Natural Skin Care Tips

Natural Skin Care Tips

Here are the most important steps to take:

  • Use sunscreen and protective clothing. By far the most important measure you can take to save your skin is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. “Basically, we consider the science of aging all sun-related,” says Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. “If no one was ever exposed to the sun, we wouldn’t have wrinkles, brown spots, red blotches — even sagging is accelerated. It’s all from the sun. The most important thing anyone can do for skin — infant, child, woman, man — is sunscreen.”
  • To protect your skin, you should use a hat and other protective clothing as well as sunscreen. Seek out shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., use umbrellas on the beach, and avoid tanning parlors.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can damage the skin’s connective tissue and impair its healing process by preventing oxygen from getting to your blood vessels and skin. What this translates into is the classic “smoker’s face” — one etched by countless fine wrinkles. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, though, stopping means that your skin will probably sustain less damage.

Crush cigarettes

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  • Get some sleep. Getting adequate rest means you don’t look like you have bags under your eyes. This is also one way to alleviate stress, which is thought to contribute to damage from free radicals.
  • Avoid dehydration. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and don’t drink excessive amounts of coffee, which can make your body lose water. Although there are no studies that say it will help your skin, getting enough water may help your body remove toxins and maintain good circulation.
  • Watch your diet. Avoid loading up on white sugar or processed food, and don’t drink too much alcohol (the federal government recommends that women have no more than one drink a day). It’s also important to try to maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. “Yo-yo” dieters whose weight fluctuates dramatically can speed the aging process, as well as end up with sagging skin.

Why sun worship is damaging

“Sun is the one thing that really ages your skin significantly, really damages your skin,” says Susan Goodlerner, MD, a former clinical assistant professor of dermatology at UCLA who’s now in private practice in Torrance, California. “Women in their 50s who’ve been careful about sun protection look much younger than women who have not.”

We get half our lifetime’s worth of sun exposure before the age of 20 (because children spend so much time outdoors). If you can be the sensible one who refuses to sunbathe to achieve that optimal, in-vogue tan, your skin will thank you for it later. You will also reduce the risk of getting skin cancer.

The use of sunscreen is the only preventive step that has been scientifically shown to prevent external skin damage and wrinkles, says Donofrio. (The effects of sun damage are called photoaging.) The best sunscreen, dermatologists say, is a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays and has a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Higher SPFs will give more sun protection by absorbing more of the sun’s rays. You can also use a daily moisturizer that has sunscreen in it.