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Your skin is your body’s largest organ, with its main function being to hold everything in place, while keeping all your internal organs protected from harm. Skin, for the most part, is something we tend to ignore—that is, until there’s a problem. Then we can become overly obsessed with corrective measures and won’t rest until one is found. Skin problems include all the various forms of dryness and oiliness, rashes, infection and inflamed points of penetration by a myriad of other creatures—from bugs to critters. On the far end, there are the different forms of skin cancer, which can prove fatal if not diagnosed and treated in time. The exact way your skin responds to life and the host of influential elements regarding your skin has a lot to do with your genes, but the manner in which you take care of your skin will make a significant difference in its overall elasticity and health. With time, even the best of genes give way for the perils of aging, so even those with ideal skin right now would do well to incorporate a skin-loving approach to their daily regimen.
What You do Matters
Your skin is an acutely responsive organ, possessing mechanisms that are highly reactive to everything it comes into contact with. For this reason, the best skin care involves an adequate amount of protective effort. Among the most important protective measures your skin needs are:
- Protection from the Sun: Every day that you plan on leaving the interior of your home, make sure to apply a UVA and UVB SPF sunscreen to your skin—your face and to every area of skin that will be exposed.
- Your Skin Needs to be Kept Clean: Give your skin a good cleansing at least twice a day, and after any vigorous activity like working out that produces a sweat. By keeping your pores clean, your skin stays lighter and more resilient, and the pores stay smaller over time. Never go to sleep with makeup still on your face—a major no-no!
- Go Mild: There’s a lot of misunderstood info floating around that has to do with how a product’s effectiveness shows up in the way it feels, when applied. There is absolutely no truth to the old “It’s got to hurt, if it’s to work.” Theory. A product doesn’t even have to exude a strong or pungent aroma to be effective. Conversely, stinging, burning—and even that tightness you can often feel following cleansing can all be signs of your skin being exposed to too much harshness. The highly effective products for your skin should feel just like their more benign counterparts–nothing. There are some chemical concoctions available under doctor’s supervision that might at first create reddened skin and peeling, but these symptoms do not continue.
- The Right Products: Make sure every product you use, from your foundations and primers to your cleansers, exfoliants and serums, is specifically formulated for your skin. If you are plagued with oily skin, there are many wonderful hydrating solutions that are oil free and won’t make your face greasy.
- Don’t Smoke: Smoking, with its many downsides, is horrible for your skin. Enough said.
Watch What You Eat
Collagen and elastin are the key ingredients your skin needs to retain its elasticity and suppleness of youth. Certain foods and behaviors are major detractors to producing both, so watch what you eat, don’t smoke or expose your skin to smoke. Protection from the sun and staying away from fried foods will help greatly, as well. Eat foods rich in antioxidants. Look for Vitamin A–carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, apricots and even watermelon are excellent foods to include in your diet, as they’re all rich in beta-carotene, which blocks free radicals–those major foes to youthful looking skin.
Add Essential Oils to your Topical Treatments
Add some wonderful benefits to your skincare regimen with cleansers and creams containing the essential oils chamomile or meroli. Both have been proven to improve elasticity in the skin. Your skin’s elasticity is improved by Chamomile oil’s ability to smooth out broken capillaries. Neroli helps with the regeneration of cells, for prevention of varicose veins and healing of scars.