Information Source on Skin Care
No one can deny that having a healthy, fair skin is critical to a living a perfectly wonderful life. It frees you from the wrath of symptoms caused by skin diseases.
Skin is perhaps one of the most important parts of your body for it protects you from a host of diseases that may pose a threat to your existence.
It is our body’s main line of defense. It guards you from all infections and insulates your body from the ever-fluctuating external environment in order to keep a relatively stable body temperature.
It is the body’s main point of contact to the outside world, sending constant information to the brain about pain, heat, texture, cold, etc.
With this in mind, there is no doubt that proper skin care and staying away from skin damaging activities will do yourself and your skin particularly, a big favor.
SPF's, Lifestyle and Diet
There are misconceptions about skin color. People believe that the fairer you are, the more you are likely to suffer burns caused by exposure to sunlight. That may be partly true, but overexposure to UV light can cause serious skin problems.
If you go outdoors and cannot avoid exposing yourself to the harmful sun rays, the following recommendations will surely save you from the aftermath of excessive sun exposure:
Wear protective sunscreen – More and more people are starting to realize the importance of wearing lotions with Sun Protection Factor ingredients (SPF). SPF's sunscreen lotions are effective in blocking UV lights from penetrating through your skin.
Intensive application should be made on exposed spots of the body such as the lower arm and legs, ear lobes, nose, feet and the face. Choose sunscreens that contain a high amount of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, benzophenone, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone and/or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane known as avobenzone (Parsol 1979).
Wear Protective Fabric - Tightly woven clothing are effective in warding off unwanted UV rays. Today, some fabrics are labeled as how effective they are in intercepting UV rays. Hats with wide brim also confer a great amount of protection.
Minimize Unnecessary Exposure and Tanning – Unavoidable sun exposure such as recreation or as part of occupation is one of the hazards of everyday life and increases your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
If these cannot be avoided, make sure to wear protective clothing and wear sunscreens appropriate for a certain activity and your level of exposure. Increasing SPF's means increasing protection.
Cosmetic tanning also poses the same kind of risk due to UV-induced damage. It uses UVA rays and does not cause obvious burns. The amount of damage is comparable to UVB rays which cause visible tanning and damage.
Eat Right – Maintaining a well-balanced diet is critical to the maintenance of a healthy skin. Your grandma may have said it once to you but fruits and vegetables contain excellent skin rejuvenating ingredients.
Fruits and Vegetables contain anti-oxidants such as vitamins C, D and E. These organic foodstuffs bind with highly reactive free radicals and neutralize them. They insulate the body against unwanted damage caused by these extremely injurious chemicals.
Whole grains, seeds, nuts, fish such as tuna and salmons are excellent sources of fatty acids and essential oils and keeps the skin hydrated. Fatty acids acts like a bullet vest in preventing UV rays from penetrating deeply into the skin causing too much damage.
Drinking plenty of fluids such as water and juices also keep your skin dehydrated and minimize the effect of sun exposure. Research shows that dehydrated skin are more prone from burns and structural damage. Protecting the Skin from the Sun
Yes, enjoying a sunny day on the beach is fun. However, when going out without proper skin protection one is risking himself of having skin diseases, one of which is the dreaded skin cancer. So to maintain the healthy, youthful glow of one's skin, it is indispensable to understand how the bad effects of the sun's ultraviolet or UV rays come into action.
The UV-A and UV-B rays penetrate clouds, thick layers of glass, a meter of water, and the layers of the skin. UV-B makes the skin's top layers to release chemicals that permit the blood vessels' expansion and cause some fluid to leak, resulting to inflammation, pain and redness known as sunburn. This damage can occur within an approximate of only 15 minutes and can continue to worsen for up to 72 hours after sun exposure. The damaged skin cells in the process will die and "molt off" in sheets or pictures. Peeling is the process in which the body disposes of dead skin cells. UV-A are the rays that get into the deeper layers of the skin. This affects the living skin cells under the surface of the skin. These rays not only bring about long- term damage such as sagging, wrinkles and discoloration, they also give way for the early stages of skin cancer.
Here's some "geek speak" that's worth some brow-burning. The UV rays act like chain saws, shredding deep into the DNA (the genetic material, with a very precise structure, specific order and specific coding) found within the cell nuclei. Repair enzymes within the cell act by countering the damage done on the DNA chain in shortest period possible. This damage and repair happens simultaneously and continuously with the tempo of the repair keeping up with the extent of damage being inflicted. But just like any other mechanism within the body, these repair enzymes have their limits and reaches the point that they can no longer work. When the damage is too much (which occurs even before the skin turns red), the enzymes cannot cope. The result is a dismantled DNA structure which alters the coding and leads to the abnormality of skin cells or what is termed as mutation. This is the first step of the formation of cancer cells. UV-rays also contribute to the formation of super oxides which are extremely toxic chemicals the speeds up skin cell ageing.
