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  • Angela Smith

Is Your Skin Care Routine Working for Your Skin?


Having radiant skin is not simply about vanity. Skin that looks healthy is healthy. So taking care of your skin is as much about health as it is about looks, if not more.


If you constantly read magazines and listen to commercials, it can seem overwhelming; your daily routine could take hours and your makeup and cabinets will be full and your pockets will be empty.


But it does not need to be that way. Here are some basic things we can do to keep our skin healthy.


One thing we always hear is that drinking lots of water can help our skin stay hydrated which will produce healthy and good looking skin.


There is no proof of this (though there is tons of proof that drinking tons of water will keep you healthy in other regards). According to the Mayo Clinic, “ If you're looking to maintain hydrated skin, there are steps you can take:

  • Avoid prolonged contact with hot water.

  • Avoid using deodorant soap and skincare products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids or alpha hydroxy acid.

  • Moisturize immediately after taking a bath or shower or washing your hands.

  • Use a humidifier.

  • Wear gloves when going out in cold weather”

These seem to be cheap, simple and researched ways to keep skin healthy. Let’s investigate!


Hot Water:


This one hurts me the most. I love a hot shower. But, like many things, it may feel good, but it is not good for you.


First, exposure to hot water can exacerbate certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, and excessively dry skin because they are each characterized by skin barrier repair defects. This means that they cause a defect or deficiency in the oily fat layer on your skin made up of cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides. Hot water can further strip away that layer.


But what if you do not have one of these skin conditions? Then hot water is fine, right?

Nope! Sorry.


You still need that layer of oil atop your skin. Without it, you will develop dry itchy skin, especially in the winter (right! I know! When hot showers are the best!).


BTW. This is all true for your hair as well. Hot water is also not good for healthy hair (though there is no proof that the “blast of cold water” helps either. Temperate showers people!)


Gentle Cleansers


What this means is that “A sulfate- and soap-free cleanser for the face will be pH-balanced and gentle to maintain skin’s barrier without stripping,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. Just look at the ingredients. Avoid using deodorant soap and skincare products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids or alpha hydroxy acid.


This does not mean you have to spend a ton of money on a face wash. There are plenty that meet these criteria and your budget.


Moisturize after the shower


That one is easy! And it feels good and is good for you!


Use a humidifier


Humidifiers release steam into the air. This opens up your skin’s pores allowing water back into your skin. This is especially important in places with harsh winters or low humidity. A humidifier will also help with those chapped lips.


Sunscreen


While this was not listed above, this is another recommendation from the Mayo Clinic. And it was the advice a friend of mine received when he asked his dermatologist what he should do to maintain youthful and healthy skin!


The Mayo Clinic also suggests avoiding stress. This may be a little more difficult for some, but we do know that skin is not the only health casualty of stress, so worth looking into.


Skin accounts for 15% of your body weight.

Take care of it by doing some simple routine changes.




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