Your skin is the body’s largest organ, but it also happens to be the one most people treat the worst and take for granted. Since it’s the only real organ on the outside of the body, the skin is subjected to harsh treatment by both its owner and the environment around it. When skin is not cared for properly and is subjected to years of wear and tear it, just like any other major organ, can make a person very sick. Luckily taking care of the skin is far easier than most people think. Caring for your skin starts with protecting it from the single most damaging thing that it comes into contact with: the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are very harsh on the skin, and prolonged exposure and can cause premature aging and wrinkles, the appearance of spots and even skin cancer. The first step is to use sunscreen every single day. Make sure the product you choose has an SPF of 15 or better. Sunscreen should be re-applied often, it is recommended to do so every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or performing any activity in which you are sweating. Even when wearing sunscreen, try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and never spend any prolonged period of time outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if you can help it.
Sunscreen is not enough, however. Everyone who will be out in the sun should also don protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants and hats. Make sure the clothing is made of a breathable fabric so you do not get overheated, and if you must take off the shirt or pants for any activity, put them back on as soon as possible.
Protecting your skin from the sun is only part of the battle, however. There are lifestyle changes you can make to improve its condition as well. The first is refraining from smoking, which is proven to age the skin and cause wrinkles. Smoking sucks oxygen from the skin and eats away at the essential oils and nutrients that keep skin healthy. If you do not smoke, do your skin a favor and never start. Stop smoking if you do to cut years off the look of your skin.
In addition, use a little TLC on your skin. Don’t take long baths or showers, which can deplete the natural oils in the skin, and use warm water rather than hot. Clean the body using only mild cleansers, and be sure to shave carefully using a layer of shaving foam or gel. Shave using a new, clean razor as much as possible, and always shave in the direction the hair grows. After bathing or showering and patting, not rubbing, the body dry, apply a lotion to help lock in moisture.
The final two factors to improving and protecting your skin are a healthy diet and stress management. Good food to help the skin includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and lean meats. As for stress, it has been proven to make skin increasingly sensitive and cause breakouts. Make sure you are able to keep your stress at a minimum as much as possible and remember to enjoy life.
With these simple steps, your skin will remain as youthful and supple as possible for many years. Take care of your skin every day, so it will remain strong and healthy as you grow older.
Do you have any tips on how to take care of your skin and make it look healthier? Let us know by commenting below.