So who exactly are those in the threat of having skin cancer? People who have already experienced three or more bad cases of sunburn before reaching the age of twenty and regular sunbathers who always crave for an instant tan have greater risks of acquiring the dreaded skin disease known as melanoma. Cricketers, farmers, golf players and others, who have long exposure to the sun, have more tendencies to have milder forms of skin cancer.
So after learning how the body reacts to sunlight here is some information on how to prevent its harmful effect.
Ironically, studies on skin care show that Vitamin D, with the help of sunlight exposure, is what can help the body combat skin cancer.
So how does one go out in the open without the paranoia of cancer haunting him? Dermatologists suggest the use of sunscreens.
Researches showed that exposure to sunlight sans sunscreen should be less than 10 to 15 minutes at noon, while the sun is at its strongest. Using a sunscreen with an SPF or sun protection of 15 or higher is recommended. People with sensitive skin and the older adults should use an SPF of 30 or stronger because their skin tends to burn more easily. People with allergies or sensitive skin should also take note of the ingredients and choose those that are free of chemicals, dyes, preservatives, and alcohol.
If sun exposure will be particularly high, using a stronger sunscreen like zinc or titanium oxide is the better option, as it will completely stop sunlight from reaching the skin. Sunscreen application should be about half an hour before getting exposed into the sun and reapplication should be done every few hours. And when going swimming, one should know that 98 percent of the sun's rays can pass through water, so without some kind of "water-resistant" sun screen and frequent applications, sunburn might be inevitable.
The skin is meant to protect and shield one from the threats of the environment so unless one properly cares for it, it won't do its job that well.
Oily Skin Treatments
Whether a teenager or an adult, oily skin has been the bane of many people just like you. No one likes that greasy feeling and the dirt that accumulates on your face, not to mention the shine that makes you cringe at the idea of flash photography. But there is a solution to this problem and one that is simpler and surprisingly gentler than what you may previously have thought.
First of all, you need to know what causes oily skin. Overactive oil glands that produce the substance, sebum (a natural skin lubricant and moisturizer) are the main culprits. As too much sebum accumulates, it becomes thick and heavy in texture making it feel greasy. Left unattended, oily skin becomes the basis of excessive shine, pimples and blemishes.
But while there is a down side to this condition, there exists a good one as well. Skin with active oil glands tends to be less likely to show wrinkles and other signs of aging compared to other skin types. This is because the oil keeps more moisture in the skin making it more supple and elastic, therefore there is less wrinkling. So while you may fret and moan about your skin’s oiliness, it may be a blessing in disguise 10 to 15 years from now if proper care is given today.
But left untreated, this skin type leads to clogged pores, blackheads, and buildup of dead skin cells making it difficult to have clear healthy skin. It also causes a sallow-looking complexion and makes having large, visible pores very likely.
For now, there is no quick-fix solution to successfully treat oily skin. Patience is your best tool since you are addressing not a surface problem but one that is inside your body. Success may take a while to achieve and in some cases may actually need professional medical attention. And in most cases, the condition is simply put under control and never totally resolved. Even then, the skin will improve its condition and the objective to not have greasy shiny skin will be closer than ever.
First thing to do in treating oily skin is to get rid of the excess sebum on your face, without total drying out your skin. Too much washing and “degreasing” can actually make things worse since stripping your skin of oil will cause your oil glands to work overtime in producing more sebum.
The correct and balanced method is to clean the skin with a very mild detergent or surfactant. It should not contain oils or other “fatty” substances that can increase the oily condition you already have. This kind of product removes the greasy feel of too much sebum and cleans away the surface grime that has built up because of the oil.
Some products contain small amounts of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) that gently remove dead cells from the surface exposing a fresher layer of skin. Use this on a regular basis to get the intended results. Follow this up with a light (no creams and oils, preferably a water- based) moisturizer just so that the drying effects of the cleanser can be compensated for.
Use a mild astringent or toner everyday to clear off excess oils on your face. Avoid the stronger alcohol-based products. Even if you feel that it gets rid of more oil from your face, just like with the cleansers, you are actually encouraging more production of sebum if you dry your face out completely.
To prevent clogging, cleanse at least two times a day but do not scrub hard, as you will hurt your skin more than helping it. A slight pressure from your fingers is friction enough to slough off the dull, dead skin.
With oily skin, moisturizing need not be done everyday. But on the occasion you face feels tight due to cleanser and toner use, apply a light, oil-free moisturizer. Avoid products that contain substances as mineral oils and cocoa butter as they are too emollient for your skin condition.
