Skin-Friendly Solutions for Sensitive and Problem Skin

Skin Care 101: Your Must-Haves and Must-Nots

When it comes to your skin, you don’t want to take chances. It is the body’s largest and most visible organ, so that means it’s also exposed to the elements. Proper care is paramount to avoid skin-related illnesses and conditions.

Here are some skin care must-haves and must-nots to kickstart your skin care routine:

1. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is used to deep clean the skin and to scrub off any dead skin cells that may be lingering on the surface. Exfoliating beads, brown sugar, beads and special brushes are used depending on the intensity of the scrub. While it is recommended that you exfoliate once a week, it is important that you choose your products wisely. Some exfoliators are too harsh and can cause micro-tears in the skin. With micro-tears come scarring, and when you add in the sun exposure to the mix, you are causing your skin a lot of damage without even knowing it.

Silica, lava powder, apricot kernels and walnut shells are just some of the exfoliators to choose from. There are several natural alternatives to chemical peels to cut down on costs, and to give your skin the care it needs. You may also visit your dermatologist for regular skin check-ups.

2. Sunscreen

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

If this isn’t reason enough to wear sunscreen, what else is there? Protecting your skin from sun exposure is just one way of avoiding skin cancer. It’s not a foolproof method, but it is effective if you’re consistent with your application. Choose an SPF of at least 30 for days out. Remember, the SPF number does not ensure more protection. It just means longer protection before you have to re-apply.

Wear a hat and UV-protected sunglasses as well. If possible, try to avoid being directly under the soon from 10am-2pm, this is when the sun is at its harshest.

3. Dragging vs. Dabbing

Wash your face and then grab a towel. Think: do you dab your face dry or do you wipe it?

If you answered the former, good for you. For the rest, consider this your wake up call. The skin sags and loses its elasticity as we age. Do you want to speed up the process by yanking and tugging on your skin? Be as gentle on your skin as possible to preserve its elasticity. No stretching equals less wrinkles.

Imagine the garter on your socks. Over time, they lose their elasticity right? It's the same with your skin, the more you pull, drag and tug, the less elastic it will be.

4. Sleep

Sleep is such an important factor when it comes to skin care. When we don’t get enough sleep, it results in dull-looking skin and acne breakouts. Remember that recovery takes place during sleep, and we don’t get adequate amounts of good quality sleep, the skin is just one of the things that has to give.

Your skin renews and rebuilds itself as you sleep. Some experts recommend at least 8 hours, but others can function well with just 4-6 hours. Oversleeping is detrimental to your goals too, so don't sleep for 24 hours just because you can. It's all about keeping a regular schedule so that metabolic and hormonal processes can take place without disruption.

5. Hands to Face

Your hands are not the cleanest things around. Even if you wash every so often with soap and water and put sanitizer in between, chances are there’s still a significant amount of germs on there. It’s normal, but is it a good idea to be touching your face? Probably not.

Be mindful of where your hands have been, and avoid touching your face unless you are sure they are clean. Depositing germs on your face is a no-no for obvious reasons!

Next

Skin Care for Adolescents