Best Skin Care Techniques for Your Skin

Your skin is one of the most amazing organs in your body. It is the only one constantly exposed to the elements, protecting you from heat and cold, wind and rain, bacteria and viruses, while providing you with information about the feel of what it comes in contact with. Skin is impermeable, self-repairing and self-lubricating. It is so wonderfully self-sufficient that you might think it can remain perfect without any support, but your skin deserves and needs adequate care.

Your skin reflects how healthy your body is, and it can indicate illness even before you feel unwell. To help it remain healthy, here are some dermatologist-approved tips on how to care for it regardless of your age.

The Three Pillars of Skin Care

Protecting

  1. Avoid sun damage: Ask any dermatologist what their pet peeve is, and they will all reply the same: lack of sunscreen. Although the skin does a fantastic job of protecting our bodies, it has to be protected in turn against the sun. Therefore, apply sunscreen daily, with a SPF 30 or higher.
  2. Avoid tanning beds: These contraptions are incredibly damaging to your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer significantly. To remain beautifully tan during the darker months, a self-tanning lotion is a much better option.
  3. Avoid touching your face: Every time that you touch your face, you transfer any dirt or bacteria to your face, which can cause a breakout. Do not pop any pimples, as this can turn into scars.

Cleansing

Regarding most of your skin, most dermatologists advise against showering or bathing daily, as this strips the body from its good oils and protective bacteria. Unless you are highly active or your specialist advises so, showering 2-3 times per week is enough, using lukewarm water and natural soap.

Your face, however, requires a bit more attention. Wash your face in the morning and the evening, and after sweating profusely, as perspiration irritates the skin. Follow these instructions to avoid irritating your skin:

  • Use a mild soap and lukewarm water.
  • Wash with your fingertips only, no loofas or sponges, without scrubbing.
  • Rinse well and pat dry.

As the most exposed parts of your body, your hands must be washed often and thoroughly through the day. A gentle soap and warm water are enough to get rid of most pathogens.

Moisturizing

After having washed your skin, you need to moisturize it with the right product. There are so many products available that it is possible to feel overwhelmed, but the most important step is choosing products formulated for your skin type. Using too many products – especially anti-ageing ones – can irritate your skin.

Avoid oily and fragranced lotions. If you have oily skin, you still must moisturize, as failing to do so may make your glands increase sebum production.

Skin types

Normal skin

This skin type indicates clear skin without any redness of blemishes, pores are small and any dryness or oiliness are temporary and easy to fix.

Dry skin

Dry skin can feel itchy, tight or even get flaky. Although it looks dry, this skin type does not mean that you are dehydrated and increasing the frequency of showers or baths can worsen it.

Oily skin

You can identify oily skin by its shiny appearance. Pores are sometimes enlarged and the skin is prone to acne breakouts.

Combination skin

Probably the most common skin type, combination skin mixes two or more types. Although there are moisturizers for combination skin, some people prefer to use specific products for each area. It is very usual to have combination face skin, especially with oily skin on the “T-zone”: forehead, nose and chin.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is a separate type of the ones above, as your skin can be oily and sensitive, or dry and sensitive… This skin is prone to irritation, redness and itchiness. As it can be a sign of illness, it is always worth visiting a doctor to have it checked.

Other skin care considerations

General:

  • Stop smoking: Not only it is highly cancerous, but smoking will also make your skin dry and wrinkly, as well as staining it.
  • Read labels and ingredients: Avoid products that clog your pores. Be mindful of “unscented” products, as they may contain a masking fragrance.
  • Visit a dermatologist: Skin cancer affects 20% of Americans, making it the most common cancer in the US, however if detected soon the survival rate is very high – 98%. Ensure that you have any spots or moles checked regularly, especially if they change size, color or texture.
  • Exfoliating: Be careful not to exfoliate and only use products and methods that suit your skin type.

Face:

  • When moisturizing your face or putting on sunscreen, remember to also care for your neck and decolletage.
  • Keep your lips moisturized with a SPF 30 lip balm.
  • Aim to simplify your skin care routine, once in the morning and at night time: gentle cleanser and moisturizer, plus sunscreen, is the perfect balance to keep your skin healthy.

Hands:

  • Use gloves when using aggressive products or doing manual work such as doing the dishes or gardening.
  • Avoid overusing disinfectant gels: albeit very useful on the go, they are very aggressive on your skin. Choose washing your hands with soap and lukewarm water over anti-bacterial gel whenever possible.
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