For your makeup, choose oil-free products, especially for your foundation and blush. Go for water-based and non-comedogenic products that will not clog your pores. Some foundation products are designed to absorbing oil, which can control the shiny look during the day.
As it is with any skin type, do not forget to apply sunscreen (NON-oil based, of course). There are alternative forms of sunscreen out there, and gel is becoming a popular choice since it is less greasy than conventional sun block lotions. To be effective, your sunscreen should be at least SPF 15.
If you have severe breakouts of acne, use cleansers that contain a mild amount of salicylic acid that clears your skin. Moisturizer containing the same substance is also a good follow-up.
Finally, try to watch your diet as well. Refined starches, sugar, and processed foods may aggravate your naturally oily skin. Choose food that is low in fat and eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. Drinking lots of fluids (6-8 glasses a day) of water, juice or teas maintains good skin tone. Keep your vitamin and mineral intake up especially with vitamins A, C and B complex.
It will take time for your skin to get into shape as far as being less greasy. But the effort and discipline you put in will pay off. And as mentioned before, as you care for your greasy skin now, the benefits of less wrinkled, dry skin will follow you years later.
How to Treat Dry Skin
Weather can be one of your skin’s worst enemies, especially during the winter season. As we go through this dilemma, we should remember that there are numerous factors aside from the one mentioned above which put your skin to the normal condition of wear and tear.
Effective skin care and treatment are way to keeping your skin younger-looking, supple and full of moisture. The purpose of putting yourself to an effective skin regimen is to minimize the incorrect habits of skin treatment and the factors that injure the skin and causes irreversible damage.
Xerosis - Dermatologists use the term “xerosis” to describe dry skin. In more severe cases, skin moisture is nearly absent thereby resulting to characteristic cracking, scaling and itching called pruritus.
The above conditions are brought about by the skin lacking the required moisture to prevent the aforementioned results. The skin needs a relative amount of moisture to maintain smooth or suppleness, flexibility and protection.
If the skin is a not sufficiently moisturized, harmful UV rays get into the skin easily and travel all the way down the delicate subcutaneous tissue and subsequently make you skin vulnerable to damage.
Causes of Dry Skin
In order to avoid the many activities that jeopardize your skin’s health, it is important to identify the many factors which results to the unwanted condition.
Avoid Using Soaps with Harsh Ingredients – Regular soaps such as anti-bacterial and deodorant soaps, which are non-moisturizing, dehydrate the skin and rob your integument with essential oils which locks moisture from your body.
Products containing alcohols also dissolve skin lipids and cause the skin’s moisture to evaporate resulting to skin dryness. Water and oil- based products are perfect for your skin. Use Dove, Olay and other soap substitutes available at your local drugstore.
Washing with Hot Water – Although water is an effective moisturizing agent, it also strips your skin with valuable oils or lipids which are responsible for retaining moisture from your skin.
Frequent bathing, especially with hot water, removes valuable oils and exposes your skin to infections by destroying your body’s first main line of defense.
Once this is lost, your skin will become more prone to organic attacks by pathogens and sometimes cause irreversible damage to your skin.
If you are used to bathing with hot water and cannot resist the temptation, try replacing it with lukewarm water to lessen the effect of skin dryness.
Frequent Washing – Frequent washing and bathing, usually more than once a day depletes your body with moisture and natural oils. Also, limit your bathing time within 15 minutes.
Weather – Winter is one major factor in the development of a dry skin. The use of humidifier, in most cases, solves the problem of the effect of the climate. It compensates for the insufficient humidity needed for the preservation of skin moisture. This is because cold air cannot afford to hold adequate amount of water to serve skin’s moisture demands. Warm air on the other hand holds enough humidity to keep the skin moisturized at a certain level.
Patients under medication – People taking diuretic drugs remove water from a patient’s body because the kidney will less likely reabsorb the water filtered through it. In this case, frequent intake of water is needed.
Genetic Disease – People afflicted with a rare genetic disease called ichthyosis are likely to develop dry skin. This genetic disease has no cure and the goal of treatment is to secure the symptoms that manifest along the way.
The skin deserves much attention for it manifests your overall health or state of well-being. It provides you with valuable clues as to how you take care of yourself and how much attention your skin gets in your daily physical management.
One way to maintain that youthful glow is to subscribe to a skin treatment regimen that will help your skin restore moisture when it’s needed.
Most reasons for dryness are bacterial and fungal infections, which do not go away until proper prescription drug treatment is administered. But in reasons not tied up above, products available in the market will help you achieve that goal and maintain a skin that is envied by everyone.
Alpha hydroxyacid lotions are best for dry skin. Oil-based are more effective than water based lotions for they “lock-in” the moisture stored in the skin.
Effective moisturizers are dependent on your immediate and long-term needs. If you want to relieve itching caused by dry skin, ordinary moisturizers will serve your purpose.
