Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Is the Definition of Basic Skin Care?

Your skin is one of your most visible features. Taking good care of it throughout your life is important to your mental and physical well-being. Good, basic skin care includes more than just skin washing and moisturizing. Sun protection, diet and a healthy lifestyle should be part of your daily skin care regimen.

The skin is your largest body organ. As an adult, you're wearing about 8 lbs. of flesh. Your skin does much more than add to your physical attractiveness. Skin covers the body to protect it against environmental hazards, both natural and man-made. Your skin shields you against infection and produces vitamin D that is essential to bone growth. Your skin covering is flexible so you can move about, and contains sensory nerve endings that give you the sensation of touch.

Biology Online defines basic skin care as maintaining clean, comfortable and healthy skin through thorough cleansing with soap and water, and moisturizing with emollients. Basic skin care also includes treating skin conditions appropriately with medicines and lotions, and avoiding sun exposure. Age is a factor in skin care. Special consideration should be given to infants, senior adults and the infirm.

Bathing removes dirt and daily debris from your body, exfoliates dead skin cells and reduces risk of infection. Good skin hygiene keeps you looking and smelling your best. Bathing and showering are relaxing activities that rejuvenate your mind and body. Frequent bathing -- especially during the winter months -- can cause dry skin, which can lead to more serious disorders, such as dermatitis, or eczema. Take short baths or showers -- in lukewarm water -- of no more than 10 minutes. Apply a moisturizer after towel drying your skin.

The importance of skin care increases as you age. Your skin thins, loses moisture and elasticity, sags and wrinkles. You are more susceptible to skin injuries; your injuries will take longer to heal. Older adults should bathe or shower immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Cleansing cream and glycerin soaps are gentle on the the skin. Apply moisturizer after bathing and at bedtime. You can lock in the moisturizer by wearing light socks and gloves.

Your skin reflects your lifestyle. Avoid unhealthy habits that promote dry skin conditions, such as cigarette smoking, eating spicy foods and drinking alcohol. Protecting your skin from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun may prevent or decrease wrinkles, freckles, age spots, other discolorations, benign skin conditions and skin cancers. Use sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) above 15; avoid midday sunlight from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wear protective clothing and hats.

Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., Mayo Clinic dermatologist, suggests that diet plays an important role in skin health. Gibson cautions you to avoid carbohydrates and fats, while increasing your consumption of yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, blueberries, green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, fish, nuts and tomatoes. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to increase skin moisture.

Article reviewed by Helen Covington

View the original article here


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