots and wrinkles to skin cancer. People of all ages and ethnicities should apply sun screen prior to venturing outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a broad-spectrum sun screen--meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays--that is water-resistant and has an SPF of 30. Tanning beds should also be avoided. Self-tanners are a much safer substitute.
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