Humectants such as lotions containing glycerin, propylene glycol promotes moisture retention and allantoin and urea are effective for promoting healing and stripping damaged cells on top of the skin.
Barrier creams are effective for people who are in a habit of washing their hands frequently. For individuals with advanced dry skin condition (pruritus), anti-pruritic agents such as oatmeal and tar- based pine oil are beneficial.
Balanced-diet and exercise cause your skin to produce more oil and maintain a relative amount of oil that keeps moisture in your skin. Drinking plenty of water is also important.
If these and other treatments are not effective in alleviating all the symptoms of drying skin, it is best that you consult a professional dermatologist so they can closely monitor the cause of dryness.
How to Treat Combination Skin
Skin types vary so as the type of treatment tailored to meet their needs. Some have normal, oily or dry skin and each remains the same even if temperature changes.
For some, cold, frigid weather could turn an oily face dry in minutes. This is because cold air does not carry enough moisture to moisten dry surfaces, especially the skin, and eventually makes the skin less damp and more prone to scaling.
There are many skin regimens to preventing double whammy situation to set in. More often than not, our daily skin treatment and cleaning behavior influences the way our skin maintains moisture and inhibit dry skin symptoms.
Moisture is the key to a wonderful, healthy-looking skin. Being fair- skinned does not always suggest good skin tone but the amount of moisture your skin posses implicates how you take care of your integument.
Appropriate Skin Treatments
Given the fact that people with combination skin possess dry and oily skin scattered in different areas of the face (in most circumstances), each skin type should be treated as it is: dry skin treated with ointments and medication for dry skin and oil removal creams for oily skin types.
Areas of the skin that are dry should be gently cleansed, preferably with cold creams and pat dry with towel without rubbing and wash with lukewarm water.
Oily parts should be thoroughly cleansed and kept dry to avoid breakouts of acne. Oily areas are so sensitive that any incorrect application of medications and creams may cause acne and other irritations to erupt.
There are specially made products created for each skin types and your dermatologist can you provide you valuable details about which facial products will best suit your skin as each skin requires unique treatments.
Moisturizers for Combination Skin
Skin of all types should remain moisturized. A considerable degree of dampness should be maintained to make skin less liable to infections that tend to attack the skin.
While we consider that both skin types, oily and dry, require a certain level of moisture, the oily portion demands greater care and intensive cleansing.
Greasy skin is more prone to bacterial attacks resulting to acne for bacteria thrive on these areas. Oil produced by your sudoriferous glands (oil glands) contains cellular debris which is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.
If your skin is too oily, bacteria may feed on this part and multiple as a result of continued nourishment. If any of these microorganisms gets in the way to the skin pore, multiply and deposit sedimentary toxic material, it clogs the pore and eventually initiates infection.
Oily, Dry skin and Essential Oils
Remedies for both skin types are accorded with different kinds of medications. For oily skin, oil-removal skin care products for oily skin are applicable, and oil-based skin care products for dry skin are required for skin lacking the minimum moisture requirement.
Dry skin is a result of a low sebum (oil) level on the skin which makes the skin unable to retain enough moisture. Oil locks in the required moisture to maintain structural flexibility and protect the skin, at a certain degree, from harmful rays of the sun.
If the skin lacks any of these characteristics, you will experience the feeling of “tightness”, burning sensation, itchiness, irritability, and increased sensitivity to texture and temperature.
This condition may be a result of improper caring of the skin including but not limited to too much scrubbing, too much exposure sunlight, frequent washing, poor diet, chemical vulnerability, hereditary condition as in ichthyosis, and other preexisting medical condition such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, hypothyroidism, and medications such as diuretic drugs, antihistamine, etc.
Oily skin poses a lot of problem for most people. Skin looks dull; pores are enlarged and prone to blemishes such as blackheads. If left untreated, it may result to acne infections. Greasy-looking skin are more common for people who are pregnant, uses oil-based cosmetic products and people with varying or unstable hormone levels.
Like most traits, oily skin can be traced to parents and are inherited.
Diet and weather also induces one’s skin to become oily.
Having all this information at hand, you will be able to choose essential oil that is compatible with your skin type. Essential oils are best in supporting treatment for oily and dry skin. Essential oils makes skin trap the right amount of moisture needed to maintain healthy skin, with fewer blemishes, and inhibit the growth of other microorganisms, etc.
For oily skin, you can choose either or a combination of any of the following essential oils: Geranium, Bergamot, Juniper, Cedar wood, and Sage. Cypress and Frankincense are also nice alternative. Lemon is excellent and all natural.
Rose, Patchouli, and Hyssop are best for dry skin. Lavender and Geranium can be used for both types of skin and people with history of allergic reaction to scents. For some, Ylang-Ylang and Sandalwood are also used.
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