Residents of ancient cities built defensive walls to ward off invaders. The city wall acted both as a bulwark to stop the enemy and as a rampart from which defenders could protect the city. Your body is likewise endowed with a protective wall, your skin. How does your skin protect you from intruders?
Your busy lifestyle leaves little time for pampering skin care. The result: Your skin isnt the baby-soft body glove you were born with.
As you age, your skin gradually becomes thinner and finely wrinkled. Oil-producing (sebaceous) glands grow less active, leaving your skin drier. The number of blood vessels in your skin decreases, your skin becomes more fragile, and you lose your youthful color and glow.
Good skin care such as avoiding the sun, washing your skin gently and applying moisturizer regularly can help delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems. These simple skin-care habits will help you protect your skin to keep it healthy and glowing for years to come.
Consumers advocate Elaine Brumberg reports: Many chemicals and cosmetic ingredients are capable of penetrating the skin and entering the body.
Some commonly used ingredients are suspected carcinogens. Other ingredients (usually fragrances and preservatives) are known to cause allergic reactions ranging from itching to sneezing. Check the labels.
This information is good for adults, kids and babies. Look for paraben, phthalates and similar products, used widely but harmful.
1. Cleanse Your Face Thoroughly.
Says the book A Lifetime of Beauty: Never go to sleep at night without removing
every trace of makeupÃ¢ï¿½Â¦Habitually sleeping with a layer of dirt, debris and dead skin cells stuck to your face will leave your complexion looking muddy and dull.
One dermatologist even claims you risk infection and irritation if you fail to clean off all makeup each night before retiring.
Use a natural makeup remover to avoid adding to the problem. A prevalent danger is bacteriological contamination.
Mascara can become the breeding ground for microorganisms transferred there from the eyelid or fingers via the mascara applicator. This can cause eye infections if the mascara wand is allowed to scratch the eye.
Contamination is particularly a problem in store samplers into which dozens of people have dipped their fingers. Some experts therefore recommend that you avoid applying store samples to your face.
Wash your face and body gently.
Cleansing, not irritating, is an essential part of caring for your skin. SoÃ¢ï¿½Â¦ treat your skin gently.
Use warm water and limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time to about 15 minutes or less, and use warm, rather than hot, water.
Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps, those most capable of stripping oil from your skin, can leave your skin dry. Instead, choose mild soaps or detergent substitutes with added oils and fats. Read the labels and examine the ingredients.
Avoid irritating additives. If your skin is sensitive, avoid products containing perfumes or dyes. These can irritate your skin and may trigger an allergic response. There are many products available today that contain natural products and avoid harsh chemicals.
Remove eye makeup carefully. Use a soft sponge; cotton cloth or cotton balls when removing eye makeup to avoid damaging the delicate tissue around your eyes. If you wear heavy, waterproof makeup, you may need to use an oil-based product.
After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin. Immediately moisturize your skin with an oil or cream.
3. Moisturize regularly
Moisturizers help maintain your skins natural moisture levels. They work by providing a seal over your skin to keep water from escaping or by slowly releasing water into your skin.
The moisturizer thats best for you and the frequency with which you need to moisturize depend on many factors, including your skin type, your age and whether you have specific conditions such as acne.
A good way to test if you need a moisturizer is to wait 20 minutes after bathing. If your skin feels tight, you should apply a moisturizer.
Select a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 to help protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays. If you have sensitive skin, look for products free of heavy dyes, perfumes or other additives.
If your skin is very dry, you may want to apply oil, such as baby oil, while your skin is still moist. Oil has more staying power than moisturizers do and prevents the evaporation of water from the surface of your skin. If your skin is oily, you may want to skip moisturizing.
Also, donÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t forget to moisturize from withinÃ¢ï¿½Â¦drink plenty of water!
4. Shave carefully
Shaving is a common and inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair. But shaving can cause skin irritations, especially if your skin is thin, dry or very sensitive.
For a smooth shave:
Press a warm washcloth on your skin before shaving to soften the hair. Or shave after a warm bath or shower.
Dont shave dry skin, which can cause razor burn. Apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving to protect and lubricate your skin.
Use a clean, sharp razor. If using an electric razor, dont use the closest setting, which can aggravate the skin.
Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it.
Rinse your skin afterward with warm water.
If irritation does occur, apply a lotion that doesnt contain ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.
LastlyÃ¢ï¿½Â¦but very importantlyÃ¢ï¿½Â¦
Protect yourself from the sun
The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Ultraviolet light , the invisible but intense rays from the sun,damages your skin, causing deep wrinkles, dry, rough skin, liver spots, and more serious disorders, such as noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) skin tumors. In fact, most of the changes seen in aging skin are actually caused by a lifetime of sun exposure.
For the most complete sun protection, use all three of these methods:
Avoid the sun during high-intensity hours.
The suns rays are most damaging from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reduce the time you spend outdoors during these hours.
Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats.
Also, keep in mind that certain clothing styles and fabrics offer better protection from the sun than do others. For example, long-sleeved shirts offer better protection than short-sleeved shirts do. And tightly woven fabrics such as denim are better than are loosely woven fabrics such as knits.
Several companies now make sun protective clothing (SPF clothing), which is specifically designed to block out ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.
Use sunscreen. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 15. Apply liberally 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.
Protect your eyes from sunburn.
Wearing sunglasses that also have UV protection is an important part of overall protection.
We are all aware of ultraviolet (UV) rays and the damage they can do to our skin but we might not often think of the damage they are doing to our eyes. Permanent damage can occur to the eyes when they are left exposed to UV light. Light that is reflected from water, sand, pavement or even snow can be the most harmful since they can actually burn the surface of the eye. Frequent exposure over a prolonged period of time can cause damage to the internal structures of the eye, namely the lens and the retina.
Exposure to the sun without sunglasses can also cause the formation of cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. This is so dangerous that if enough damage is done, cataract surgery may be required to remove the lens and an artificial one will replace it.
Go for healthy!
About the Author (text)The author, Anita Graves, has spent years researching and looking for healthful products to use in personal care and in the home. I have been an asthma suffer for 18 years. My youngest son suffered with asthma from infancy. Check out products I found. http://www.healthy-body-bath-home-plus.com