Tips to Protect Your Skin
These five skin protection tips can keep your skin looking and feeling great, by guarding against a slew of skin woes, from chapped skin to prematurely aging to skin cancer.
Limit Sun Exposure (skin protection)
Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause many types of skin damage:
• Skin cancer
• Age spots
• Benign growths
Using skin care products that offer ultraviolet protection is one of the best ways to help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful:
• Use sunscreen every day and reapply regularly whenever you’re outdoors for extended periods.
• Cover skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
• Stay indoors when the sun is at its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
• Keep in mind that tanning beds are just as harmful as direct sunlight, as they also emit ultraviolet rays.
Keeping your skin moist is essential to skin protection. Skin that is properly hydrated retains pliability and prevents chapped skin or scaly, flaky skin:
• Drink lots of water. This is key to hydrating your skin.
• Use the right moisturizing cream or lotion for your skin type and apply it right after drying off from your bath or shower. Avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as this ingredient removes natural oils needed by your skin.
Take Health Precautions
Practicing skin protection means paying close attention to what touches your skin, to lower your chances of exposure to germs:
• Don’t share any personal items, such as lip balms or toothbrushes.
• Don’t share drinks with other people.
• Avoid touching your face with your fingers or with objects like telephone receivers that have been used by others.
Use Gentle Skin Care
Washing your face is important to remove dirt, oils, germs, and dead cells. However, scrubbing your face causes irritation that can lead to chapped skin that, in turn, can leave skin vulnerable. For best results, you should:
• Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser.
• Gently massage your face with a washcloth, using a circular motion.
• Rinse thoroughly after washing to remove all soap and debris.
• Pat your skin dry — don’t rub — then apply your facial moisturizer.
Know Your Skin
• Pay attention to odd freckles, moles, and growths on your skin, and consult your doctor if you notice any changes. For example, a change in a mole can indicate potential skin cancer.
• Be sure to treat any cuts that may occur to prevent infection.
• Other skin conditions that merit a dermatologist visit include frequent acne, inflamed or irritated dry skin, and skin rashes and irritations that don’t go away, as these could be signs of one of the many types of dermatitis, or skin inflammation.
With proper skin care to pamper skin from the outside and with a good diet to nourish from within, skin protection comes down to a few simple steps.