We live in a health-obsessed culture. Every month there seems to be a new exercise fad and social media always seems to be buzzing about the latest “super food”. It’s hard to change the TV channel without landing on an infomercial for workout DVDs promising to give you the body you’ve always wanted. Record numbers of people are signing up for 5ks and other road races every year.
With such a strong focus on the health of our bodies, it’s shocking how little thought we give to the health of our skin. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, we should be doing more to protect it!
Wear SPF, every day
The single best thing you can do to delay the natural aging process and dramatically reduce your chances of developing skin cancer is to wear sun screen every single day. Even on cloudy or overcast days, covering your skin in broad spectrum sun screen with an SPF of at least 30 is the most effective way to keep your skin healthy.
Sun protective clothing
Sun protective clothing is specifically designed for protection from the sun and is produced from a fabric rated for its level of ultraviolet (or UV) protection. Tightly woven fabrics (like twill that is used to make denim) offers good sun protection because it has smaller holes and means that less UV can get through. Open weave fabrics provide much less protection and include fabrics like knit or bleached cotton.
You can also do more to protect your skin by opting to wear long sleeve or a wide-brimmed hat. In short, the more you cover, the more protected you are!
Cleaning your skin
When it comes to cleaning your skin, use a gentle cleanser in the both the morning and the evening. Gentle cleansers should be mild and non-irritating, and they should thoroughly clean your skin without making it feel tight or dry.
Also, limit use of facial exfoliates to only once or twice a week as exfoliating can be damaging to skin if done too often or too vigorously. Exfoliating every day can strip your skin of its natural oils which will eventually lead to unpleasant breakout. Also, since skin sheds dead cells on its own, excess exfoliating can disrupt the natural process and actually slow down skin cell turnover.
Disclaim: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.