Anatomy Skin Healthy

Healthy skin is skin that is adequately moisturized, free of acne and doesn’t show significant signs of sun damage. While getting and maintaining healthy skin depends on your particular skin care routine, it also depends on your lifestyle habits, your diet and the skin care products you use.

Keep in mind that what defines healthy skin will depend on your age. For example, although having a few wrinkles is perfectly healthy for someone in his 60s, their presence can indicate that a person in her 20s has unhealthy, under-moisturized skin.

Lifestyle Habits to Promote Healthy Skin

People who are looking to increase the health of their skin may think that they will have to spend a lot of time and money to get the skin they want. However, practicing healthy skin habits doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Here are five simple things you can do to improve the health of your skin:

  • Be careful when shaving: Whether or not you have sensitive skin, regularly shaving can damage your skin by causing razor burn, cuts and dry skin. To maintain healthy skin when shaving, make sure that you:
    • Always use a clean razor. Avoid using dull razors, as they are ineffective and will damage your skin.
    • Avoid shaving over dry skin, as this will cause razor burn.
    • Moisten the skin before you start to soften the hair and open up the hair follicles. Shaving in the shower or bath is best.
    • Shave only in the direction the hair is growing. Don’t shave against hair growth, as this tends to cause razor burn and ingrown hair.
    • Use moisturizer or aftershave on freshly shaved skin.
  • Moisturize: Regularly using the proper creams and/or lotions after washing your face is essential to replenishing the levels of moisture in your skin. When choosing a daily moisturizer, consult your dermatologist or a skin care expert. The right moisturizer for you will depend on your age and your skin type.
  • Protect your skin from the sun: Because the sun has been proven to be the number one cause of premature aging and skin cancer, properly protecting your skin from the sun is key to keeping it healthy. The three best ways to protect your skin from the sun include:
    • Limiting time outdoors when the sun is at its strongest, which falls between 10am and 4pm in the summer.
    • Wear protective clothing, such as hats, sunglasses and long sleeved shirts/pants.
    • Wear sunscreen. While you should apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before going outdoors (to ensure that the sunscreen’s active ingredients have adequately penetrated your skin), reapply about every 2 hours, after sweating or after contact with water.
  • Quit smoking: Like the sun, smoking is another leading cause of premature aging and early skin damage. Because smoking constricts the skin’s blood vessels, it limits blood and nutrient flow to the skin. Overtime, this decreases the skin’s levels of collagen, affecting its elasticity and causing wrinkles to appear earlier than they should.Similarly, some experts suggest that the constant contact with heat and ash, as well as the repetitive facial gestures, also accelerate the skin’s aging process.
  • Wash your face properly: Regularly cleaning your face is just as important as washing it properly. In addition to washing your face in the morning and evening, you should also:
    • Avoid harsh or perfumed cleansers that can over dry and irritate your skin.
    • Moisturize your skin regularly, especially immediately after you cleanse it.
    • Remove makeup with care (i.e. use soft cotton balls rather than a rough towel).
    • Use warm water, rather than cold, when cleaning your face.

    Signs of Unhealthy Skin

    Here are some signs and symptoms that can indicate that your skin is unhealthy:

    • bumpiness, with bumps being either red, white or black
    • flaky skin
    • lesions
    • liver spots
    • patches of redness on the skin
    • scaly skin.

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of unhealthy skin, consult a dermatologist for a diagnosis of your condition, as well as proper treatment.

    Resources

    MayoClinic (updated December 1, 2005). Skin care: Top 5 Habits for Healthy Skin. Retrieved October 31, 2007 from the MayoClinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-care/SN00003.