Are you worried about the changes seen on your skin? Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural ageing process and prevent various skin problems including skin cancers. Doctor hristina Sander from Central Dermatology Clinic Sunshine Coast shares her best skin tips.
1. Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems, as well as skin cancer. But how much protection is needed and healthy? There is an ongoing debate about the appropriate level of UV protection to balance the skin cancer risk and vitamin D deficiency.
For the best sun protection:
• Use sunscreen daily for your face – use a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 50+. BB creams, mineral make-ups and foundations with SPF have the added benefit of additionally reflecting visible light and heat rays, keeping your skin even more protected. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every four hours, or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
• Wear protective clothing – cover your skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Remember to include your neck and chest, as these areas often are forgotten.
2. Don’t smoke
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin – the fibres that give your skin strength and elasticity.
3. Eat healthy
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Have plenty of water to drink to avoid dehydrated skin. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear, but some research suggests that a diet rich in dairy, saturated fats and processed or refined carbohydrates will contribute to breakouts.
4. Treat your skin gently
Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:
• Limit bath time as hot water and long showers or baths remove protective oils from your skin.
• Avoid soaps as they can strip protective layers from your skin. Instead, choose mild soap-free cleansers.
• Shave carefully to protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
• Moisturise dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturiser that suits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturiser or BB cream that contains SPF. Don’t use plain oils on your skin as they will just leave a film on your skin which won’t increase hydration. Instead, choose a moisturising cream or lotion with natural ingredients.
5. Manage stress
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin – and a healthy state of mind – take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect. Allow plenty of sleep for healthy and glowing skin.